One of the highlights of our trip for me is riding on this scenic bike path.  This is the third time Tom and I have ridden this trail and the second time for Ben.

The ride is 15 miles gently downhill with a shuttle back up to the top and another 1.6 mile ride back through the first tunnel. The trail is stunningly gorgeous and goes through 10 tunnels and over 7 sky high trestles.  The best part is that the trail is ALL DOWNHILL with a gentle 1.6% average grade and a 1,000 foot drop in elevation over its 15 mile path. 

The Hiawatha is located in the beautiful Bitterroot Mountains and utilizes the abandoned Milwaukee Railroad grade between the historic old town site of Taft, MT and the North Fork of the St. Joe River near Avery, ID.  The St. Paul Pass Tunnel is 1.66 miles in length (and pitch black when you’re riding through it) and burrows through the Bitterroot mountains between Idaho and Montana.

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We are ready to start!

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Coming out of the 1.66 mile first tunnel.  It is absolutely DARK in there, so everyone who rides must have lights

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It’s a LONG way down from up here on the trestle!

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Along the way there was interesting signs pointing our historical facts about this area. 

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Passenger trains usually had priority over freight trains, except during the war when special priority munitions trans would send the other ones “in the hole.”


A very interesting sign about the transportation of raw silk across the US!  The trains carrying the raw silk had the right of way over all passenger and freight trains.


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Here we are at the end of the trail.  Our bikes are in line waiting to be picked up. Once we got to this point, there were 48 people in front of us  also waiting for the shuttle. A few crazy people even turned around and rode back UP the trail.  We made the third bus.  The bus drove back up an adjacent road and dropped us off and the end of the first tunnel . As our bikes were unloaded, we grabbed ours and rode back through the tunnel and to the parking lot.

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Just as a point of reference, here’s a picture of Tom and Ben from three years ago when we rode the trail. He’s definitely GROWN since then!

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After our day on the trail we enjoyed a delicious dinner at City Limits Pub and Grill.

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Standing around the plaque in the middle of the street marking Wallace, Idaho as the Center of the Universe!

Trip Statistics

  • We did not move the motorhome today..  Trip total distance travelled in motorhome is 4,461miles
  • We  drive the CRV t73 miles oday.  Touring total is still 1,905 miles.  Total trip for both vehicles is 6,366 miles
  • We stayed at the Crystal Gold Mine RV Park  for $41.15.  Total campground cost is $1,631.62 or an average of $39.62 per night
  • We’ve spent $2,366.23 on gasoline.  The last fillup was $3.599 per gallon
  • We’ve spent 801.88 for tours and admissions and $1,236 on groceries and eating out.