The Lolo Pass Loop is a great motorcycle ride out of Boise, and it took us two days with an overnite stop in Missoula at Exit 96 to cover the 800 miles.

Cougar Mountain Lodge is roughly one hour north of Boise on ID-55 in Smiths Ferry. We stopped there that cold morning for coffee and hot chocolate. ID-55 is called the Payette River Scenic Byway, and runs some 112 miles between Boise and New Meadows.

We stopped at the Chevron in McCall for gas, and just across the street is Payette Lake. McCall is a popular vacation resort all year around, and is about 106 miles north of Boise. A few miles after McCall we reached New Meadows, and turned right onto northbound US-95.

A couple of miles north of New Meadows is the 45th Parallel visitor center which marks the halfway point between the Equator and the North Pole. We continued on US-95 north past Riggins over the 4,450' White Bird Hill Summit into Grangeville, and followed ID-13 to Kooskia.

Rivers Cafe in Kooskia where we had lunch after getting gas at only service station (Conoco) in town. ID-13 from Grangeville to Kooskia is part of the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway along with ID-12, and the section parallel to Wildcat Canyon was superb. After leaving Kooskia, which is about 230 miles north of Boise, we cut east on ID-12.

The famous "Winding Road Next 77 Miles" road sign on ID-12 is 77 miles west of Lolo Pass. We had ridden just few minutes east of Lowell when we pulled over for this photo op. Right below the sign on the left was a dead turkey buzzard. ID-12 followed the Lochsa River (Wild & Scenic River Corrider) and is rated as one of the best motorcycle roads around.

A couple of BMW GS riders were enroute to Lewiston when they spotted us and the road sign. They pulled up behind us after doing U-turns. A little later, they crossed the road, and unloaded their bladders. Ironically, we ran into them again in Stanley the next day.

Somewhere between the road sign and Lolo Pass we pulled over by this wooden trestle bridge over the Lochsa River. This view faces east towards Montana.

Lolo Summit is right by the Idaho/Montana state line at 6,235'. There's a Vistor Center located here with a gift shop, but no beer. We wanted to celebrate our arrival with cold ones, but had to hold off until we reached Lolo Springs.

Overlooking MT-12 at Lolo Pass is the "Welcome to Montana" road sign. We finally arrive in the Big Sky State. Yellow sign in backroad says "Truckers Sharp Curves Advise 25 MPH Next 4 Miles". Just down from the guardrail was a young moose nibbling the vegation.

Lolo Springs where we finally got our cold ones. It's a pretty cool old establishment. Since the saloon was full of cigarette smoke, we elected to finish off our beers outside on the porch. This is a popular biker joint for the locals in Lolo and Missoula. FWIW, I got a Moose Drool on tap.

Day's Inn west of Missoula at the I-90/US-93 jct where we crashed for the nite. A little out of the way although it did have a non-smoking room with double beds with nearby cafe, casino, mini-mart, and service station.

We left the Day's Inn in Missoula at 7:45 that morning. It was 49 degrees outside and dropped to 41 during the one hour ride to Hamilton. After topping off our tanks at the local Conoco, we warmed-up at the Coffee Stop Cafe with coffee and hot chocolate. MT-93 btw Missoula and Hamilton wasn't anything to write home about other than the Bitterroot Mountains to the west.

MT-93 from Darby to the 6,995' Lost Trail Summit more than compensated for the monotonous drone earlier that morning. It's a steep, winding 4-lane road up to the crest, and sure was breathtaking out there. We had to cross over the road otherwise known as Salmon River Scenic Byway to get this shot.

We had pulled over in Salmon, an hour earlier, at the local Chevron for gas and decided to continue riding south to Challis before taking a lunch break. The Village Inn Restaurant in Challis is located right next to a motel. Unlike Salmon, Challis is a much smaller community.

Kurt's son, Kyle, fell asleep while we were navigating ID-75 about 12 miles north of Stanley so we pulled over in Sunbeam by the Salmon River. Photo faces north.

View of Salmon River to the south by Sunbeam. We were now just minutes away from Stanley where we'd turn off ID-75 onto ID-21 and the Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway.

We stopped for gas and a butt break at Mountain Village Chevron in Stanley. The two Harleys in foreground came north up ID-21 from Boise, and we saw them again in Idaho City a little later that day. Then the two BMW GS riders we met by that "Winding Road Next 77 Miles" sign up on ID-12 the day before arrived to fill their tanks. We were all a little surprised to see each other again. They had followed WA-129 from Lewiston to Hells Canyon that morning before taking ID-21 to Stanley.

Directly across from the Chevron is Mountain Village which has several stores and a restaurant. Usually, during the summer months, that parking lot will see lots of motorcycles parked there. We left Stanley, and passed through Lowman to Idaho City for our final butt break before reaching Boise and our respective adobes. It had been a great ride.