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Old 05-03-2014, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley
4,050 posts, read 9,076,003 times
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Hi Montana ,

I will be driving up through Montana from Idaho Falls, thru Butte, Mazzoula and over to Spokane at the end of May (on the I15 and then I90). Is this a good route, is it very mountainous?

Anything else I should be aware of or look out for?

Thanks for your help !
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Old 05-03-2014, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley
4,050 posts, read 9,076,003 times
Reputation: 3409
Default one more (different) driving question for you...

I'm coming up through Idaho and heading to NE WA. The routes given to me by Google Maps and Map Quest suggest coming up I15 and then taking 84 west and coming across OR but a friend suggested staying on the I15 into Montana and going west on I90.

I like this idea as it's a way I've never been before (I;ve never been to Montana, never seen Coeur D'Alene, Spokane etc.) and only adds 45 min. to my 4 day trip but wondered what you think of it?

Does one have obvious advantages over another?

Thanks
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Old 05-03-2014, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Minot, ND
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That is one of the nicest drives ever. You'll cross the Continental Divide just south of Butte and Between Dillon MT and Missoula MT there are several different way to go that take you off the Interstate for some really beautiful sights.

One of the most scenic is to take US43 just south of Butte to Wisdom then on over Lost Trail Pass and down the Bitterroot Valley to Missoula. It's all very good two lane and you'll follow the top of the Continental Divide along the Big Hole River as you head into the Big Hole Valley. Stop by and read the Historical Points and visit the Big Hole Battle Field. then as you travel down the Bitterroot valley you'll follow the route of Lewis ad Clark to Missoula. You won't regret the trip.
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Old 05-03-2014, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley
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Thanks so much AndersonRM! I'm excited to see a new state!
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Old 05-03-2014, 10:03 PM
 
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Absolutely don't go I-15 to 84, it may be fast, but it isn't very scenic except along the Columbia Gorge.

If you go I-15 to I-90 there's much to see all the way to Missoula, but not so much between Missoula and Lookout Pass (I-90)--just lots of trees. Our preferred route is to go over Lost Trails Pass (93) through Missoula and then keep going on 93 until it meets Highway 200, and go west on 200. (You can also take I-15 and turn north at Missoula on 93 to 200.) The stretch on 200 is one of the most spectacular routes in the entire NW, taking you along the Clark Fork River all the way along Lake Pend Oreille to Sandpoint. When you reach Sandpoint you can go south on 95 to Coeur d'Alene (about an hour's drive) and on to Spokane on I-90, or you can simply go west on Highway 2 along the Pend Oreille River from Sandpoint and get to Spokane that way. It takes a little longer, but it is more scenic.

You're going to have a great time, regardless of which way you decide to go!
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Old 05-04-2014, 09:03 AM
 
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It is mountainous but is interstate all the way. So good roads. You might want to check the road reports, though, for construction or any slight delays. It's a very pretty route.

If you want something even prettier and not so much interstate, west of Butte take the Anaconda-Pintlar highway. You'll rejoin I-90 at Drummond.
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Old 05-04-2014, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Minot, ND
163 posts, read 500,861 times
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Another slow but beautiful option is to take the Hwy 12, Lolo Pass, road from Lolo MT. 12 mi south of Missoula, west into Idaho. You'll have very remote but good highway. From the top of Lolo Pass to Kooskia ID it's about 120 miles and the only civilization is the Powell Ranger Station and an excellent restaurant next to the Ranger Station about 12 miles into your trip. I try to take that every time I need to go west. Then at Lewiston, ID you can turn north toward Spokane. This road is a very good two lane with speed that average 50-55 mph. Scenery that is breath taking and lots of place to stop and take it in. Personally I dislike driving the Interstates if I can. I just finished driving from Minot, ND to Oklahoma City on 2 lane all the way. Then took Interstate the last 200 miles into Dallas. I could have stayed on two lane all the way to Dallas but was running short on time.
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