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Old 01-07-2013, 04:26 AM   #16
Blakebird
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Originally Posted by Lovin' it Strom View Post
And...tell me about Thermopolis.

Where to stay, eat?

What are the springs like?
I've stayed in Thermopolis a few times, this last August most recently.
There's a couple of nice mom 'n pop places to stay and a few chain motels
We stayed here - clean, inexpensive
http://goo.gl/maps/zZk7y

Hot springs are good, I like the outdoor rather than the indoor (especially in Winter). My first time in vapor caves - cool once your lungs stop freaking out.

Not a vibrant economy here though, lots of shuttered businesses and restaurant choices are not huge. We walked around for a bit and went to this place at the suggestion of the motel owner

http://goo.gl/maps/Kt5Mk
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:13 PM   #17
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I've never been to Thermopolis, but I know in that area that Lander is a town with a little bit going on. Decent places to eat, Cowfish or Gannett Grill depending on how fancy you want it. The road from Lander up thru Dubois and over Togwotee pass to the tetons is a good ride. In fact Dubois is a nice little town to spend the night with one good place to eat that I know of, the cowboy cafe. I've stayed at the twin pines lodge/cabins right there in town and they were nice. -al
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:28 PM   #18
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RE: Jackson. Wife and I took a ride up to Jackson one weekend on a whim, no plans or reservations. In fact we kinda thought we were going to Driggs but ended up in Jackson instead. Anyway, we had a helluva time finding a room without a reservation, not sure what was going on, ended up in some fleabag. It was still over $100, which is Jackson for ya. But it was near the town square so we could walk everywhere and we had a wonderful evening at the old Wort Hotel. And breakfast at Cafe Genevieve east of the square was good too.

I didn't catch where you're coming from or where you're going thru Colorado, but we like Steamboat Springs, too. The microbrewery there has awesome grub, a little fancier and spendier than most microbreweries. And if you're into beer, plan a night in Fort Collins. -al
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:49 PM   #19
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We like hotels with hot tubs to unwind.

We're eyeballing the hotel near the hot springs in Thermopolis and the next day making our way through Teton and down into Jackson. Currently we are contemplating July 29 to August 18.

Right now, our route looks like we'll slab it to Thermopolis from Denver. Is this a harsh ride? Speed traps? How long can we really expect to budget for that first run. We want enough time when we get there get in some relaxing soak time.

Jackson, Yellowstone, Red Lodge, Great Falls, Martin City, Calgary, Jasper...

Tips? Where to stay/eat/must see?
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:44 PM   #20
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what ever you do, do NOT miss the western side road of Lake Koocanusa.
it is spectacular. our MT map has all the details. thnx Bill
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:12 AM   #21
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what ever you do, do NOT miss the western side road of Lake Koocanusa.
it is spectacular. our MT map has all the details. thnx Bill
I have been using your map as the primary planning tool. I'm trying to hit as many highlighted segments as i can without doubling back.
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:47 PM   #22
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We're thinking of hitting Jackson on the trip back and staying at the Jackson Lake Lodge, then venturing into Yellowstone from the south.

So, from Yellowstone we'll head over Beartooth and stay in Red Lodge. From there I'm thinking a run up to Great Falls, MT (with a soak stop in White Sulpher). Any recommendations or things to avoid in either? We heard there is a dive bar with mermaids in Great Falls we want to see. And there is a nudie bar too.


Share all recommendations!

Also, just got the wife a Canon 60D. As it's our first "nice" camera we're still playing with it. Any recommendations for particular filters or anything?

Thanks
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:21 PM   #23
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from Red Lodge, take 78 west thru Absarokee to Columbus on the interstate.

Denver to Thermopolis is just a drone - with a bit of scenic road between Boysen Reservoir and Thermo.

Some of the back roads north of Rawlins are great if you like solitude - but high average speed on I-25 gets you there in time to enjoy a long soak
Lander is a nice little town though, if a bit off your path.
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:08 PM   #24
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I've been fortunate to have traveled most of the routes mentioned and I would echo the comments about highway 12 / Lolo pass.. Much more of rider's road with scenery than Banff/Jasper and GTSR in Glacier. I'd definitely ride Lolo again but then again I've been to Banff/Jasper and Glacier 20 or so times climbing most of the peaks.

