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Moscow, Idaho — July 30-31, 2004

An event loosely organized by: HMarc and Warchild

Rattlesnake Grade

239 miles, approximately 6 hours

This map shown in two parts, the common center being the purple dot (Boggan's Resort)

  1. Head south out of Moscow on US-95.
  2. After 25 miles or so (roughly), as you come to the edge of the Lewiston Grade, look for the sign that says "Scenic View" and take the turn to the right. It comes up quickly, and you're at freeway speed, so be alert!
  3. This will put you on the upper end of the locally famous "Spiral Highway". Take a moment to check out the view before descending. You can see three States from the view point. If you miss the turn, no worries, just continue down the 4-lane road to US-12 just NE of Lewiston, ID.
  4. At the bottom of the Spiral Highway, we recommend turning right on 128 and following it for a few miles and then over the Snake river at the Red Wolf bridge. Turn east on US-12 and head into Clarkston, WA, looking for the intersection with WA-129.
  5. Turn right (south) on 129 and head towards Oregon. In downtown Asotin you will make a hard right up the hill (staying on 129 to Anatone and Enterprise) and come to the Almota grade, which is a fun twisty bit with nice pavement.
  6. At Fields Spring State Park, you will start your descent of the Rattlesnake Grade. This is a neat road with lots of turns and scenic views. Watch for rocks that fall off the hillside cuts and onto the road.
  7. At the bottom of the grade, where the road crosses the Grande Ronde River, is Boggan's Resort (pronounced bo-GANS) where they make excellent milkshakes using Schwans ice cream. No fuel here, though. If you turn back here, your total ride will be about 120 miles in roughly 2.5 hours.
  8. Continuing south on 129 from Boggan's Resort, you will cross into Oregon and climb back up on top of the plateau. Keep an eye out for a big abandoned restaurant on the left, as there is a great view looking east towards Hell's Canyon.
  9. You'll be riding through pine forest at about 4,000', and if you're lucky you may see a bear (I did when riding my FJR there in August of '02).
  10. Nice high speed open country coming into Enterprise, Oregon. There is fuel there, and places to eat. If you continue on to Joseph, OR, and beyond there is great scenery: Wallowa Lake is gorgeous, and the road to Imnaha is quite nice. The sometimes rough, sometimes excellent, paved road to Halfway, through the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is super twisty. Enough sometimes to make you long for some high speed sweepers -- which, fortunately, Hwy 86 offers from Halfway to Baker City.
  11. If you turn back at Enterprise and retrace your route to Moscow, you will rack up roughly 239 miles. If you try the Joseph to Halfway to Baker City to La Grande route I mentioned above (but not shown on the two maps above), it will double your time to 12 hours and your mileage to about 485.

On this route you can safely rely on finding fuel in Moscow, Lewiston, Clarkston, Asotin (I think), and Enterprise.

Copyright © 2004, by H. Marc Lewis. All rights reserved.