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Lolo Pass--Highway 12 in the summer

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Portland Oregon
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29 posts
12 reviews
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Lolo Pass--Highway 12 in the summer

We would like to drive from Missoula to the Walla Walla area to do some wine tasting via Highway 12. Is it a good highway or a winding road? We like scenery but do not want a "gravel-road" type of experince. Any thoughts and how long will it take? thanks

Calgary, Canada
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for Waterton Lakes National Park, Nelson
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1. Re: Lolo Pass--Highway 12 in the summer

Highway 12 will take you through some beautiful scenery. It is a paved wellp-travelled and well-maintained major highway, no worries there.

East Tennessee
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2. Re: Lolo Pass--Highway 12 in the summer

We were on this road in July and it is indeed a safe paved state or federal highway that goes through a beautiful and senic part of Idaho. Enjoy the Clearwater River and stop at the River Dance Lodge for dining. It was a great place for our family vacation of 2010. Tell the kind folks that the visitors from East Tennessee sent you!

Everett, Washington
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3. Re: Lolo Pass--Highway 12 in the summer

VERY winding. Always truning back and forth following the river tighly and it seems to go on and on forever. BUT, lest I make it sound horrible it is really a very pretty drive. Good road surface (as a US-# highway would have) but very remote. When our son was going to college in Walla Walla we went that way to take him back one Fall and were glad we did but would probably route via Spokane if we did it again. 316 miles, 6 hour drive (plus stops). But it wil seem longer and may really take longer if there is slow logging truck traffic. Very hard to pass. The route is also historic and has markers about Lewis & Clark expedition.

Calgary, Canada
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for Waterton Lakes National Park, Nelson
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2,675 posts
88 reviews
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4. Re: Lolo Pass--Highway 12 in the summer

Well, what can I say....? We did this ride one year on vacation on the bike ..... *loved* it!!!! That's even factoring in the 3' of snow in the Lolo Pass at that time of year ...... the road was gorgeous. But actually I guess on the bike we would have taken those curves a whole lot faster than a vehicle could. Highly recommend the road, it's really pretty, fast or slow.

western WA
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14 reviews
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5. Re: Lolo Pass--Highway 12 in the summer

Like Sequim says, a US highway is always paved, as is a state highway. Even a county road is paved. It is the forest service roads and ranch roads which aren't.

I don't know why the GPS people even put the forest service roads in their databases, as regular travelers should not use them.

From Missoula over Lookout Pass on I-90 to Wallace Idaho is also a pretty drive. Lake Coeur D'Alene is beautiful, and you can drop through the rolling hills of the Palouse in Washington State. You can also drop down from Lake CDA to Lewiston Idaho, which has a museum related to Chief Joseph ("I will fight no more forever"). US 12 follows the route the Nez Perce took, I believe, which also connects to Lewiston.

Usually I'd say the interstate is not the "real" Montana, but in this very mountainous and lightly settled part of the state, it is a means to get from one place to another that is pretty effective.

6. Re: Lolo Pass--Highway 12 in the summer

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