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Read many forums, had several reactions, but there is some contradiction and I am still puzzled.

So try the Idaho experts, if I may.

When staying around Orofino and travelling the scenic 12, mapquest allows about 6 and a half hours.

From the forums it sounds it will take much longer.

I am talking about travelling in August.

So what is the best thing to do.

Not go to Orofino from Walla Walla, but straight up to Spokane and miss the scenic road.

Or go from Walla Walla to Orofino stay the night and go over Lolo pass to Gardiner or West Yellowstone( does that make a big difference?

It is summer and the days are long and if I have guaranteed accommodation, how long does it take?

I did book Yellowstone already.


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1. Re: Orofino-Yellowstone

I drove from Orofino, ID to Missoula, MT in January in a snow storm in a Volkswagen and did not have a problem. Don't miss this great scenic route. By all means go through Orofino on 12. You should easily make the WW to Missoula trip in 6/7 hours. Good luck.

Spokane, Washington
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2. Re: Orofino-Yellowstone

Hi haro, I'll say it again go up to Spokane and then onto I-90 it's very scenic from there on to Yellowstone plus it's faster and more amenities along the way should you need them, since I live 20 some miles from Idaho and have been that route many times I can say you wouldn't be sorry. axle is right though from Orofino to Missoula is also a nice route to go. Which ever you decide you'll love it. If you are interested in history there is a lot of it in eastern WA, Idaho and Montana.


Cottonwood Idaho
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3. Re: Orofino-Yellowstone

Axle is correct that from Walla Walla to Missoula, MT is 6/7 hours. Bozeman, one of the gateways to Yellowstone is another 3 hours from Missoula plus more time needed to get to the park entrance. Suggestion - Stay over either in or around Orofino to enjoy some time along the Clearwater River, or travel further towards Montana on US 12 and stay at one of a couple of lovely small places like Reflections Inn or River Dance Lodge which are closer to Missoula yet still along the river & in the mountains. Have you been to www.visitnorthcentralidaho.org for information?

Edited: 10 December 2010, 05:08
Golden, Canada
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4. Re: Orofino-Yellowstone

Things to do and see along either route, though US-12 would be my choice in August. If you spend a night in Orofino, a good idea, you could reach Yellowstone the next day, but it would be a long one with site seeing stops. I'd consider taking two days, but that depends on how many days you have to spend "in transit". I wouldn't take away much time from Yellowstone for stops along the way.

I'd more or less take this route. MT-38 E/Skalkaho Rd is partially gravel so you may want to skip that option. If time trumps scenery stick to the Interstate route.

Google Maps route:


Ahsahka, Idaho
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5. Re: Orofino-Yellowstone

Walla Walla to Orofino is 3 hours, Orofino to Missoula is 4 hours. These times are the longest it would take, could be faster. No question, no doubt, highway 12 to Missoula is the only way to go. One of our best family vacations was a trip to yellowstone from Orofino by dirt back country roads. After that drive, yellowstone was the low point of the trip! We can easily make it to yellowstone from Orofino in a long day via highway.

Cottonwood Idaho
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6. Re: Orofino-Yellowstone

Hello again Haro -

I spoke w/Reflections Inn today. Please call them if still interested to stay. They had not received your email message - lost in ethersphere!?


7. Re: Orofino-Yellowstone

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