Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: New Braunfels, Texas
Dude, I've only ridden the area once in my life but in the 38 years I've been throwing a leg over a motorcycle, one day stands out as the best ever.
On your way east, ride Hell's Canyon. There may be other, better routes, but coming from the southeast on I-84 I turned east on 86 at Baker City, Oregon. I rode the "loop' north through Richland, Homestead and Joseph. At Enterprise I turned north onto 3 towards Lewiston, Wash (3 becomes 129 when you cross into Washington).
I don't know what the rest of the roadway looks like if you were to go back to 84, but the part I just mentioned was hands down the best day of riding I've ever had in my life. Imagine riding Tail of the Dragon in NC- you know, 318 curves in 11 miles. Except this route goes on maybe 125 miles. And instead of hundreds of other motorists of all kinds sharing the road, you'll see only a handful. Snow capped mountains in the near distance with ancient pine trees towering in every direction, and nary a cigarette butt to be seen on the side of the spotless pavement.
It is magnificent.
I fueled up at Lewiston and went east on US 12/ aka The Nez Perce/ Lewis and Clark Trail. 12 runs along the Clearwater River and is another gorgeous but less technical ride. Easy sweepers along the historic river.
I overnighted at a county camp ground in Orofino, Idaho right off of the HWY 12 roadside. I think I paid 10 dollars (in 2008) for a raised, level tent pad 30 feet from the bank of the river. The site had a picnic table and grill. There was one other camper besides the camp host in the park. No showers there but there's a bathroom and you can get provisions in Orofino.
The next morning I had breakfast at a great place in Lowell, Idaho (you'll know it when you see it). Before I realized it was mid July and that I had on full leather plus raingear on for a windbreaker, and was still a little cold, I considered moving there when I retire. Then this Texas boy realized there's no way I could tolerate the winters there and came to my senses. But it's absolutely beautiful.
12 has the famous stretch with the warning signs that show the S symbol and "next 99 miles" underneath. Also, speed limit 55. Yeah, whatever. The road handles 70 with ease. You'll end up over the Lolo pass at the Montana state line before heading north at Missoula on 93 up to GNP.
As I said in the beginning, I've only ridden the area once. If there are better runs, and I'm sure there are- I want to ride them. But I guarantee you'll love this route.
And you'll love GNP as well.
Have fun and ride safe!
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'03 Deuce: 90k miles and counting, '11 RGU: 80k miles and counting.
Last edited by Andyman; 05-15-2012 at 05:03 PM.