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Big Sky 2015 Tour - Going to Montana/Idaho


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Well, not really an organized tour but what we are planning for this year. And if somebody wants to joint for part or all of this trip or just meet at some point please let me know (similar to the Rocky Mountains 2009 or Black Hills 2011 tour). We still need to pick the hotels but to give a general idea here are the tentative dates and places.

 

 

----->>>>Original route table deleted, see updated version in post #10

Edited by slomove
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Gert,

 

Might I suggest driving a bit further on the 29th, so that the 30th isn't a grueling, un-enjoyable day. For example, we could continue past Cour d'Alene to Moscow or Lewiston. That would shift a hour and a half of driving from a really long day to one of the shortest.

 

Likewise, on the 1st, we could continue to Whitehall or Three Forks, which would shift about an hour from the 282 mile day to the shorter 127 mile day.

 

Poking at your itinerary some more, how about stopping in Red Lodge on the first day to shorten that day a bit--first day is always a delayed start, and who knows what the traffic hold ups will be in and around the park. The following day seems to be pretty flat and featureless terrain, so wouldn't be affected much by some added miles.

Edited by rzempel
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Thanks, some good ideas. This was anyway only a first draft.

 

In the meantime found some changes necessary. The place where we stored the trailer last time in Jackson is not available, so we will rather start in Idaho Falls, where there is the usual RV/boat storage for little money.

It also means to move the tour forward one day, so that we arrive on a Monday because most storage places have their office closed Sundays.

 

I already considered Red Lodge to shorten the first tour day. Got to look over the rest. I also inserted a rest day in Coer d'Alene but might move that to Lewiston indeed. Otherwise we prefer not to stay in some backwater village because the bigger town usually have more to see and eat in the afternoon/evening.

 

I will post an update once I have more information.

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Something to be aware of...on the 28th, going to Balfour requires a ferry ride across Kootenay Lake. The ferry service says, "The angle of the ferry ramp with the shore ramp may cause difficulties for low clearance vehicles and over-length vehicles such as fifth wheels and motor-homes or long trailers."

 

I've looked for images, but only found one, so far. In that one, it appears that we won't have any issues on at least one end of the ferry ride. But, there must be a reason for the warning.

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We did 3 ferry crossings in BC on the 2013 tour (not at this lake, though). I can imagine a long low trailer may have trouble because of the attack angle of the ramp but for the short Seven is was no problem at all. The nice thing is because it is part of the highway system, the ferry is free.

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Hello - I doubt I can join you all for much of the trip but I live in Bozeman and will for sure join you here. There's some good driving roads in the area if folks want to venture out for an hour or two from Bozeman during your rest day.

 

I can also recommend restaurants and the such if folks need a local's input.

 

dave

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Hello - I doubt I can join you all for much of the trip but I live in Bozeman and will for sure join you here. There's some good driving roads in the area if folks want to venture out for an hour or two from Bozeman during your rest day.

 

I can also recommend restaurants and the such if folks need a local's input.

 

dave

 

Thanks Dave,

I will get in contact with you when the tour plan is finalized. Some recommendations about nice roads or interesting things to see are appreciated. I would probably not mind a short hike after sitting all day for days.

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Thanks Dave,

I will get in contact with you when the tour plan is finalized. Some recommendations about nice roads or interesting things to see are appreciated. I would probably not mind a short hike after sitting all day for days.

 

Cool - there are a few out and back drives one can do from town that will take two hours at the most and the roads are twisty and fun and the views to die for. There are also great hikes just out of town and of course some great museums to visit.

 

I don't know where you plan on staying but there is a place (Hilton Garden Inn) that hosts the 'Going to the Sun' rally most years and they seem to have no trouble blocking off a section of the parking lot for the car guys and they have lots of room for trailers. Lots of high rollers bring in their million dollar cars and leave them in the lot overnight without issue.

 

Let me know what you need and I'll see what I can do.

 

dave

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, Coer d'Alene is out then. Even the Chamber of Commerce recommended staying away that weekend. So, Sandpoint, ID it is.

 

Now, here is the complete route with hotel information. Thanks a LOT to Randall Z. who scouted out many of the hotels and saved me many hours.

The actual tour starts Tue, 6/23 in Idaho Falls and ends 7/2 there.

