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Old 09-06-2016, 04:24 PM   #1
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Lolo Motorway Trip Review

We all had a great time on the Lolo Motorway and would recommend doing it to the members here. The group included my wife and me and two buddies with their significant others. Also two dogs. Vehicles included my SMB and two Tacoma's. Three days on the official Motorway which is 80'ish miles of mostly single lane dirt. Signs everywhere stating the possibility of backing up to 1/4 mile to find a wide enough section for passing. Mostly 2wd hi with 3 or 4 times of 4wd for loose rock on steep parts. High clearance is a must.
No official camp sites. Boondocking. The road follows Lewis & Clarks path across the Bitterroots in search of the Pacific Ocean.

At the beginning of the Motorway. We aired down tires and I disconnected the sway bar.
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Chainsaw is a must. Better yet, two. Lots of trees down. These were already cleared when we came through. Looks like a violent down draft hit these trees.
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Old 09-06-2016, 04:32 PM   #2
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Here is a Fire Lookout we drove out to see.

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It was open and provided quite a view of the surrounding Nez Pierce National Forest. IMG_2145.jpgIMG_2150.jpg

About halfway through the trip.
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Old 09-06-2016, 04:38 PM   #3
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I was surprised to find lots of Huckleberries still available. My wife made oatmeal one morning with freshly picked yumminess.
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At the Indian Post Office.
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This is where Indians would write messages and place them in the rocks for relatives or friends to find.IMG_2167.jpg
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Old 09-06-2016, 04:43 PM   #4
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End of the journey. We all made it and no problems what-so-ever. Great trip which I would highly recommend if you all are ever in the area.
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One of my buddies had to go home early, but the rest of us had one more night to camp. A nice Aspen grove finished the trip!IMG_2188.jpg
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Old 09-07-2016, 05:10 PM   #5
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Nice report! I see that is a section of a long trail. Is the part you took the most difficult piece? Looks like a scenic run.
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:48 PM   #6
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Thanks Daveb.

Yes to your question.The Lolo Motorway is a short section which is definitely the worst. Single lane, lots of rocks and some steep up- and down-hill. Slow going on parts.

It is Forest service road #500 and locals call it "the 500". We did it West to East. Many other roads can be used to access it from the West. A couple from the East. All these roads are dirt, maintained two lane.

There are many campgrounds along Highway 12 that can be used before and after a trip on the 500. The Lochsaw river is beautiful.
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:45 PM   #7
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Thanks, it's now on the bucket list.
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Old 01-16-2017, 08:27 AM   #8
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How high clearance must we have? I have a tall roof van, and it is lifted three inches, and slightly bigger tires, but that still only takes it to about average truck height. What kind of clearance would you say is mandatory?
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:37 AM   #9
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Your rig might make it. The road doesn't get much maintenance and there could be some big rocks. Most were baby heads. I did see one city truck and the driver wasn't having fun.
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Old 01-16-2017, 01:26 PM   #10
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Some friends and myself are planning on doing this run combined with the Magruder Corridor this summer. Appreciate the pics and the report.
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