- Distance: 673 miles / 1083.1 km
- Ride Time: A Weekend (2 days)
- Approximate Fuel Costs: $51.15
- State: Montana
Try MT200 if you want to ride a throwback road, one that shuns most of the chain store/strip mall mentality that infests so much of America. This long and sometimes lonely highway runs entire east/west width of Big Sky Country starting near Fairview, MT and ending at Sandpoint, ID. In fact, you can ride the '200's' all the way across MN, ND, MT and into ID, a distance of nearly 1400 miles. It just so happens that the 200's in ND and MN are also my preferred ways to transverse those states. MT200 is mostly a very good 2-lane road but it does get narrow and a little rough in a few places. In the eastern sections, traffic is usually sparse while mountains in the west will draw more vehicles during tourist season. The road runs through farming and ranching country all the way from the ND line to Great Falls. The tiny towns along MT200 usually have little more than a gas station, cafe, a bar or two and perhaps a grain elevator as the primary businesses. These are great places to stop for a burger or brew. The beauty of western MT is legendary and it's no different along MT200. The road starts climbing into the foothills of the Rockies just west of Great Falls and the scenery seems to get better and better as it proceeds westward. One of the main attractions along MT200 is the Charles M. Russell Museum and Gallery in Great Falls. IMO, this is a must see.
This is a motorcycle ride in the state of Montana. This motorcycle route has 10 scenery characteristics and other road conditions to help you plan your road trip. This motorcycle map was created by gizmo in February. Click here to see other Motorcycle Roads by gizmo
When you enter the Clark Fork River Valley from Highway 93 - you are entering a truly hidden gem in Montana. When you turn off Highway 93 onto highway 200 at Ravalli, you start to travel along the Flathead River - there are pull outs for picture taking all along the way. The Flathead is glacier water and runs aqua blue a color you have to take your sun glasses off to make sure you seeing it correctly.
The Flathead River merges with the Clark Fork near Paradise, MT. Actually it's "Clark's Fork of the Columbia River" but you can see why they shorten the name.
The journey takes you through "Wild Horse Plains" and on to Thompson Falls. Thompson Falls is a motorcyle friendly community. The one hotel in town "The Falls Motel" is centrally located. I say it's one of the best motorcycle friendly lodging options I've enjoyed. You can park right at your door. The owners offer you towels to use to clean up your bikes. It rained when we came through, and they let me park in their large carport (it wasn't a sprinkle, it was a down pour).
Once the rain passed, and we cleaned up - we wanted a couple beers - the owners didn't just have refrigerators in the rooms, but they gave us a tub of ice (not just a small ice bucket) so we could have ice cold beers.
The rooms have flat screen tvs and dvd players - a movie from the Red Box located next door - were enjoyed on the brand new mattresses they have in all the updated rooms.
They are the only hotel in town, but the rates are great! Plus when you eat at one of three restaurants and you show them your Falls Motel key, they give you a free non-alcohol beverage.
I don't mean to run on and on about this place - but I was pleasantly surprised. BBQ areas, really nice trails just 1/2 block from the motel, scenery, wildlife (yes, deer walking through town), and on....
The next day the owners gave us some great information about places to stop as we made our way to Glacier Nat'l Park. Ross Creek Cedars, Kootenai Falls, etc. Highway 200 takes you to Highway 56 this hooks up with Highway 2 - the Cabinet Mountains are spectacular here. You'll possible see a moose eating in the Bull River marshy areas too.
This section of Highway 200 is well worth the trip! Plan to stay in Thompson Falls though, it's worth it.
Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM
Loading the motorcycle route...
The best of the best. These folks have ridden and shared more roads than any other ORJ member this month.