Idaho-Montana Bike Tour: By The Days and Miles

Over the holidays I received the gift of free time, and spent a fair amount of it going through photos from Felkerino’s and my 2015 summer bike tour of Idaho and Montana. In retrospect, it appears we had a grand adventure.

While it was happening, our good times were interspersed with humbling moments and some formidable gravel sections we were  ill-prepared to ride. We rode them anyway, and now know to respect the granite sand-gravel of Idaho.

Some of my favorite parts of this tour were spent paralleling rivers. The Lochsa and Salmon Rivers– they spoke to us, and their lively company engaged us on otherwise mostly empty segments.

We also had sparkling blue sky for most of our time on the road, and appreciated many views of uninterrupted sky as we pedaled between the aloof Idaho ridges.

2015 Idaho Tour

I like to have one post from each tour that summarizes our experience and provides links to the daily writings from the road. Over our 11 days of riding, we rode 897 miles. That’s an average of 81 miles per day. This tour was not as hilly as our Colorado tours, but enough hills for my fitness level this year.

I published a photo set of our 11 days of riding on flickr. As for the day-by-day recaps and a few photo highlights, here we go:

Day 1. Boise to Lowman: Riding Out the Bike Tour Kinks, 81 miles
Day 1: Outside Lowman, Idaho

Day 1: Outside Lowman, Idaho

Day 2. Lowman to Challis: Pickup Truck Dreams in Idaho, 113 miles
Day 2: Outside of Stanley Idaho

Day 2: Outside of Stanley Idaho

Day 3. Challis to North Fork, Idaho: Salmon River Serenade, 82 miles
Day 3: Say No to Drugs, Let's Go Fishing Instead

Day 3: Say No to Drugs, Let’s Go Fishing Instead

Day 3: Touching the 45th Parallel between Challis and North Fork, Idaho

Day 3: Touching the 45th Parallel between Challis and North Fork, Idaho

Day 3: Salmon River, Challis to North Fork

Day 3: Salmon River, Challis to North Fork

Day 4. North Fork, Idaho to Hamilton, Montana: Lost Trail Pass into Montana, 74 miles
Day 4: Lost Trail Pass

Day 4: Lost Trail Pass

Day 4: Outside Hamilton, Montana

Day 4: Outside Hamilton, Montana

Day 5. Hamilton, Montana to Missoula: Adventure Cycling Headquarters, 58 miles
Day 5: Between Hamilton and Missoula

Day 5: Between Hamilton and Missoula

Day 6. Missoula, Montana to Kooskia, Idaho: 135 miles
Day 6: Climbing Lolo Pass after leaving Missoula

Day 6: Climbing Lolo Pass after leaving Missoula

Day 6: Winding Road for Next 99 Miles

Day 6: Winding Road Next 99 Miles

Day 7. Kooskia to Riggins, Idaho: 92 miles
Day 7: Winona Grade outside of Kooskia

Day 7: Winona Grade outside of Kooskia

Day 7: What lies at the top of Winona Grade

Day 7: What lies at the top of Winona Grade

Day 7: Whitebird Summit

Day 7: Climbing Whitebird

Day 7: Time Zone Bridge

Day 7: Time Zone Bridge

Day 8. Riggins to McCall, Idaho: 50 Miles Up, 53 miles
Day 8: Outside of Riggins, Idaho

Day 8: Outside of Riggins, Idaho

Day 8: Approaching New Meadows, Idaho

Day 8: Approaching New Meadows, Idaho

Day 9. McCall to Cascade: An Invitation to the Idaho Mountains, 55 miles
Day 9: Leaving McCall

Day 9: Leaving McCall

Day 9: High Point on the Idaho Hot Springs Route outside McCall

Day 9: High Point on the Idaho Hot Springs Route outside McCall

Day 10. Cascade to Crouch, Idaho: Taking Off the Training Wheels, 67 miles
Day 10: Indian Paintbrush on the Sand Gravel

Day 10: Indian Paintbrush on the Sand Gravel

Day 10: Bullet Holes for Ambience

Day 10: Bullet Holes for Ambience

Day 11. Crouch to Boise, Idaho: Coming Full Circle, 87 miles
Day 11: Hot dry sun and blue sky in Windsor, Idaho

Day 11: Hot dry sun and blue sky in Windsor, Idaho

Day 11: Climbing Old Freezeout Road outside of Emmett, Idaho

Day 11: Climbing Old Freezeout Road outside of Emmett, Idaho

The Return: Unexpected Letdown

Assembling this post made me thirsty for more bike touring. Here’s to a happy and healthy, bike-filled 2016!

4 replies

  1. “Assembling this post made me thirsty for more bike touring.”

    Me too. I’m already planning for the spring events and #3 son and I have our annual bike tour down to two prospect. Cape Cod and the Island or the Erie Canal.
    Enjoy your 2016 bike ride.

    Like

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