If you camp in the Lake Louise area of Banff/Jasper check out Takakkaw falls walk in campground...

Highway 12 early last fall.. temp that morning was 22 when I broke camp..

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Old 03-21-2013, 04:43 PM   #25
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Reservations made around the Yellowstone area. Got some nice places!

Glacier area (the west side) doesn't seem to be filling up as fast. Should I concern myself with reservations up there or just ride in. Google maps shows a ton of hotels ranging from mom and pop to fancier fare.

Thanks
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:36 PM   #26
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Surgery plans have forced some changes. Now the trip won't be going all the way into Canada, but maybe a loop from Bailey Thermopolis area up to Powell and through Yellowstone. Eventually looping up through Idaho, Montana, to South Dakota and back to Colorado.

Question: How badly do hotels in West Yellowstone fill up in early August (thinking Thursday, August 8)? Should I reserve something or just wing it. Any recommendations?


Towns I am looking at:
Saratoga, Thermopolis, Powell, WY, Lava Hot Springs, Hailey, ID, Donnelly, ID, Lolo Hot Springs, Great Falls, Billings, Sundance WY, Custer SD, Casper WY. Any recommended places to stay, see, avoid?
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:54 PM   #27
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I've been to some of the places you're looking at.

The Beartooth pass is not to be missed--one of the most spectacular roads in No. America.

If you ride down from Red Lodge and plan on continuing to Cook City and Yellowstone via the N.E. gate, I'd recommend an alternative that's even more scenic: turn south on Chief Joseph highway (296) through the Sunlight Basin, and down to Cody. Then you can enter Yellowstone thru the East gate.

Cody is a great town. As someone mentioned already, the Buffalo Bill center is really neat--4 or 5 different museums all in one complex. You can spend an entire day there and not see it all. There are nice hotels and motels in Cody, but I prefer the Ponderosa campground. They are bike friendly, reasonably priced, and close to everything. No hot tub, but clean showers.

From Yellowstone, I like to head south into Grand Tetons. Colter Bay is a good campground inside the park if you like amenities and don't mind lots of people/RVs. There are smaller/quieter ones, too. Reservations are recommended.

Another fun route is Grassy Lake Road, a.k.a. Flagg Ranch-Ashton Road. It is unpaved, but usually passable on a big adventure bike. Mid-June might be a bit early for it; some years it still has mud and even snow patches that late into Summer. By July it's usually dry and has been graded. If you get on it before the grader does, it can have rutted spots and be a little technical for street bikes. Anywhoo... I mention it because it's a really beautiful route and just desolate enough to bring in an element of adventure, without serious danger or difficulty. It starts at Flagg Ranch, between Yellowstone and Grand Tetons. Ends at tiny town of Ashton, ID. It's 45-ish miles, of which 35 or 40 are dirt.

I'd definitely recommend the Sawtooths, from Hailey (Sun Valley) over Galena Summit, stop in Stanley for fuel/food, take a short spur over to Redfish Lake, and then northward to Challis and Salmon (or same thing in reverse, depending on your route). You can head west from the town of Blackfoot and see the first successful nuclear reactor (now a very cool museum) near Arco, then Craters of the Moon.

... so many possibilities, depending on what you want to take in, and what direction you're heading. I usually pass through Jackson but don't stop. You have to get a ways out from that town before things start looking like the real world again. (Jackson is like Aspen North, and of course Aspen is the Beverly Hills of the Rockies. Harry and Lloyd were right about Aspin: the French are a$$holes.)

Star Valley is nice, to the south of Jackson. At Freedom, WY you can turn west and ride Tincup Road (Idaho 34) down to Soda Springs, then west to Lava Hot Springs. Lava has nice hot pools you can take a dip in, but you'll usually be joined by 3000 like-minded folks.

If you make it south as far as Ogden, Utah you're welcome to set up camp in my yard. We have a firepit, soft grass, and tools/garage for minor bike maintenance, plus more recommendations for pretty roads.
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:57 AM   #28
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If you need a place to overnight in NW MT I can help.

I have lots of tent space shower, shop, hot tub and bar.
You guys are always welcome. I may be on the Hells Canyon ride at that time though.

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