The Best Motorcycle Roads & Rides in Idaho Main Treasure Valley Life

There’s nothing quite like exploring The Gem State by motorcycle. With breathtaking views, comfortable weather, and plenty of welcoming stops with great food and unique opportunities to stretch your legs throughout the journey, Idaho motorcycle roads are a rider's dream.

If you’re near one of these highways, simply take an afternoon to begin exploring. These full routes – arguably some of the best motorcycle tours in America – often touch neighboring states and are best appreciated over several days. Of course, you can break these routes down into chunks: US 93, US 95, Highway 55, and Highway 200 are incredible in their own right.

Oh and before we get into the routes - make sure to wear your helmet! Biker Justice USA states on their website that the law requires everyone below the age of 18 to wear an approved protective helmet while riding on or operating a motorcycle in Idaho, or an ATV for that matter, either on or off-road at all times.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

The “Blow You Away” Idaho Tour

Get up close and personal with some of the most stunning scenic treasures the gem state has to offer on this incredible 425-mile route that takes you all the way from the scenic lake town of Coeur d’Alene to Boise.

You’ll begin in Coeur d’Alene, heading east on I-90 before taking exit #22 to Highway 95 south. Your route will carry you along Lake Coeur d’Alene’s shore, and when you reach Harrison, you’ll take a right on Route 3 toward St. Maries. 

From St. Maries, you’ll head west on Route 5. Follow this route all the way to Plummer. Take a left onto Highway 95 south and follow it for approximately 212 miles. Along the way, you’ll make your way through Lewiston, take in the rugged beauty of the Nez Perce National Forest, and pass through the little town of White Bird, where some of the world’s most incredible peaches are grown. Seriously…if they’re in season, don’t miss out. 

When you reach New Meadows, take Route 55. It’ll take you east and then south, through scenic Cascade and Horseshoe Bend. The tour ends in Boise, where you can put up your feet after a weekend spent traveling some of the best motorcycle highways Idaho has to offer.

“Serious Twisties” along Idaho Us 95 & US 12: The Lewis & Clark Trail

This incredible 1200 mile route takes you through northwestern Montana, and if you’d like to extend it by taking a side trip into Glacier National Park, you can! 

Easily one of the best motorcycle rides in Idaho, this massive loop is best enjoyed over the course of a week or so; this gives you time to stop, relax, fuel up on great local fare, and take in the views. If you live in Boise, good news: two long sections of this ride are going to be right outside your door, so it's easier to explore at your leisure. 

Start in Boise, heading north on Highway 55. Keep heading north – this time on US 95 – when you reach New Meadows. The route guide recommends spending the night in Lewiston, then continuing north on the 95 until you reach Plummer. From there, take Highway 5 East to Chatcolet Lake. Near St. Maries, you’ll head north on Highway 3 and continue for 10 miles. 

Next, you’ll head north on highway 97 to Harrison and follow the western bank of Lake Coeur d’Alene until you reach westbound I-90. Don’t worry: You won’t be on the interstate for long. At Coeur d’Alene, you’ll again find yourself heading north US 95. Follow it for 45 miles to Pend Oreille Scenic Byway, which is also known as Highway 200. From there, you’ll head toward Montana, following the stunning Clark Fork river. The route guide recommends stopping in Sandpoint for the night. 

After breakfast, continue south on Highway 200 for 80 miles. You’ll first find yourself in Thompson Falls, Montana, which is also a fantastic place for mountain biking if that’s your thing. Of course, a helmet is still advised! In another 25 miles, you’ll be in Plains, Montana. From there, it’s a scenic 75 miles to Missoula, Montana, where you’ll take Highway 93 South shortly after passing the Missoula airport. From there, continue south through Lolo, Stevensville, Victor, and Hamilton, Montana – these small towns make up the heart of the Bitterroot Valley, a mountain-lined wonderland that’s so incredibly stunning, you might feel tempted to put down roots for a few days. 

The route guide agrees - they recommend stopping in Hamilton for the night. There are plenty of fantastic little eateries in this scenic, vibrant town, plus a marvelous old-school downtown area to explore.

In the morning, saddle up and continue southbound on US 93. You’ll pass through the little town of Darby and then enter Lost Trail Pass, continuing back into Idaho, through Salmon, Challis, and Arco. The guide recommends stopping in Arco for the night. 

The following day, you’ll continue on to US 20 and US 26, which join US 93 – that’s three great Idaho motorcycle highways at once! This trek takes you past the Craters of the Moon National Monument, where you can take a quick 7-mile park loop if you’re feeling up to it. In all, it’s 110 miles southwest to Twin Falls. Stick to US 93 through Carey and Shoshone, then through Twin Falls, where you can detour to see Shoshone Falls, if you like. Still following 93, cross the river, then take I-94 west. From there, it’s a smooth 140 mile return to Boise.

Photo by Harley Davidson on Unsplash

There’s More to Explore

If you’ve heard that Idaho is among the best states for motorcycle tours, you’re definitely on the right track, as we’ve only scratched the surface. True, these are just two of the biggest, best motorcycle rides Idaho has to offer. At the same time, the adventures are endless; in fact, there are many other, shorter Idaho motorcycle routes to enjoy. Each one offers opportunities to see all the natural wonders this state has to offer while taking advantage of outstanding hospitality all along the way. 

So lean into those curves and enjoy the freedom of the open road as you explore Idaho by motorcycle. Nothing compares!

Posted by AndrewS at 9/16/2020 10:51:00 PM
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