Click the mileage links to get the Google maps. If somebody is interested I recommend making hotel reservations soon. Some hotels I looked at were already booked out.

 

[TABLE=width: 1193]

[TR]

[TD]Day

[/TD]

[TD]Date[/TD]

[TD]From[/TD]

[TD]To[/TD]

[TD]Miles[/TD]

[TD]What[/TD]

[TD]Hotel[/TD]

[TD]Address[/TD]

[TD]Phone[/TD]

[TD]Price incl. tax[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Sat[/TD]

[TD=align: right]6/20/2015[/TD]

[TD]Pasadena[/TD]

[TD]Cedar City[/TD]

[TD=align: right]428[/TD]

[TD]Towing[/TD]

[TD]Crystal Inn Hotel&Suites[/TD]

[TD]1575 West 200 North, Cedar City, UT[/TD]

[TD]435-586-8888[/TD]

[TD=align: right]$96.21[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Sun[/TD]

[TD=align: right]6/21/2015[/TD]

[TD]Cedar City[/TD]

[TD]Ely[/TD]

[TD=align: right]215[/TD]

[TD]Great Basin NP/Towing[/TD]

[TD]Prospector Hotel&Casino[/TD]

[TD]1501 E. Aultman St., Ely, NV[/TD]

[TD]775-289-8900[/TD]

[TD=align: right]$98.79[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Mon[/TD]

[TD=align: right]6/22/2015[/TD]

[TD]Ely[/TD]

[TD]Idaho Falls[/TD]

[TD=align: right]428[/TD]

[TD]Towing, Vehicle Storage[/TD]

[TD]Sleep Inn&Suites[/TD]

[TD]3200 Outlet Blvd., Idaho Falls, ID[/TD]

[TD]208-821-3647[/TD]

[TD=align: right]$122.03[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Tue[/TD]

[TD=align: right]6/23/2015[/TD]

[TD]Idaho Falls[/TD]

[TD]Red Lodge[/TD]

[TD=align: right]238[/TD]

[TD]Yellowstone, Beartooth Highway[/TD]

[TD]Yodeler Motel[/TD]

[TD]601 S. Broadway, Red Lodge, MT[/TD]

[TD]406-446-1435[/TD]

[TD=align: right]$94.50[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Wed[/TD]

[TD=align: right]6/24/2015[/TD]

[TD]Red Lodge[/TD]

[TD]Bozeman[/TD]

[TD=align: right]249[/TD]

[TD]Backcountry[/TD]

[TD]C'mon Inn Hotel&Suites[/TD]

[TD]6139 E. Valley Center Rd., Bozeman, MT[/TD]

[TD]866-782-2717[/TD]

[TD=align: right]$153.93[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Thu[/TD]

[TD=align: right]6/25/2015[/TD]

[TD]Bozeman[/TD]

[TD]Bozeman[/TD]

[TD=align: right]0[/TD]

[TD]Rest Day[/TD]

[TD]"[/TD]

[TD]"[/TD]

[TD]"[/TD]

[TD=align: right]$153.93[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Fri[/TD]

[TD=align: right]6/26/2015[/TD]

[TD]Bozeman[/TD]

[TD]Great Falls[/TD]

[TD=align: right]202[/TD]

[TD]Lewis&Clark NF[/TD]

[TD]Greystone Inn[/TD]

[TD]621 Central Ave., Great Falls, MT[/TD]

[TD]406-452-1470[/TD]

[TD=align: right]$81.24[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Sat[/TD]

[TD=align: right]6/27/2015[/TD]

[TD]Great Falls[/TD]

[TD]Whitefish[/TD]

[TD=align: right]247[/TD]

[TD]Glacier NP[/TD]

[TD]Pine Lodge[/TD]

[TD]920 Spokane Ave, Whitefish, MT[/TD]

[TD]406-862-7600[/TD]

[TD=align: right]$157.30[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Sun[/TD]

[TD=align: right]6/28/2015[/TD]

[TD]Whitefish[/TD]

[TD]Nelson[/TD]

[TD=align: right]276[/TD]

[TD]Selkirk Loop[/TD]

[TD]Alpine Motel&Suites[/TD]

[TD]1120 Hall Mines Rd., V1L 1G6 Nelson, BC[/TD]

