Motorcycling in Western Montana + Glacier National Park

Motorcycling Montana

Ride Big Blue Skies and Fresh Mountain Air

Andy Austin

Ride Big Blue Skies and Fresh Mountain Air

Western Montana is prime country for motorcyclists, with long stretches of winding roads and straight paths through wide-open country. Cruise in the fresh mountain air of our highways, byways, scenic routes and backcountry roads. For the ride of a lifetime, cruise the best of the West on a Glaciers to Geysers motorcycle tour between Glacier and Yellowstone national parks.


Between St. Mary and West Glacier, ride from one side of Glacier National Park to the other on the 50-mile-long Going-to-the-Sun Road, an engineering marvel and National Historic Landmark. You'll see jagged mountain peaks, alpine lakes, cascading waterfalls, expansive valley views and, chances are, wildlife. Crest the Continental Divide at Logan Pass, known for wildflowers, mountain goat sightings and the rocky cliffs of the Garden Wall. You'll find a visitor center and a short 1.5-mile hike to Hidden Lake Overlook here, too. This route—one of the most spectacular in the country—offers plenty of places to pull over and take in the breathtaking vistas or hit the trail and stretch your legs. Head up early in the morning when traffic is lighter. You'll experience steep elevation changes and some hairpin turns. From Browning, head to St. Mary Lake and take in the incredible 4,500- foot peaks before you begin your "ride to the sun."
Highlights: Going-to-Sun Road, St. Mary Lake, Logan Pass, Lake McDonald

Please note: Vehicle reservations are required for the Going-to-the-Sun Road from May to September if you are entering the road from the west side of the park at Apgar. If you are entering from the east side of the park at St. Mary, a vehicle reservation is not required. Also note, Google Maps will automatically reroute when Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed. Check seasonal road status here.


Ride the exhilarating 655-mile Great Scenic Loop through Western Montana and Idaho along the banks of five rivers and over six scenic byways. Starting in Lolo, travel west on U.S. Highway 12 to Lolo Pass and the Idaho state line. Make sure to take a selfie with the WINDING ROAD NEXT 99 MILES sign. This route takes bikers through a handful of small towns in Idaho, including Kooskia, Grangeville, McCall, Stanley, Challis and Salmon, then north on U.S. Highway 93 back to Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. The craggy Bitterroot Mountains provide a picturesque backdrop to the charming communities of Darby, Hamilton, Victor, Stevensville and Florence before arriving back in Lolo. Be sure to map out a plan in terms of lodging—this is a multiday trip.
Highlights: Winding Roads, Small Towns, Scenic Byways


Follow the Blackfoot River—made famous by Norman Maclean’s “A River Runs Through It”—on this 50-mile scenic ride from Missoula to Ovando on State Highway 200. This is a popular stretch of river for anglers and a great way to watch recreators float and fish this prized Montana waterway. Thirteen miles before Ovando, look out for the giant cow statue at Clearwater Junction where MT-200 meets State Highway 83. Veer off route onto MT-83 to head up to Seeley Lake on the Seeley Swan Scenic Drive stopping along the way for good food and lake views, or hit up this detour on your way back from Ovando.
Highlights: Blackfoot River, Clearwater Junction, Ovando


The Flathead Lake loop does not disappoint. Circle this vast and sparkling body of water surrounded by the snowcapped peaks of the Swan and Mission mountain ranges. U.S. Highway 93 on the west side of the lake offers four lanes and higher speed limits for a nonstop lakeshore cruise, and State Highway 35 on the east side is a two-lane, slower-paced ride with a little more character. The views are incredible on this approximately 90-mile ride, and from mid to late summer fruit stands dot the roadside offering Montana’s famous Flathead cherries.
Highlights: Flathead Lake, Flathead Cherries, Lakeside Towns


Gas up at the bustling St. Regis Travel Center (check out the live trout exhibit) on U.S. Interstate Highway 90. This popular roadside stop acts as the starting point for the 24-mile-long St. Regis-Paradise Scenic Byway (State Highway 135), which runs along the Clark Fork River. Stop along the way at Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort. At the junction of State Highway 200 drive the last 2.5 miles of this scenic route, landing in Paradise. If you want to extend your trip up to Flathead Lake, follow MT-200 to Plains then east on State Highway 28 for 48 miles (noting that Symes Hot Springs Resort is about halfway) landing in Elmo, a small town on lakeshore.
Highlights: St. Regis-Paradise Scenic Byway, Quinn’s Hot Springs, Symes Hot Springs


The 67-mile Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway, aka Montana State Highway 37, cuts through the Kootenai National Forest to connect the towns of Eureka and Libby. From Eureka, ride through Rexford to the shores of Lake Koocanusa, a 90-mile-long reservoir behind Libby Dam that stretches into Canada. The blacktop hugs the reservoir all the way to the dam. Shortly after the dam, the byway turns west to follow the Kootenai River—one of Montana's blue-ribbon trout streams—into Libby. Extend your trip and make it a 134-mile loop tour by driving from Libby to Kalispell and then back north to Eureka.
Highlights: Lake Koocanusa, Libby Dam, Kootenai River


This 74-mile long corridor along State Highway 83 stretches through the picturesque Swan Valley between Seeley Lake and Swan Lake, ending in the storybook village of Bigfork on Flathead Lake. Follow the Swan River and take in stunning views of the Mission Mountains and the Swan Range, plus dozens of lakes, two rivers, lush forestland, expansive meadows and steep mountain walls just beyond the boundaries of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. You’ll find some nice sweepers on this route and only a few tight turns.
Highlights: Seeley Lake, Mission Mountains, Bigfork


If you prefer straight and relatively empty roads with plenty of chances to stop, Montana’s Highway 200 beckons. From Missoula, head north along the Clark Fork River on U.S. Highway 93 for 36 miles to Ravalli where you’ll pick up State Highway 200. The route from Ravalli to Noxon, roughly 102 miles tucked between two mountain ranges, travels by the charming small communities of Thompson Falls (visit the dam) and Trout Creek (famous for huckleberries). When you get to Noxon, ride over the historic Noxon Bridge.
Highlights: Clark Fork River, Thompson Falls Dam, Noxon Reservoir

News from Glacier National Park Currently, 17 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are open for travel.