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Old 05-23-2014, 09:59 AM   #1
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Glacier Park to Colter Bay

Hello Everyone

We have a route planned and would like to get some feedback as to the drive in terms of terrain and winding roads and the best route to travel. We will be traveling in June.

We are in a 38 ft with a tow car.

Our initial plans are:

Rt 83 which turns into Rt 141. Then picking up I 90 at Garrison.

Then picking up Rt 359 south off of I 90 which turns into Rt 287 which then connects to 191 into West Yellowstone. From West Yellowstone, traveling south on 191 thru Yellowstone to Colter Bay.

Is this route doable ? I appreciate any comments or help with this..

Thank you
Jeff & Gail Strum
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Old 05-25-2014, 05:40 AM   #2
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Granted it has been over 30 years since I have driven these roads, so there may have been changes. You are in for a lot of somewhat narrow roads to travel, granted hwy 93 is busy, but I think that is more doable. You will pick up I90 near Missoula and stay on it till you get to Belgrade, then take 191S into the park. It will be a wider road than Rt 359 & Rt 287. You will probably do alright with your route, but you will be pulling over quite often to let the line of vehicles behind you get by.

Also, there is no to very little shoulder on these narrow roads which means you will have to be on your toes all the time, one little lapse could mean ending up in the ditch. I have never seen semis traveling any of the smaller roads you are taking about taking, but I have seen them on 93.

For what it is worth, this is MHO, BTW, we lived in Deer Lodge till we left in 1985 so I have been over these roads several times, but as I said it has been many years since I traveled them and maybe the state has widened them. I would not feel comfortable doing it in our 35 foot class A pulling our minivan.
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Old 05-25-2014, 06:12 AM   #3
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You seem to have purposely picked some seldom used back roads. They may be ok if you know what you're getting into, but I would not use the 83 section or the 359 section of your route with a large RV. There are safer, faster ways around those choices. But your preferences may be different than mine. otherwise your route looks good.
Also, just for timing, be aware the route through Yellowstone will be very slow stop & go, depending on the time of day & wildlife activity.
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:36 PM   #4
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I ran most of this route last year...but used 93 instead of 83. Nothing wrong with 359 and 287 to get you into West Yellowstone, or taking 87 south and then 20 east. We exited Yellowstone to the east.
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:53 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jeffreys View Post

Is this route doable ?
Hi Jeff,

You've selected some very scenic drives through Montana. You seem to favor the back roads over the interstates. So do I.

I grew up in Montana and have driven most of those roads; some as recently as last summer. There's only one small section that you've selected that I don't have personal experience on that you might reconsider. That's the MT-359 section off of I90 to connect to US-287 south. I haven't driven that, so I can't suggest that it's a good choice for you. There's a very nearby alternate that I am sure would be fine; that's MT-2 to US-287.

On MT-83, you'll pass nearby the town of Bigfork. They have a respectable summer theater that's a nice evening's entertainment (2013 Broadway Musicals | Bigfork Summer Playhouse Performances). Where MT-83 runs into MT-200 west, you'll be very near the Blackfoot River (to the east) and Lincoln (to the west). The Blackfoot river gained some degree of fame in Norman Maclean's "A River Runs Through It" and Robert Redford's screen adaptation. BTW, if you saw the movie, be aware that it was NOT filmed on the Blackfoot River. Lincoln, to the east, gained fame when Ted Kaczynski (the Unibomber) was captured nearby.

Be aware, as others have suggested, your route is mostly two lane, without much shoulder. Not a problem to drive; not many places to let people pass.

Take care,
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