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Roadtrip from Seattle....to Montana-where would you go?

Roadtrip from Seattle....to Montana-where would you go?

Old Oct 15th, 2004, 10:26 AM
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Roadtrip from Seattle....to Montana-where would you go?

My hubby and I have been thinking of packing up our Jeep and gettin' the heck outta here for about a week+. We usually go over to Eastern WA (for short weekend trips) but would like to see something new. Has anyone driven that way from Seattle? How long did it take...and any reccomendations for places to stay (more resort type hotels)...and must sees?
Thanks much!
L
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Old Oct 15th, 2004, 10:40 AM
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Hi - what type of activities do you like - are you into driving/scenic views, hiking or other outdoor activities, higher end resort type places with good restaurants? Also, are you going soon? The weather might start getting snowy in the Idaho/Montana/Rocky Mountain areas pretty soon. If you haven't been to Glacier Nat'l Park - it is beautiful but may have road closures coming up soon. There are some nice resort type places in the Glacier area. Or you could head south towards the Grand Tetons/Yellowstone - nice resorts in that area as well
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Old Oct 15th, 2004, 10:58 AM
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We like driving and scenic views,local art galleries,places with historical tales to tell, snowmobiling in winter and resort type places with good restaurants. We may end up going over in the spring like you suggested...which is fine.We wanted to go sooner but our work schedule hasn't permitted it- so I'm planning WAY ahead.Reccomend away!!!
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Old Oct 16th, 2004, 06:10 PM
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If you plan to go in the spring and have about a week, I might suggest routing through the Coeur D'Alene/Sandpoint area of Northern Idaho to Missoula and then up to Glacier - perhaps staying in the Whitefish area. I think it is about 200 miles from Spokane to Missoula so you could easily get from Seattle to Coeur D'Alene the first day (maybe 300-350 miles) taking the most direct route. Of course, that assumes you've already been all over Eastern WA and want to get East quickly since I know there are beautiful routes through far North-eastern WA. The Coeur D'Alene/Sandpoint area is beautiful although I've only been a few times and can't recall lodging sites but I do remember art galleries and quaint places to check out. Missoula is a fun town with lots of art (kind of like a mini Berkeley, CA), good restaurants, music, etc. Whitefish is right outside of Glacier and I might recommend that you check out other poster recommendations for lodging. I think many people like the Hidden Moose B&B/Lodge. Lodges in the Park are being improved but are pretty old and run down IMO. However, Glacier is so incredible that I didn't really care as much about the lodging when the setting was so spectacular! You could even consider driving through Glacier into Canada (Waterton Park) and looping back to WA from a more northerly route although I'm not sure how long that would take. Or you could take the Missoula route (I90) one way and go on smaller highways (up from Coeur D'Alene or Sandpoint) the other way. Good luck with planning! I'm sure some other northwestern Montanan's will have good advice as well. I lived in Bozeman (great town to visit by the way but further southeast towards yellowstone) so not quite as educated on the glacier area as others will be.
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Old Oct 16th, 2004, 06:40 PM
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Missoula is maybe 2 hours past Spokane, well worth the effort.

A couple of places that are worth longer drives (if you haven't been) would be Yellowstone and Banff. Both fairly high altitude, so it might be the tail end of autumn if you go now, but with a dusting of snow on the hills or around the geysers etc, both are stunning places. If you want lodges, think Banff, Lake Louise or Jasper, or the marvelous, historic lodge at Old Faithful.

Have you been to the Little Big Horn site in E. Montana? One of the most moving places we've visited (been there several times). Can't explain the atmosphere, but it's really there. Also, Sheridan WY is a wonderful little "old west" town with a sprinkling of counter-culture mixed in with cowboy shtick.

Or Helena, Montana's funky, historic capital. A main street called Last Chance Gulch. How cool is that?

So many places. Bon Voyage.
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Old Oct 17th, 2004, 09:13 AM
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Thanks so much for the great suggestions! I'll keep doing researh...thinking of maybe getting a Horizon flight from Seattle and renting a car would be the best way to go as well to see the most we can. My husband has never been in Montana...I was YEARS ago. Isn't there a Charles M. Russell Museum in...Great Falls? Anyway, thanks so much for all your guidance.
(We've been all over Eastern WA...love the area and the scenery- just want to see something new.)
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Old Oct 18th, 2004, 09:46 AM
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A Horizon flight is a good idea - maybe you could even fly into Missoula and out somewhere else (Bozeman, Billings,etc) depending where you go? I think there might be a Charles Russell museum in Great Falls but not positive - hopefully someone else will know - his work is actually in several museums around the state. The Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman is pretty cool - combination of western culture plus dinosaur exhibits (Dr. "Jack" Horner is the paleontology curator - the role of the guy in Jurassic park was loosely based on him).
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Old Oct 18th, 2004, 04:37 PM
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Yes, the Charlie Russell Museum is in Great Falls and is worth a couple of hours. Also, if you're into history don't miss the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls. All things considered, however, I would recommend you concentrate on the Flathead Valley, Missoula, Bozeman, Helena, and Yellowstone Park areas if you have limited time. The US 191 route between Bozeman and West Yellowstone and the US 89 route between Livingston and Gardiner are two of my favorite areas. Also, if you like resorts and restaurants you must not miss Chico Hot Springs south of Livingston in the Paradise Valley(http://www.chicohotsprings.com/). The best restaurant in Montana and a fabulous pool and saloon.
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Old Oct 18th, 2004, 05:56 PM
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I'm ready to go now-thank again everyone! Looks like the vacation days will start sometime after April (dang games industry)...however we may be able to sneak in a winter weekend and Chico Hot Springs looks great (just what I was looking for) and its near a small ski area (we had a fun time at LoupLoup Ski Bowl near Winthrop, WA last year).
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Old Oct 18th, 2004, 07:42 PM
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Chico is very popular so you will have to book far in advance. Bridger Bowl is the closest ski area and it is not small by any means. Horizon has non-stop flights from Seatac to Bozeman so you could actually fly in to Bozeman, ski a half day at Bridger and be digesting a gourmet dinner in the hot pool at Chico that evening.
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Old Oct 20th, 2004, 09:57 AM
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Well, it sounds just dandy. We go snowmobiling every year and skiing (more my husband than me) and this looks like a fun place to go for an extra long weekend. I think I'll save the road trip to/or around Montana to see the Charles Russell Museum once the snow has melted.
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