Missoula, Redfish, Idaho and Montana, 5-day Ride, Summer 2019

The last week has been amazing here in the great northwest. Since leaving Missoula, Berni and I have seen some beautiful country. We had planned a 4-day loop ride from Missoula and back but decided to take out of Missoula a day earlier and make it a 5-day ride. Looking at the weather radar, there really wasn’t a hope of staying dry anyway. So we bit the bullet, geared up for wet riding with a forecast of 40-degrees as the low with scattered showers. At 11 am, it was 65-degrees in Missoula.

Checking the weather and the route, the upcoming ride would take us as far south as Redfish Idaho, then on to McCall, and the last night in Orofino ID, before returning to our starting point in Missoula. Before leaving, we knew we would get lucky if we didn’t get drenched more than once.

Our plan was to use the extra day to detour to Jackson MT. Our ride to Jackson turned into a dual hail storm, 34-degree whiteout snowstorm ride. Why not? We rode for 50 miles in heavy falling snow along highway 43 into Jackson, our end-of-day destination, the Jackson Hot Springs Lodge.

The last day of this loop ride would find us on HWY 12, thru the Nez Perce – Clearwater National Forest. The locals here have confirmed this is one of the best rides in this area.

If you’re interested in seeing our route, here is the google maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/XGE7a5J88rWhqEjM8 , 787 miles, 15 and 1/2 hours riding time.

This 5-day ride may indeed be my favorite ever.

We rented a house in Missoula, Car, Trailer and Motorcycle within await.
This artwork is cemented to the entry of the pedestrian overpass of the rail yard. Has lots of bright colors. — in Missoula, Montana.
Walking along a bike path between the town and the rail yard, I happened upon this house. The person who lives here has an at-home business of rebuilding old cars. The license plate siding and the modern building in the back caught my attention. — in Missoula, Montana.
Bass Creek River, Montana.

What a fine place and a little paradise. We met up with other riders as surprised as we were to have ridden in the snowstorm, just one day before the 1st day of summer. Everyone was super friendly. Riding in a snowstorm and ending the day with this kind of reward is an example of why I ride. We had a good dinner, some drinks and soaked in 101 natural hot water and retired to a warm cabin.

Bernadette is the best. All smiles after riding for 50 miles in a 34-degree snowstorm. — at Jackson Hot Springs Lodge in Jackson, MT
Jackson Hot Springs Lodge, Jackson, MT
This is the lodge of the resort. An Olympic sized hot spring tub is on the outside. I’m not sure what all these heads are. — in Jackson, Montana.
That’s my biker babe, Bernadette. — in Jackson, Montana.
Those are water pipes running through the resort in the main lodge and the rooms of the Jackson Hot Springs resort. Toasty. — in Jackson, Montana.
The bar of the Jackson Hot Springs Resort. — in Jackson, Montana.
This is what it looked like on June 21st, 1st day of summer at 11am in Jackson Montana, Jackson Hot Springs Lodge, Jackson, MT

In the morning we rode back the way we came, over the Chief Joseph pass and back to 93 south, destination Challis Idaho.

The ride on 93 south, up to and from the point, we came off the pass, right into Challis was an amazing ride. The North Fork of the Salmon River runs along the highway and eventually, the Salmon River comes into view. The roadway comes out of the Royal Gorge around Ellis Idaho. The views are breathtaking.

Challis is a small town of about 1000 people. The town has a lot of history. Many buildings still standing from the 1860s.

In the morning we rode into Stanley for breakfast, following Hwy-75. We stopped for breakfast at the Mountain Village Restaurant. Leaving Stanley, we followed Hwy-21 (The Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway). In Lowman, we used the Grimes Pass (Rt-17) to jump over to Hwy-55 to start our course northern, ending our day in McCall Idaho. With the exception of about 40 miles of the ride, the entire route continued to be magnificent.

Leaving McCall we headed toward the Nez Perce Reservation following Hwy-95 into Lapwai to pick up Hwy-12 west of Lenore. Ending our ride in Orofino Idaho.

The final and 5th day of the ride we followed Hwy-12 into Lolo Pass. 70 miles of perfect motorcycling roads, perfect curves, smooth surface, and beautiful scenery.

View of Stanley looking north along highway 75 and the Salmon River — in Lower Stanley, Idaho.
The Payette River along highway 55. — in Banks, Idaho.
I appreciate the places this Goldwing has taken us. This is the southern side of the Royal Gorge near May Idaho. — in May, Idaho.
Southern end of Royal Gorge, near May Idaho.
A rare sighting, clean window wash! A motorcyclist dream come true. Thank you Sinclair. I love the dinocare. — in North Fork, Idaho.
This bar, Buk’s Place, has been here since the 1850s — in Challis, Idaho.
Route 12 at Lolo Pass.
Salmon River along Highway 55 — in Banks, Idaho.
Nez Perce Indian War — in Cottonwood, Idaho.
Nez Perce Indian War — in Cottonwood, Idaho.
I thought this looked cool. A (not) real bear. — in Missoula, Montana.
Rolling into Jackson MT at 2pm. At times, the shield had 1/2 inch of snow/ice — in Jackson, Montana.
Heading out of Jackson Montana the next morning, snow still falling on the mountains. — in Wisdom, Montana.
Along route 93 heading south to Chillis Idaho
Route 93, north of Chillis Idaho
Highway 93 looking south just north of Ellis/Chillis Idaho
Highway 93 looking south just north of Ellis/Chillis Idaho
Highway 93 looking south just north of Ellis/Chillis Idaho
Highway 93 looking south just north of Ellis/Chillis Idaho
Highway 93 looking south just north of Ellis/Chillis Idaho
Mountain goats on the road. Get out of the way you goats!
Leaving McCall
North of McCall Idaho
Cherry Lane Bridge, https://goo.gl/maps/NsBv1ryk838aAjGk9
Cherry Lane Bridge and Osprey nest near Lenore Idaho
Bernadette and Frank, Summer 2019, near Lenore Idaho.

Reference Facebook Post of this ride: