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South Dakota - Wyoming - Utah ... Suggestions


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Yep four times in the last five years. Look up Glaciers to Geysers Montana Motorcycle Guide. Beartooth, Chief Joseph, Yellowstone, sawtooth mountain range all of it. Almost can't go wrong.

 

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39 minutes ago, GSJOE said:

 

Any specific "don't miss" recommendations?

 

I'll go the other direction...

I tried to miss as much of those long stretches of interstate as possible.  I realize that it may be a time available issue, but if not I'd be looking for alternatives.

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Two years ago did mostly 2 lane roads from Columbus, Ohio to UP in Michigan through Wisconsin Minnesota North Dakota Montana. Then dropped down through Wyoming Idaho Colorado New Mexico. Then started swinging through Texas Oklahoma Arkansa then back home. As I said a large part was 2 lane. Some places did not see a halfway decent town for 150 miles. If you have the time and fuel range I would do 2 lane otherwise you will have to mix it up. If you have the time on your way back to california there is a road ( i believe "36" ) from susanville to the coast is another good one.

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Hell's Canyon is another great route/road. Your post kinda jarred my memory. Lot's of good memories on two wheels.

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I'm assuming you are time constrained and that is why you have chosen to use the Interstate system. 

 

If it were me, I would go by Devil's Tower and use US212 to the Battle of the Little Bighorn NM.  Plan on spending a few hours there.  Decision from there is north or south.  North if you feel you have to go to Billings.  South to use US 14/14Alt to go over the Bighorn mountains and possibly stay in Cody.  Consider a side trip to the Devils (Bighorn) Canyon Overlook north of Lovell.  Then to the Chief Joseph(296)/Beartooth(US212).  Or you could stay in the Lovell/Powell/Ralston area and go to Red Lodge to do the whole Beartooth.  

Yellowstone/Teton Parks will be very slow (like some parts stop & go) on any part of the Grand Loop Road.  South of Jackson I usually turn east on US191.  It has 1/10th the traffic of the 89.  Through Rock Springs to The Flaming Gorge (Red Canyon Rim is the important view) and then Vernal (Dinosaur National Monument).  Less traffic that way but you miss Great Bear Lake and the Logan Canyon on 89.  

 

Mike C

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Thank you MikeRC!!!!!  You seem to know this area well.

 

Love the suggestion (Devil's Tower - US212 -  Battle of the Little Bighorn NM - US 14/14Alt  - Cody -. Devils (Bighorn) Canyon Overlook - Chief Joseph(296)/Beartooth(US212). https://goo.gl/maps/itPUnSpVebq3jAM67

 

Two options from Jackson WY.  We are going 3rd week in September and hope that traffic will have settled on HWY89 by then (do you agree?). 

Would you still go with US191?  HWY89 without traffice looks good on a map.

 

Your suggestion US191  https://goo.gl/maps/MDGo3WoY3Uy6Arxg9

Previously planned HWY89 https://goo.gl/maps/vgUhTUjmUremvqcY6

 

Then heading to Torrey UT.

 

If you ever need CA advise, especially around the LA area, let me know.  That's is my back yard.

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7 hours ago, GSJOE said:

Thank you MikeRC!!!!!  You seem to know this area well.

 

Love the suggestion (Devil's Tower - US212 -  Battle of the Little Bighorn NM - US 14/14Alt  - Cody -. Devils (Bighorn) Canyon Overlook - Chief Joseph(296)/Beartooth(US212). https://goo.gl/maps/itPUnSpVebq3jAM67

 

Two options from Jackson WY.  We are going 3rd week in September and hope that traffic will have settled on HWY89 by then (do you agree?). 

Would you still go with US191?  HWY89 without traffice looks good on a map.

 

Your suggestion US191  https://goo.gl/maps/MDGo3WoY3Uy6Arxg9

Previously planned HWY89 https://goo.gl/maps/vgUhTUjmUremvqcY6

 

Then heading to Torrey UT.

 

If you ever need CA advise, especially around the LA area, let me know.  That's is my back yard.

 

The third week of September can be dicey weather-wise.  I've been held up by snow for both spring and fall Torrey.  You just have to be flexible with your trip planning.  If it snows then go around the area, wait a day or two and stay low (elevation wise).  Montana and Idaho do an excellent job with webcams and surface temperature monitoring at the passes and even some bridge surfaces. The other thing is that the days are getting shorter and planning a riding day longer then 9-10 hrs increases animal collision risk.  On the other hand the cool mornings make the hot spring features of Yellowstone more dramatic (more steam) and the crisp air and low sun accentuates the contrast of mountain features. 

