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Old 12-04-2011, 02:59 PM   #1
Timmer OP
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Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Burien, WA
Oddometer: 2,403
Proposed 2012 MT Ride

I'm considering putting together a 5 dayish ride that would showcase several of what I think are the best sections of the Montana 1000 which I've had the pleasure of riding in 2010 & 2011. I'm envisioning riding east from Elk City, ID on the Macgruder Corridor / Nez Pierce Trail to Darby, MT, pavement to the historic ghost town of Bannock, MT, ride the historical dirt Bannock Wagon Road N to S to Sheep Creek and then east to Dell, MT. From Dell we'd head up into and ride the Gravelly Range Road S to N. This gravel road is among, if not the most, scenic roads I've ever ridden on. Much of it is at 8k feet and above and is in grizzly bear country (I've never seen any). The road terminates near Ennis, MT from which we'd head for Lolo, MT and ride the Lolo Motorway westbound (dirt travel north of the paved US12), unless there was interest in seeing another significant ghost town (Garnet) before doing the Lolo Motorway.

Is there any ADVRider interest in doing such a ride in mid July? This would be a full on camping ride. I do have some local Puget Sound rider interest in doing this ride. The exact timing will be dependent upon the snow level conditions.

7/3/2012 Update:

We're still planning for a 7/22 departure from Elk City, ID from the Gas Station/Restaurant on the "west" end of town. Several of us will arrive on either Friday or Saturday nite before departure and will be camping in the area at places to be determined.

Those who have indicated they will be coming are (if you are not on the list and want to be, let me know and I'll put you on the list):

Don't be concerned about the group being too large, we'll break down into smaller natural riding groups. This is a big bike friendly ride, personally I don't ride fast, and I like to take lots of pictures.

Here's a link to a file in Google Docs for my version 1 of the ride.

I've made the GPX file editable, but please just download and edit it as you wish. If you would then send me a copy of your GPX file, I'll upload the latest versions.

Here's a summary:
Day 1 - Elk City, ID to Darby, MT - 125 miles - Probably camping somewhere on the NEZ Perce Trail. TBD.
Day 2 - Darby, MT to Clark, MT Reservoir - 126 miles - Includes a recommended side trip to Bannack Ghost town - some pavement
Day 3 - Clark Reservoir, MT to Gravelly Range Primitive Camping Site (very nice site) - 124 miles - Lots of gravel & scenery
Day 4 - Gravelly Range Camping to Ruby Dam Camping - 97 miles - Lots of time to enjoy the Gravelly Range Road - several additional riding options both up in the Gravelly Range and south of Ruby Dam.
Day 5 - Ruby Dam to US93 south of LOLO - 214 Miles - Unfortunately this is pavement day in order to transition us back to the Lolo Motorway
Day 6 - Lolo, MT to Pierce, ID - 171 miles - Lots of great riding on the LOLO Motorway. We may have to split this into an additional day.

Another version created by Wansfel can be found here (I've not merged them yet and there are good suggestions in this revision):

If you look at posts beginning around #93, there's some interesting and helpful information found there.

I'll put important update information in this first post as well as at the end of the thread.

7/17/12 UPDATE:

I just spoke with the Ranger at Elk City and the Magruder Corridor is open although she mentioned there has been a great deal of rain which could lead to fallen trees. There are no camping restrictions although significant travel off the road is not permitted.

I also spoke with the Ranger at Ennis, MT and the Gravelly Range is open; HOWEVER, no campfires are permitted except in specific fire rings. (Stage 1 alert). The Ranger said that even with the recent rains, they do not expect to loosen the restrictions in the next two weeks. So, be sure to bring your JETBOIL or PRIMUS or WHISPERLITE or whatever similar form of portable cooking or water warming device of choice. Don't count on being able to use a campfire.

All this being said, the 2012 Best of MT 1000 is officially a GO!! I'll be in Elk City on Saturday during the day.

My cellphone is 206-947-3073.

My Spot Tracker link is:

I'm planning to ride to Colfax on Friday and visit with relatives and then ride to Elk City on Saturday morning. I'll try to stay at the Red River Hot Springs if there is camping there. Here's a link to their site: The contact phone number is: 208-842-2587.

As indicated previously, the ride will depart from the ELK CITY GAS STATION on Sunday morning 7/22 at 8am.

If you have any last minute questions, please feel free to call or text me or email me directly at

Tim in Burien, WA
'05 R1200GS '03 F650GS
'08 WR250R
'03 Wing
'01 ST1100

Timmer screwed with this post 07-18-2012 at 12:54 PM Reason: Update on 7/17 for Current Info
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