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  1. #1

    Default From Atlanta to Missoula, MT

    Hey everybody, I am planning a trip from Atlanta to Missoula in August, and I just want some imput from anyone who has been on this route. We are planning on going through Chattanooga, St. Louis, Kansas City, Omaha, Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Billings, Boseman, Butte, and finally arriving in Missoula. Any input on any on these destinations or alternate routes that are better would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Bike Rally in Sturgis, SD

    Hello Sarah-

    What a great time to visit Missoula, one of my favorite places on Earth. I would consider the exact same route as you're looking at, with one modification and one general caveat:

    Modification: As you approach Omaha on I-29, you'll cross out of MO into IA. Look for Route 2 (it's Nebraska 2 on the Nebraska side). That route will take you across the Missouri River, through Nebraska City, and on to Lincoln, NE, where you'll pick up I-80. Have a glance at the map, and you'll see it cuts off a big corner. At Ogallala, NE, US 26 cuts NW to I-25 at Wheatland, WY, and then I-25 takes you to Billings, MT and I-90. Doing this is a little shorter, I think, and it lets you avoid the heavy I-90 traffic bound for:

    Caveat: The annual biker rally in Sturgis, SD is held in early August. I'd find out what the starting and ending dates are, and if your trip, one way or another, coincides with those dates, or any date within several days of start or finish, you don't want to be on I-90 then. MASSIVE groups of bikes and miles and miles of motorhomes, pickups, and Suburbans pulling bikes on trailers will be headed from the East, South, and Midwest. The last time I was out there, headed for Philipsburg, MT, our trip coincided with BOTH the start and the finish, and we went through Nebraska to Ogalalla, as noted above, on the way out, avoiding the crush. The return trip included a stop in the SW corner of North Dakota, and we bushwhacked through ND and SD, intersecting I-90 about 75 miles east of Rapid City, and there entered a veritable river of scorched bikers. The service stations and rest stops were absolutely jammed for 300 miles after that. We finally got out of the worst of it as we entered Iowa.

    Oh, and as you approach the area between Butte and Missoula, look at taking the Pintlar Scenic Route on either the way out or the way back. It runs from Anaconda, just west of Butte, through the Flint Creek Range, past Georgetown Lake, through the delightful town of Philipsburg, and back to I-90 near Clinton, MT. Around the same distance, and perhaps 20-30 minutes longer, or more, if you stop in Philipsburg at the old-timey ice cream parlor or the candy factory, both right in the several block long downtown area.

    Enjoy the planning and the trip!


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