Bitterroot 300K Loop
The Bitterroot 300K Loop is truly the best of the Bitterroots on bicycle. It combines all the trails except the Olympian into large loop. The loop takes you from the upper reaches of the mountains along fresh streams down rivers into historical places, small towns and farms. Part of the trail is paved the other part is compact dirt and gravel. This is a chance for you to use a hybrid or mountain bike changing the tires from aggressive to slicks.
The Bitterroot 300 is the chance of a lifetime to stay in small towns, B&Bs or camp along the way. You need to plan to spend at least 3 days on the bike based on a 60 miles a day trex with one climb at the start and a gentle downhill or flat terrain for the rest.
You need to be prepared and think ahead before you hit the road. Some suggestions might be a water filter for drinking out of streams, extra tubes, tights, shells and a sweater, matches, some plastic even if you are not staying out in the wild, food, flashlight and electrolytes. If you are camping you may stay anywhere in the National forest and you do not need a ticket or permit to stay at even improved sites. Simply peddle up and stay. If you are going to stay with lodging make sure you contact the hotels or B&B ahead of time. If you plan on fishing a wild and scenic river you need to have a license and know your catch. The best thing about the loop is that there are no Rattlesnakes but you need to watch out for Moose. There are little black bears but no grizzly. The trail is in the middle of elk deer and wolf habitat and we like the rest of the northwest we have cougars—just don’t tell your spouse. If you hit the loop right there will be huckleberries to eat just make some noise in the patch. If you are in late summer you need to figure out fire restrictions sometimes those are allowed at developed campsites only. Mostly just have fun.
All the trails that you will use have directions on our site so please copy them and place with your gear. We are also willing to speak, text or email with you about concerns. We advise that you leave from Wallace and make the climb up the pass first while you are fresh. You may leave your car in Wallace and not worry about it being out at some trailhead. If you do not want to make the climb, the Wallace Inn will shuttle you to the top.
Distance about 61 miles
Peddle up to Mullan on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes and connect with the Northern Pacific (NorPac) at the east end of the Mullan Trailhead. Take NorPac up over Lookout Pass and drop down into Montana until you make the connection with the Taft exit which merges with the NorPac. Follow signs up a small hill to the Hiawatha and down the Hiawatha (there is an entrance fee) At the end of the Hiawatha go right from Pearson (which is the bottom of the Hiawatha) and cross over Loop Creek turn left and go over the bridge which starts the Milwaukee Scenic Alternate Route. Just stay on the road and enjoy the river and forest— the trail is signed and checked yearly. Just past the improved campground the trail makes a short climb and then drops into the St Joe River basin and Avery.
Distance about 58 miles
After leaving Avery you cross over onto River Road and go 12 miles until you cross over the Avery Road making a right on to the Milwaukee Trail. The dirt road is county maintained road but there is not a lot of traffic on it. When you enter Calder there is a store and a restaurant to refresh yourself and make the decision on walking the old wood bridge or taking you bike around it that has a little climb associated with it. After that decision its straight on to St. Maries. We advise that you stay at the Pines Motel because they will shuttle you to the Heyburn or Plummer Trailheads. We do not advise using Highway 5 because it has no shoulder and logging trucks. But if you are a urban rider you might want to peddle that 12 miles.
Distance about 58 miles
Peddle from Plummer or Heyburn to Wallace after changing your tires from aggressive to slicks. It is worth changing over so you can just cruise into lunch at Cataldo or Enaville before you hit the land of micro beers and brew pubs in the Silver Valley. Its ok to have a couple pints to numb your butt in uptown Kellogg to make it the last 10 miles to Wallace. Don’t forget there are two breweries in Wallace and even a wine bar to celebrate before you clean-up and get the smell of wood smoke out of your hair. Then treat yourself to a job well done. Sleep well.