Moscow, Idaho July 30-31, 2004
An event loosely organized by:
Orofino / Snake River
231 miles, approximately 6 hours
- Head east out of Moscow on ID-8 towards Troy.
- At Troy, turn right on ID-99 and head toward Kendrick.
a great bit of road that you can let your bike stretch its legs on.
- At Kendrick, turn north on ID-3 and go through town. At the
north end of town, the road has a few turns and then heads up
a long grade. Just before the grade starts, turn right along the
Potlatch river on County Road P1. After about 1/8th of a mile, turn
right over the river and head up a narrow, twisty (and kinda bumpy)
- This is one of HMarc's favorite roads, and it offers a little
bit of everything, including a few "surprise" turns. Awhile after
passing through Cavendish (look quick or you'll miss it) you'll come
to the top of the Ahsahka Grade, with its spectacular view up the
Clearwater canyon leading to Lolo Pass. Unfortunately, there isn't
really anywhere good to stop to take in the view.
- Local FJR rider David Tucker recommends the Woodlot for lunch, along
side the road in Ahsahka.
- At the town of Orofino, at the stop sign, the burger place
across the street isn't bad, if you're hungry. You might want to
fuel up here, or not.
- Turn right (south) at the burger place and cross the Clearwater
river, then turn right on US-12 (aka the Lolo Pass Highway). Head
towards Lewiston, ID.
- Another lunch place recommendation by David Tucker is the
Canyon Inn Cafe, on US-12 at the turnoff to Peck, ID.
This place has very reasonable prices, which in Idaho, means
- Stay on US-12 and don't get confused when you come to US-95
where it crosses the river. You're going to stay on the north side
of the river all the way to Lewiston. US-12 is a major highway in
these parts, and is therefore more heavily patrolled than the
roads you've just been on. Watch your six! And your 12.
- Just before Lewiston,
US-95 branches off from US-12 and heads up to Moscow. If you're
running late, you can shorten this ride to 118 miles by taking 95
north to Moscow.
- Right after 95 branches off, (you're still on US-12 at this
point) there will be a right turn (near
some grain elevators, IIRC) to Hwy 128. Take it.
- Just a few hundred meters up 128 there will be a big Texaco
station on the left. This is a good place to refuel (if you didn't
do it in Orofino) and take on some liquid refreshments.
- Within about a mile of the Texaco, heading west on 128, look for
a very small typical street sign that says "
Hwy" marking a
paved road to the right. It's very easy to miss,
so keep the speed down
to 50mph or less so you'll have time to react.
- The Spiral Highway climbs about 1500' in 6 miles or so up the
Lewiston Grade. At the top, take in the view. You can jump on 95
and head back to Moscow, or head back down the Spiral Highway (oh,
twist my arm!) and continue west on 128.
- Just east of Clarkston, WA, 128 turns south over the Red Wolf
bridge over the Clearwater. Don't take it! Unless, that is, you're
hungry. In which case the big marina on the south end of the
bridge has pretty decent food, and a big wooden deck where you can
dine in the sunshine.
Keep going straight
along the north shore of the river. The road becomes WA-193, aka
- It's easy to get carried away on 193 and wick it up a bit, but
watch out for fishermen and campers who may pull abruptly onto the
road in front of you. And watch out for deer, as always, and for
Chukars (a large cousin of the quail) -- if you hit a Chukar it
will ruin your day.
- You will come to a place where the road turns away from the
river and becomes gravel. Just as it does that, there's a sharp
15mph left turn that you need to take so you can continue downstream
on the paved road along the Snake.
- When you see a large green State Park just ahead,
the paved road will turn
uphill and wind up a canyon to the top of the bluff.
- At the top, turn left at the intersection where the road you're
on becomes gravel. The paved road is the one that goes left.
- After awhile, if you're alert, you'll see WA-194 branches off to
the left (across a tiny bridge in the bushes), and the road you're
on becomes 194 headed to Pullman. If you continue on 194 to
Pullman, and Moscow, the ride will be about 206 miles.
For another nice bit of motorcycle road, take the left turn onto 194
and follow it to the intersection with Almota road. To stay on 194
(which you want to do) you have to turn left, as the "main" road
becomes Almota road.
- In a few miles, you will come to the bluff above the Snake river
again and descend the twisty and scenic Almota grade to the river.
Where the road reaches the river is near one of the campsites used
by the Lewis and Clark expedition.
- Turn around there, or a little further up the road at Boyer Park
(where you can get refreshments) and head back on 194 all the way to
- Just before Pullman, you'll intersect with WA-195, a major
2-lane highway. Cross it carefully and enter Pullman. 194 will
become 270 and head east towards Moscow.
This is the road the college kids take between the U. of Idaho and
Washington State, so it's normally patrolled pretty heavily.
- After you cross the Idaho border, the road becomes ID-8, and
will take you right to the motel.
On this route
reliable fuel may be found at Orofino, Lewiston and Pullman.
There will probably be fuel at other places as well, but this is rural
country, and a lot of small towns don't have fuel at all, particularly at
night and on Sundays.
Copyright © 2004, by H. Marc Lewis. All rights reserved.