 

So, given that, I would suggest Black Hills to Devil's Tower and then Bighorn Battlefield via 212 then 14Alt to Lovell/Ralston or Red Lodge.  Then do the Beartooth with a branch trip to the Chief Joseph intersection with the 120.  Double back and lunch at Cook City.  I would do the Mt Washburn branch of the Grand Loop.  Stop at Artists Point & Lower Yellowstone Falls.  On to Jackson.  Get up early enough the next day to backtrack a bit to the Snake River Plain and watch sunrise on the Tetons. 

 

I prefer the 191 route because both Flaming Gorge and Dinosaur National Monument really appeal to me. And I'm often going to or coming from Colorado. But the traffic should have died down a lot so 89 Bear Lake/Logan Canyon would also be a good choice.  If you did the 191 route it's easy to then go to Grand Junction (don't skip Colorado National Monument) and then Moab/Hanksville/Torrey.  The 191 route is a lot more remote/desolate and there are far more services on the 89 route.

 

Mike C

#Twisties

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Love it Mike!  Have never done Colorado National Monument.  Looks awesome.  I'm sold on the 191 route.  Thank you so much for taking the time to point us to so many opportunities and steer us in the right direction !!!

 

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Danny caddyshack Noonan

I80 from Evanston is very slabby and makes one think of the "we got us a convoy song from 197x".  Evanston does, however, have a gun store right next door to a liquor store! 

Maybe shoot straight south on 150 to Mirror Lake.  Been on the southern half of that until chased away by a running fire.  It'll put you out at Jordanelle on whichever road.  If you do this on a Sunday you might go hungry between Evanston and Orem.  Beautiful country though.  Watch for animals.

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Twisties
On 7/23/2021 at 12:42 PM, GSJOE said:

Love it Mike!  Have never done Colorado National Monument.  Looks awesome.  I'm sold on the 191 route.  Thank you so much for taking the time to point us to so many opportunities and steer us in the right direction !!!

 

From the 191 route 

 

Option 1, Nine Mile Canyon.  Supposed to be all paved now.  Google it.

 

https://goo.gl/maps/zQDQWu4Ukh8Y3BTK9

 

Or Option 2, Pure riding joy and likely great fall color at that time of year.

 

https://goo.gl/maps/Wga7idJnQKRtEiWK7

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Thank you Twisties!  ... lots of good options.  Can you provide me with more time!!! :)

 

Is 92 to Wildwood a not-to-be missed road?  It sure looks like it.

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Twisties
18 hours ago, GSJOE said:

Thank you Twisties!  ... lots of good options.  Can you provide me with more time!!! :)

 

Is 92 to Wildwood a not-to-be missed road?  It sure looks like it.

Each of the first 5 routes I gave you was intended to be a modification of your original route.  From your original route you would run from Wildwood (which is just an intersection) to I-15.  It's the Alpine Loop Scenic Backway.  It's a lot of tight turns, scenes of Mt. Timpangos, and a potential stop at Sundance.  For a longer stop with significant hiking, Timpangos Caves National Monutment is at the lower end.   Would I call it not to be missed?  There are tons of great options in the area, this is one I like.  There are others I would have put you towards had you chosen a different route.  But, some don't like 92 because the road is narrow in places (really should be one way) and tight in places.  Also, I'm not sure if you have to pay the fee if you're not stopping, but it is a fee area. 

 

If I had to pick one route not to be missed from what I gave you, the run from Fairview to Huntington through Huntington Canyon would likely top the list.  Also, Sweeper Madness, UT-72 from I-70 to Loa. 

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Thank you again Twisties.  I like roads like the 92 as you describe.  Putting it on the route.  31 Fairview to Huntington is a lock.  I have heard about UT-72, can't wait.

Oh! I can't wait.  Thanks all.

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Rob Nowell

I stayed at the Devil's Tower KOA early this month, and it is the nicest KOA I've ever seen.  My cabin was on a small river with deer (in back) and a beautiful view of the Tower in front.  Beautiful.

 

As for Chief Joseph and Beartooth, it kills me to say this because I'm a native Montanan:  I prefer the Chief Joseph Pass side:  It is better sport riding because it's not hairpin after hairpin; both are pretty spectacular, so hit 'em both if you can.

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