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Old 09-02-2014, 08:39 AM   #1
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Route 2 from Kalispell to Spokane

We are about to embark on a west coast road trip via mostly I90 but I'm curious about possibly heading north a bit to catch Route 2 in Kalispell MT to continue west for a stop in Spokane. Looks like a scenic drive but wondering about mountain driving on a 2 lane highway?? We're pulling our '69 Tradewind.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:29 AM   #2
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It is an up and down route, but perfectly drivable with your rig. No reason not to take it and get off the interstates to see some nice country. Now, I am used to driving 2 lane highways, probably 90% of my travels and RV trips are on them.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:33 AM   #3
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Highway 2 from Kalispell to Bonners Ferry isn't a bad drive. I just did the part from Libby, MT west this summer. I have been on the other section and don't remember any big issues.

The pass into Butte on I-90 is a long grade so take it easy there. If you head to Missoula you can take highway 200 east out of Bonner. This will connect up with 83 going north through Seeley Lake and the Swan valley. This is pretty country with thick forests. There are a couple of national forest campgrounds very near Seeley Lake that are quite nice. No hookups but at $10 a night certainly an option for an overnight stay.

If you pass through Missoula you can also get to Kallispel by heading north on 93. This is a little better road, although still 2 lane but it goes through more open country. In Polson there is a pretty nice KOA that sits above the lake. It has a rather fancy motor coach condominium facility associated with it. As you continue north you will be provided with many vistas and overlooks in which to see Flathead Lake.

Libby has a rather nice campground just at the far edge of town. I can't remember the name but you can't miss it because of the big silver Argosy suspended on a pole. As you pass through town it is on the left.

Montana is a wonderful place with lots of things to see. There are many other routes to Kallispel than the two I have mentioned. Do you have a plan?
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:36 AM   #4
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I-90 has two very large mountain passes while highway 2 is more mellow. If you have never been to Glacier National Park, I would certainly take highway 2!!!!! Also stop at White Fish, cool town. Between the town of Libby and Troy there is a very nice walk down to very large water falls. Just before the town of Troy I would take highway 56 south to highway 200 and not go to Bonners Ferry. Great camp ground on Bullhead lake and on the south end of the lake make sure to drive up to Ross cedar grove (the most amazing uncut cedar trees left in all of northwest!). From there head west into Lake Pend Oreille (4th deepest lake in the world) and to the amazing town of SandPoint. Then to Newport highway 2 into spokane. Another great side trip is at the town of Priest River (between Sandpoint and Newport) to drive up to Priest Lake. The crown jew of all the lakes in North ID with amazing lush green camp grounds right along the lake. There is not much in Bonners Ferry nor the drive from Troy into Spokane, I was born and raised in Spokane so know the area very well if you have any other questions!?
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Old 09-05-2014, 08:39 PM   #5
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Hi guys, stumbled across your conversation which got my attention. We are leaving Northern California on Sunday and heading up to Many Glacier/Swiftcurrent Lake. We have never been to Montana and are curious how hwy 2 is e/b from Kalispell. Also, hwy 2 connects to hwy 89, would it be faster to head north on hwy 49 or should I continue to hwy 89. Any advise would be appreciated.

Tim
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:40 PM   #6
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Highway 2 from Kalispell to Browning is a very good road. 89 north is the way to go, as 49 is restricted in length of vehicle + trailer and is a difficult and nasty road (but beautiful) even solo w/o the trailer. Do NOT take 49.

The very best way to go with the trailer to Many Glacier is to go to Browning, and take county 464 north to come out just south of Babb. It is far easier to drive with the trailer. 89 is steep and narrow and windy at times. You can do it with the trailer but it is nicer with just the TV alone. Take county 464, the best route. Views of the Rockies are wonderful on that route.

I drive that way several times a year and visit friends just off 464 out of Babb. So, it is not old information.
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:59 PM   #7
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Thanks idroba, I would have never thought of hwy 464, it was never on my radar. I hope you guys continue with your conversation discussing different places to visit in GNP. I'm all eyes!
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
It is an up and down route, but perfectly drivable with your rig. No reason not to take it and get off the interstates to see some nice country. Now, I am used to driving 2 lane highways, probably 90% of my travels and RV trips are on them.
Great route! Our suggestion is to avoid US2 east of GNP and the southern border of GNP - unless you plan to stop in the park. The views (as you can see below) are spectacular of the Mission Range as you leave I-90 heading north from Missoula.

Be sure when you head north from I-90 / Missoula to plan to stop on the west shore of Flathead Lake ... Big Arm Campground or another state CG just a few miles north of Big Arm bay.

We have made the same trip (from Missoula north to Kalispell and US 2 to north Idaho and Spokane, WA)that you propose many, many time and always enjoy that route - away from the rush of I-90! Pics with both our FC20 and the Int EB 25...
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:34 PM   #9
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Thanks idroba, I would have never thought of hwy 464, it was never on my radar. I hope you guys continue with your conversation discussing different places to visit in GNP. I'm all eyes!
BTW, Two Medicine entrance is also very nice along with Many Glacier. To get to Two Medicine you do take rt 49 north out of East Glacier a few miles but turn off prior to the length restricted part of the road. It is a very nice campground and hiking around the lake is excellent if you are into that.

When in Many Glacier, have a formal dinner in the main lodge some evening. Prices are $20 to $35 a plate w/o drinks, but it is just nice to do. Then sit around the fireplace in the lodge and turn your mind back to what the park was like in the early 1900's. Or sit in the lodge first in the day, then go to dinner early in the dining room. It is one of my favorite things to do. If you have a nasty rainy day it is extra fun to sit in the lodge and watch the storm, while remaining warm and dry inside with the big fireplace going. The connecting arm has a nice long lobby with great views too, and places to sit and watch people, and put together puzzles.

BTW, no cell reception at either MG or TM areas of the park, from any provider. Some at Babb, St. Mary, and East Glacier as well as some parts of highway 2 from Kalispell to Browning. Mostly Verizon.

Sites in Many Glacier campground will be a bit tight for your 27, but you should be able to find a good one if you look around and are lucky. They do close off parts of the campground after Labor Day though. Dump stations stay open in both MG and TM until they close, at the end of September. Water remains on.

Oh, Apgar on the west side is a nice campground too, again somewhat old sites and a bit restricted but usually you can find something which fits you ok.
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Old 09-06-2014, 12:25 PM   #10
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Thanks idroda I have printed all your responses. We have had this trailer for four years and now that I'm semi-retired we are finally off for a month long trip by far the longest. We will check all your advised locations and even take in a dinner at the lodge. There is suppose to be snow upon our arrival, and we look forward to watching the snow land on the lake, thanks again.
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Old 09-06-2014, 01:39 PM   #11
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And I am headed that way too, so maybe we will run into each other. Look for a 20' with Idaho plates and a red jeep tow vehicle.
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Old 09-06-2014, 02:02 PM   #12
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That would be great. I'll be pulling my AS with a dark gray Ford F-250.
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:25 AM   #13
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HY 2 is our usual route from Bonners Ferry, ID to Glacier NP. It's a nice scenic route. A bit winding, but then so are most 2-lane highways in the mountains. We've also taken it to avoid Lookout Pass on I-90 near the Montana-Idaho border for other trips. Not that you can't easily pull your trailer over the pass, but if you might get caught with snow during the shoulder seasons, HY 2 is at a lower elevation; plus we often look for ways to minimize our gas mileage and to see a bit more of the country.
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:03 AM   #14
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If you are in to staying at KOA's. There is a 5 star one on Hwy 2, near the west entrance to GNP. I would think it will still be open.
Enjoy the trip!
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