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By Troyer (4 McR Points) on Jun 21, 2016

Creator : David Alan Troyer
Motorcycle Type : Cruiser

I grew up in Libby, and so naturally I know the surrounding areas quite well. The whole region is beautiful, but this particular cruise is a personal favorite! I havw always started and finished the ride in Libby, start north on highway 37, toward eureka. Around 15 miles out of town you'll pass the river bend restaurant on your right, (great place to stop for a drink or for dinner. Very reasonable prices for the quality of the food) now you can either stay on 37 or you can take the scenic byway, which is the first road on the left, 1/4 mile after the river bend restaurant. The scenic byway is my personal favorite, but it does take quite a bit longer than 37 due to the smaller, twistier road. The byway will take you along the kootenai river for two miles, until you get to the Libby dam, which makes lake koocanusa. There are plenty of pull-offs with beautiful views of the river, dam, and lake, resting in the bottom of the small, remote valley. As you continue north, you'll be surrounded by rock walls on one side, where the road was carved out of the sheer face of the mountain side, and the panoramic views of the lake on the other. There are several access points to the lake along the way, the only paved ones being 'macgillivray campground', and the 'barron creek boat launch'. Both worth checking out if you have the time. After Barron creek the road will become a little smoother, as there's little traffic at that point, enjoy the ride! Eventually you will see the eureka bridge, which spans the lake, connecting the scenic byway with 37. It's riding across and parking at the small observation area, to stretch your legs, and admire the beauty. continue north for several miles on the byway, and you will climb up to a spectacular view of the lake, before entering the forest, where you'll have to watch for highway 92 to 'yaak', on your left. Highway 92 will wind you through the wilds on north western Montana, with numerous hair pin turns, curves and sweeps, upward until you come to the top of the pass, which provides vast views of the forested mountainsides. There are a few small places to pull off but they're definitely small. Though that's hardly a problem, because I've never seen more than 2 vehicles per ride on the entirety of highway 92's run from the lake to yaak. From there, continue down the other side, where there are several small stretches of rough road, heaved by the winter's frosts, just slow down to a safe speed, not a big deal. Other than that, it's a peaceful, almost serene ride through the forest, there are several roads that turn off of 92, that aren't well marked, so just stay of the main road and you will be fine. Soon you'll pass an ancient log building, with a wooden sign, "YAAK COMMUNITY HALL". Then a one room school house with a small playground. You've made it to yaak! There are two bars, one serving the purpose of general store, and gas station, within normal business hours. The dirty shame saloon is a great place to grab a cold one, shoot a game of pool, or shoot the breeze over a smoke outside, with the few locals that happen to be there. The locally brewed huckleberry beer in incredible, I have yet to find it anywhere else. Then you have a choice, take the smaller, rougher, quicker route to Libby, or the bigger, smoother, longer, more scenic route. There are only two options, continue on 92, (which is the nicer, long way) or turn left onto pipe creek road if you're in a hurry to get back. If you have any confusion, ask a local.
92 will continue its beautiful sweeping ways, running alongside a small mountain river that goes over a small set of beautiful falls along the way. When you reach highway 2, right will take you to bonners ferry Idaho, left will take you through the tiny town of Troy, and on back to Libby. If you have time, between Troy and Libby lie the kootenai falls, and swinging bridge. Google it, my words do no justice. It's still my favorite short day cruise! Best of luck and as always, be safe.

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