[TD]250-352-5501[/TD]

[TD=align: right]$148.35[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Mon[/TD]

[TD=align: right]6/29/2015[/TD]

[TD]Nelson[/TD]

[TD]Sandpoint[/TD]

[TD=align: right]172[/TD]

[TD]Selkirk Loop[/TD]

[TD]GuestHouse Lodge[/TD]

[TD]476841 Highway95 North, Ponderay, ID[/TD]

[TD]208-263-2210[/TD]

[TD=align: right]$100.93[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Tue[/TD]

[TD=align: right]6/30/2015[/TD]

[TD]Sandpoint[/TD]

[TD]Orofino[/TD]

[TD=align: right]199[/TD]

[TD]Coer d'Alene NF[/TD]

[TD]BW Lodge at River's Edge[/TD]

[TD]615 Main St., Orofino, ID[/TD]

[TD]208-476-9999[/TD]

[TD=align: right]$129.79[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Wed[/TD]

[TD=align: right]7/1/2015[/TD]

[TD]Orofino[/TD]

[TD]Lolo[/TD]

[TD=align: right]138[/TD]

[TD]Nez Perce NF[/TD]

[TD]The Lodge at Lolo Hot Springs[/TD]

[TD]38600 Hifgway12 West, Lolo, MT[/TD]

[TD]406-273-2201[/TD]

[TD=align: right]$159.88[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Thu[/TD]

[TD=align: right]7/2/2015[/TD]

[TD]Lolo[/TD]

[TD]Idaho Falls[/TD]

[TD=align: right]319[/TD]

[TD]Salmon/Bitterroot[/TD]

[TD]Sleep Inn&Suites[/TD]

[TD]3200 Outlet Blvd., Idaho Falls, ID[/TD]

[TD]208-821-3647[/TD]

[TD=align: right]$122.03[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Fri[/TD]

[TD=align: right]7/3/2015[/TD]

[TD]Idaho Falls[/TD]

[TD]Wells[/TD]

[TD=align: right]223[/TD]

[TD]Craters of the Moon/Towing[/TD]

[TD]Cactus Petes Resort Casino[/TD]

[TD]1385 Highway93, Jackpot, NV[/TD]

[TD]775-755-2321[/TD]

[TD=align: right]$128.52[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Sat[/TD]

[TD=align: right]7/4/2015[/TD]

[TD]Wells[/TD]

[TD]Las Vegas[/TD]

[TD=align: right]452[/TD]

[TD]Towing[/TD]

[TD]Hampton Inn Tropicana[/TD]

[TD]4975 Dean Martin Dr., Las Vegas, NV[/TD]

[TD]702-948-8100[/TD]

[TD=align: right]$133.28[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Sun[/TD]

[TD=align: right]7/5/2015[/TD]

[TD]Las Vegas[/TD]

[TD]Pasadena[/TD]

[TD=align: right]255[/TD]

[TD]Towing[/TD]

[TD]Home Sweet Home[/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD][/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD=align: right]$1,880.72[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD][/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD=align: right]4041[/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

Edited by slomove
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Skip, no group rates, just call or go online and make your own reservation. My experience from the 2007 tour is that in Summer the group rates are typicality not cheaper (sometimes were even more expensive) than senior/AAA rates.

Like for the last 3 trips, I just picked well rated mid range hotels (actually for this list Randall did most of the work) that seem to have enough rooms left for others to join. I made my reservations already.

I was surprised how many hotels were already listed as sold out, although I don't know if that means booked solid or just for the Internet agency blocks. But no matter if you look at the hotel web site, Booking.com, Expedia or other sites, the prices usually are the same. You can save a few bucks with AAA or AARP or if you are willing to pre-pay (noncancelable). I don't like the latter to be somewhat flexible.

 

Group negotiation would be difficult anyway, because I have no clue how big the group may end up. I guess between 3 and 5 cars but who knows maybe more...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Maybe I can see a show of hands of people interested in this trip? So far I have....

- myself (made reservations)

- Bill G. (made reservations)

- Dion D. (made reservations)

- Randall Z. (I suppose very likely)

- Skip C. (quite interested?)

- Steve/Lancylad (checking schedule)

- Herb/Automoda (definite maybe)

 

anybody else?

Edited by slomove
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