BMW K1600 Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

Premium Member
1,972 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This is a followup to a thread by @Andy1959 on a ride to the PNW.

There are certainly other options, maybe better options, but below are some of my favorites....I like low traffic, tight and twisty, yet scenic routes. Others are welcome to improve the list!

I organized them in groups based on the order you're likely to consider them based on the comments you made about your overall destinations.

In Colorado - North
  • Rocky Mtn NP on US 34 from Estes to Grand Lake
  • US-40 between Empire and Winter Park
  • Beartooth Hwy
Idaho (If you don't go the Beartooth route and swing more westerly)
  • US-93 from Challis to Missoula, MT
  • Glacier NP - Going to the Sun Hwy
  • MT-37 From Rexford to Libby along Kootenai Lake....we were mostly ALONE on this higway. It is gorgeous and a fun and fairly long stretch of road. I would like to run back of NF228 along the opposite site of the lake then west near the Canadian border. It look equally fun but didn't have time when I was there and don't know the surface quality.
  • If near Lewiston, don't miss Old Spiral Hwy between US-95 and ID-128. Run it south to north (uphill).
  • Any of the Rattlesnake 400, particularly from Lewiston south to Enterprise, OR (RATTLESNAKE 400 Ride | Pendleton Bike Week)
  • Klicitat Canyon on WA-142 from Glenwood to Lyle (if in the area, but not as a destination)
  • OR-402 From Long Creek to OR-19 through Spray to Fossil then OR-218 to Shaniko. This is a premium road that you'll largely have to yourself. My ride group hits it any time we're in that part of the state.
  • Starting from US-26 near Government Camp, take NF-550 to NF-42 to NF-46 to Breitenbush Rd, ending in Detroit.
now going south...
  • Many of the best runs as far as roads go have East-West orientations criss-crossing the either the Coastal mountain range or the Casdades. The main North-South runs, US101, I-5 and US-97 have their merits (the coast is beautiful), but they're not generally rider's much traffic or boring runs of asphalt. There are some routes rougly parallel to I-5 that are good, but not spectacular. Look about 15 miles east or west of I5 where the paves road running into the mountains largely disappear and sting together any number of North-South highways.
  • If you're looking to ride the coast, ride the is all beautiful, but you may tire of all the motor homes.
Some highlight roads
  • Nestucca River Road from Carlton to Beaver with a small detour on Bald Mountain Access and Bible Creek to avoid a 2 to 3 mile section of gravel on Nestucca River Rd. Tight, narrow, logging road. Decent surface and isolated.
  • Alsea Hwy - OR-34 from Alsea Bay on the coast through Alsea onto BLM-Southfork to Monroe, OR
  • McKenzie Pass - OR-242 - in the mountains west of Sisters, OR
  • Cascade Lakes Hwy wrapping around Mt. Bachelor (not as twisty, but a beautiful ride)
  • Siuslaw River Rd from just west of Walton, OR to Lorane, OR (narrow twisty forest road)
Things to see in Oregon, not necessarily for the ride itself:
  • Multnomah Falls on I-84 about 45 minutes east of Portland
  • Crater Lake NP in Southern OR
  • Anything on the is almost ALL good. Stop in some of the little downs like Depoe Bay. There is a section where you're not as close to the water between Florence and Bandon, but it isn't at all bad.
Oregon -> California
  • Either from Obrien, OR on US 199, cut across to Happy Camp, CA or take CA-96 off I-5 to Happy Camp, then on CA-96 south to Willow Creek.
  • US-50...loneliest road in America...miles and miles of nothing, particularly if you take the old US-50, aka NV-722, near the middle of the state.
  • Some good stuff there but I'm less familiar. The westernmost end of I-70 across parts of UT is among the most beautiful interstate you'll find, but UT-12 to UT-24 to UT-95 is perhaps a better choice for overall experience.
In Colorado - South
  • Million Dollar Hwy, 550 between Durango and Ridgway. (NOT TO BE MISSED)
  • CO-92 from Crawford to where it joins US-50
  • CO-149 From US-50 to South Fork then on US-160 to Pagosa Springs

7 Posts
I've hit a lot of the famous motorcycle roads across the country-my personal favorite is Idaho Highway 12, (Lolo Pass). Others have more spectacular scenery, but many are either very tight requiring a lot of focus on the road, heavily trafficked (Going to the Sun) or just too short. Hwy 12 is famous for the "twisty road next 99 miles" sign, and the nice part is actually longer than that. Mile after mile of nice, sweeping, fairly fast curves, following the Lochsa river, for 100 miles. The twists aren't so tight that you really have to focus hard on the road, there are no 5000 foot dropoffs off the side, very little traffic, just a nice, serene ride with mile after mile of fast twisties.

Going to the Sun has the most spectacular scenery I've seen. But it's a mob scene of traffic. Go early in the day and plan on stopping and enjoying the views. It's not a great "riders road" but a fantastic view road.

North Cascades Highway across northern WA is nice, not terribly crowded (but not insignificant either) and parts are spectacular, much of the rest just a nice ride.

Beartooth I found underwhelming actually. Lots of tight turns and steep dropoffs (and I have an excessive degree of respect for gravity). Worth it for the views, but I didn't find the ride to be that much fun. Not much in the line of fast, sweeping turns. And once you're through it, it's either turn around or spend the money for a hop through Yellowstone.

Colorado 149 I really enjoyed, good riders road, nice views and little traffic.

The southern part of Montana Hwy 93 from about Darby to Challis, ID is really nice. The more northern part is straighter and more trafficked, but views are still nice for a highway. Highway 200 from Missoula to Sandpoint is a nice one as well. Montana in general is a riders paradise-they have a sensible view on speed limits (most 2-lane backroads are 70 mph). Only thing is, like Idaho, the nicest places are on dirt roads. Great places for an ADV bike.

37 Posts
I'm also a big fan of HiWay 12. From Lewiston, ID to Lolo MT is about 280 miles of beautiful curvy road! US 287 is another Western favorite of mine, a more or less North-South road all the way from the Gulf in TX to Choteau, MT, right through Yellowstone. But E WA, NE OR, and N ID have MANY twisties with hardly any traffic.

Last week I went from Walla2 - Dodge Junction - Colfax - Palouse - Moscow - Coeur D Alene - Rockford - St John - Dayton - home, roughly 400 miles.

Today - headed to Pendleton - Umatilla - Plymouth - Prosser (through the famous Horse Heaven Hills!) - TriCities - home, about 250 miles.

I've travelled MT, WY, CO, ID, WA, OR and CA for work for many years: if anyone would like my input on an itinerary, lemme know!

Premium Member
56 Posts
Mirror Lake hyway #150 from Evanston, Wy to Kamas, Utah, terrific scenery and not too much traffic. A lot of good roads in central Utah and very little traffic.

Premium Member
655 Posts
Just saw that the eastern entrances to Glacier NP are closed for the remainder of the tourist season. Covid related, according to the Blackfoot Tribe.
1 - 5 of 5 Posts