Montana Motorcycle Tour #2: Wise River Loop
Explore the Beaverhead Valley by motorcycle
If you are looking to get off the beaten path, this is the Montana motorcycle tour for you! This itinerary is easily accessible from Butte or Dillon and offers plenty of reasons to pull over. As far as scenery goes, you won’t find anything better than this – traversing Montana’s Pioneer Scenic Byway through the Pioneer Mountains and proceeding to snake along the Big Hole River. This ride to remember is sure to give you something to talk about and the memories made along the way will be priceless. Dig Deeper in Southwest Montana and explore the road less traveled.
Whether you’re driving into this route or you have decided to stay in one of the Southwest Montana communities along the way, you are in for a treat! As you head south from Wise River, you’ll find Crystal Park, a unique recreation area where you just might find a few Quartz Crystals of your own. As you continue on the loop, you’ll find Elkhorn and Jackson Hot Springs, both are developed and offer lodging options as well as a day pass for soaking. Rounding out to Wisdom, this tour takes you 11 miles west to the Big Hole National Battlefield. In addition to the mountains and river, you will find yourself cruising through fine agricultural land, the Beaverhead Valley being known as the “Valley of 10,000 Haystacks” for a landscape scattered with functioning “beaverslides.”
Quartz crystals are scattered liberally through the decomposed granite of the unique 220-acre site that's been reserved by the Forest Service for the popular hobby of rockhounding. Grab your shovel, a few friends, and set out for an afternoon of discovery. The site also offers a picnic area complete with grills and stunning views.
Natural Hot Springs are a Montana visitor (and local) favorite, there are six in Southwest Montana! On this route, you’ll find both Jackson and Elkhorn Hot Springs. Both have developed pools and offer lodging on site. Think of these as your basecamp for adventure, or the perfect stop for a quick and relaxing soak.
Big Hole National Battlefield commemorates the battle that took place on August 9, 1877 between the US and the Nez Perce. As the smoke settled, 90 Nez Perce lives had been taken along with 31 soldiers and volunteers. This site honors all who were present on that day.