IN THE FIELD: It Really Does Exist

Last September, I wrote a post titled “Signs” and mentioned a sign we had seen just after going through a mountain pass named Lolo Pass. The sign stated “winding road next 77 miles.” You may have thought I had written the story in jest, stretched the truth a bit, was downright lying or was telling a tall tale. Well, here it is. Told ya…neener, neener, neener. The sign doesn’t lie. The road winds back and forth and back and forth and …….you guessed it. For 77 miles! Downhill.

Lolo Pass is at an elevation of 5,233 feet (1,595 m). It is a mountain pass in the Bitterroot Range of the northern Rocky Mountaina and is on the border between the states of Montana and Idaho. Route 12, which is that winding road, follows the Lochsa River (pronounced “lock-saw”) for it’s entire length.

You can pull off into one of many vantage points to watch folks in canoes, kayaks plus the white water rafters braving the turbulent water. In the areas of calmer water, you may see folks fishing for trout and salmon. There are several camp grounds along the way, and the area is also known for it’s outstanding hiking trails.

Native Americans used the trail along the river to get to the plains of Montana to hunt bison, as well as to get to the salmon runs in the Columbia River basin, which the Lochsa and it’s tributaries feed into.

  1. August 10, 2012 at 8:31 am

    What? No beware of falling rocks sign? LOL Very cool shot there.

  2. August 10, 2012 at 8:53 am

    There were some of those…we just got so used to seeing them since we were in the mountains all the time. They don’t even bother with bear, elk or deer signs…they’re all over and it would take years to post signs everywhere LOL It was a foggy rainy morning on the Idaho side of the pass so we couldn’t see the mountains to well until the way back several days later.

  3. August 10, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Wow! 77 miles! I remember a similar road back in the Philippines, but I doubt it was anywhere close to 77 miles. I would probably start feeling sick halfway down. that mountain.

    • August 10, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      I don’t remember many straight sections on that trip…if there were any, it was probably for a hundred yards or so LOL. It was a beautiful ride though!!!

  4. August 10, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    77 miles of winding road?! I get anxious when the signs in England indicate a winding road for 77 yards 🙂

    • August 10, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      That’s funny!!! You would enjoy this one though. The curves are very gentle and the scenery is fabulous. Mountains, water, wildlife are just about all you will see. We saw very little vehicle traffic when we were there.

  5. August 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Okay, that’s the longest “winding road for the next X miles” sign I’ve ever seen.

    Are you going to post any other shots from the Bitterroots?

    • August 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      Same here…it was a beautiful way to drive downhill for two hours! I’ll be posting some pretty soon…stay tuned!

  6. Jo Woolf
    August 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Wow – that’s some distance! But it is a very high mountain! I hope there’s also a warning saying ‘straight road ahead’ when it finally flattens out! I bet the scenery is spectacular.

    • August 13, 2012 at 10:23 am

      It’s a long drive but totally worth it. Spectacular would describe it perfectly. I’ve been snooping through the archives for more shots of the area. After tuning left and turning right for so long, it did feel quite odd when we made it to the bottom and had straighter roads LOL

  7. August 10, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    ¡Que miedo!, jamas iría por esa montaña, prefiero perderme todo eso, ¡Increíble!, abrazos

    • August 13, 2012 at 10:31 am

      No hay nada que temer en este camino … se trata de una bajada suave paseo y el paisaje es muy, muy hermoso!

  8. August 11, 2012 at 1:13 am

    I’ve driven that road many times. It’s a bit tricky in the winter!

    • August 13, 2012 at 10:34 am

      Then you know exactly what I mean…fun road with so much to see and do. I would imagine it is a road to drive with caution in inclement weather. Can you imagine skiing the whole thing?! Or snowmobile or ATV or…

  9. August 11, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    I would believe you even without the photo proof. I know there are a lot of long winding roads through mountains.

    • August 13, 2012 at 10:36 am

      We’ve been out west quite a few times and I especially like the forest access roads! No traffic and there are plenty of opportunities to pull over and enjoy all that is around !

  10. August 15, 2012 at 5:15 am

    How funny! And how careful people must be when driving the road.

    • August 15, 2012 at 8:56 am

      I tell ya, it’s got to be the best 77 mile road trip I have ever been on!!! Gorgeous!!!

  11. September 2, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    That sign sure makes you do a double-take! And it’s enticing enough to me to want to take the challenge of it. Reading all your comments, David, what an awesome roadtrip to experience! If I’m ever lucky to get out that way, I would so love to include driving that road. The ever-changing vistas to see and enjoy have to be breathtaking!

    • September 4, 2012 at 9:02 am

      We sure did!!! Boy do I have some stories about Montana/Idaho. It is an unbelievable part of our country…When you are there it really really is Big Sky Country! Most of the time your jaw will be dragging on the ground because of the beauty everywhere. Here is a link to a fellow who lives not to far in Montana terms from the Lolo Pass. We spent a lot of time near where he lives so his photos bring back a lot of great memories. His blog site will keep you busy for quite some time!

      • September 4, 2012 at 2:06 pm

        I’m already a follower of Terry too! 🙂 You both have hubby & I wanting to see Montana. That’s why we need the RV I told you about. 😉 (which BTW we are going to an RV show next week to start our search and get educated!) Thanks for his link, others will enjoy his too!

  12. inyinchotelcu1975
    September 18, 2012 at 1:40 am

    Reblogged this on Madansaireddy Kulkarni Pad.

  13. October 29, 2012 at 2:30 am

    Reblogged this on Adam Conatser Site.

    • October 29, 2012 at 11:11 am

      Hey thanks for stopping by and re-blogging this post!

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