Lolo Motorway

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"The Lolo Motorway is single lane road for the most part. There are few turnouts, it's native surface and it’s not well maintained. For the length of motorway there are no stores and no gas stations, so you need to be prepared."

–Sandi McFarland-Administrator, Nez Perce National Historic Trail

truck driving on dirt road in lolo motorwayIn the northern part of the state a famous travel corridor winds through the forests of the Bitterroot Mountains. It’s most well known as part of the route followed by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. But the Corps of Discovery was actually following the well established northern trail of the Nez Perce Indians. It was used by them for centuries to travel east into buffalo country in what is now Montana. In the early twentieth century a rough dirt road built by the Civilian Conservation Corps traced a good portion of the original Nez Perce Trail. scenic view of lolo motorway That road is now known as the Lolo Motorway. It winds for about seventy-five miles along the mountainous ridges of the Clearwater National Forest east of Weippe, Idaho. The remote route parallels modern highway twelve that runs far below in the deep valley carved by the Lochsa River. The smooth highway is certainly scenic but the rugged road on the ridges above can be even more rewarding.