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John & Linda's Great Adventure - Suggestions?


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My wife & I are planning an October 4 thru 21, 2009 trip from SoCal thru Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and home again! Of course we will be camping as much as possible, but wondering what the MT/WY weather is like in October!? We have never been to Montana or Wyoming and planning to do the Going to the Sun Road out of Columbia Falls, MT. Other than that we haven't a clue of what else is a must see adventure in Montana & Wyoming. Wife is on a F800ST and me on R1200ST - so no great dirt adventures for us! We are bypassing Yellowstone, saving it for another trip all on it's own! Any suggestions folks?

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You can never tell what it will be like that far in advance, but if you look at the past few years you will see that it is cold in the mountains as well as snowy. Taking a vacation that late in the year needs to have two plans, one north and another riding south, just in case.

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A buddy of mine was in Yellowstone during the second week of October and it was snowing. He was glad he rented a S80 Volvo for the trip.

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We're in Northern Utah. The weather begins to get pretty iffy in September here and is cooler in Wyoming and Montana. You might check the website for Glacier National Park and see when they start closing roads in the fall.


Is there any way you could plan your trip for late August to early September?



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Certainly plan on frost at night, freezing temperatures when you wake in ID, MT and WY, and that's if the weather is fine. Depending on elevation, you could wake up to 20 F ( Glacier Oct 2008 - an exceptionally mild fall ). There may be sand or road salt on the roads even when the roads are not icy. Over three weeks I'd say the odds of a storm are fairly high. That could shut you down in your tracks for a day to a week. At that time of year I would be watching weather closely and planning about two days ahead. If you are willing to hightail it down the interstate and bail, you could maybe make a go of it. Depending on when hunting seasons are, you may trouble getting rooms. In WY I have had this problem in late September. In Utah it would mid-October I think.


I think you could tour Utah and Colorado with somewhat more likelihood of success at that time of year, and it puts you closer to NM, AZ if you need to bail. October here can go either way. This year weather has been truly exceptional and we are riding. Again, in the mountains it is certainly freezing at night, and road sand/salt is present. But the deserts are nice. I would suggest southern Utah, Southern Colorado, and AZ/NM for your tour at that time of year.


Let us know what you decide.



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Others have said it already, but at the risk of being redundant, all over again... that is a mighty risky plan during an unpredictable time of the year.


Glacier is very likely to be closed by then. It is directly in the track of the "Arctic Express" storm path and it only takes one storm to close the Going to the Sun Road until June of 2010. I am not kidding. If you were in a car I would still expect some weather related situations.


Good luck and you might ought to consider a ride in the far lower 48.

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Thanks for the advice everyone! We are now planning for a September trip, most likely the 1st three weeks starting Labor Day weekend!


Any other suggestions of must see places is always appreciated!!

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Congratulation on the Trip Plan, version 2.0. A wise decision.


There is a great deal to do and see in Utah... my suggestion is to allocate some time for it.


Of course you should keep in touch and it is very likely that the Northern Utah Gang will do a meet and greet while you are in the neighborhood.

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This Route


is how we went from SLC to John Day for the UnRally this summer. The part from John Day to Missoula may work for you, including several great runs, Hells Canyon, and Lolo Pass for sure. You can run from Missoula up to Glacier.


You are wanting skip Yellowstone/Teton this time, but need to get South from glacier to UT somehow. The parts on our route from Bozeman to West Yellowstone, and from Jackson to SLC are all superb. Alternatively, I've not yet been in the areas, but the area around Cody, Wy, including the Beartooth and Redlodge routes is a meca.


In Utah I recommend the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway or coming down through the towns of Manilla to Vernal, then you can take hwy 191 south from Duschene to get into red rock country.


Highway 72 is sweeper madness, go from there into Torrey to hwy 12 and take that around to 89. Then Bryce and Zion




Go via Moab, see Arches, Canyonlands-Dead Horse Point, Monument Valley, maybe Mesa Verde, maybe Canyon de Chelly, maybe Grand Canyon.



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