Thursday, August 4, 2016

August 3, 2016, Drive Across the Lolo Pass, MT and Idaho to Lewiston, Idaho Along Route 12

August 3, 2016, Drive Across the Lolo Pass and Idaho to Lewiston, Idaho

Travel day across Idaho. We left Missoula and headed west through Lolo and the Lolo Pass, MT and across Idaho on Route 12 ending up in Lewiston. Idaho. The Lolo Pass is an ancient pass over the continental divide used for thousands of years by Indians and then Americans to travel through northern Idaho. Route 12 goes through the Bitterroot Mountains and is one of the most picturesque roads we have been on, just beautiful. It winds and climbs up and down and back and forth for 179 miles. Be sure to check out the USDA Lolo Pass Vistor's Center about 47 miles in, excellent info on the area.  It is kind of like traveling on the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier. Mountains aren't as high but the scenery is just as spectacular.

One of the really cool places is Powell Junction, MT and the Lochsa Lodge. There is an excellent lodge here and and excellent place for lunch. Also be sure to check your gas, this is the last stop for quite a while. We have marked it down to come back some time. 

Along the route we also stopped at Fort Fizzle, Montana where the Nez Perce Indians outsmarted the US Army and pass through the pass untouched. This entire route is also the path that Lewis & Clark went as they went west after leaving Montana. We get to drive on the road, they went up on the ridge arriving on the other end much worse than the started. If it wasn't for the kindness of the Nez Perce this might have been the end of the expedition. There are plenty of places to stop and get out and view the scenery such as the Devoto Memorial Cedar Grove and a number of National Forest trails and bridges. As you get to the end of the trip across Idaho you reach the Nez Perce Indian Reservation and a series of small towns. A beautiful day of traveling, ending up in Lewiston, Idaho.

Reconstruction of Fort Fizzle put up by the US Army

Bruce standing in the Devoto Memorial Cedar Grove

Dinning room at Lochsa Lodge

Bridge across Lochea River, lots of trails

Route 12, Northwest Passage Scenic Byway