Our Glacier Loop ride is getting revamped for 2019, and we are very excited about the changes. The rides will be fantastic, offering the best that the Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park have to offer! Going to the Sun will still be the Queen stage, but we have added a few other local favorites. The trip will run 2 trips; June 25-30th or July 8-13th. Montana is our home state and we love to show it off and share the experience. Each summer we look forward to spending time in the state that we know and love. Glacier National Park is a place that you can visit every year and the breathtaking beauty remains special after each visit. Our passion and intimate knowledge of the area makes for a truly unique experience. Feel free to contact us directly if you have any specific questions. The Glacier itinerary is also great for private groups if you have a group of friends looking for a fun adventure, then this could be for you!
We will use two home bases for the trip. Our first 2 nights will be the Glacier Outdoor Center in West Glacier, a great location to start our journey. We will be staying in their West Glacier Lodge rooms and cabins and our Cycling House Chef will be cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner out of their kitchen. One of the best parts is returning after a good days ride The Glacier Outdoor Center is a great location to spend an extra night or two before camp starts. Their lodge is only 2 miles from the West Glacier entrance to Glacier National Park which has some of the best hiking trails in the world. We can easily recommend some activities if you decide to spend a couple days in the area either before or after the trip, and Visit Montana is a great resource too. After our 2 nights in West Glacier, we will spend 3 nights in Whitefish. We will take the backroads from West Glacier to Whitefish and our vans will carry all the gear. Whitefish, Montana is nestled at the South end of Whitefish Lake and Whitefish Mountain Resort looms over the lake. The quaint downtown will be a fun place to explore in the afternoons but it might be hard to pull you off Whitefish lake. We will be staying in a large rental house on Whitefish Lake, that will be an amazing place to relax. The Cycling House chef will be doing the majority of the cooking, with an exception of a lunch out or two out on the town. The lodging and itinerary allow us to showcase the food that our Cycling House Chef passionately creates. There really is nothing better than sharing a meal in a relaxed environment after a great day on the bike.
Northwestern Montana historically relied on logging and mining as mainstays for the economy. The same mountains and forests became a major attraction for tourists and have boosted the economy as mining and logging declined. In 1910 the Glacier National Park was created, after the original designation as a forest preserve in 1897 thank in part to lobbying from Great Northern Railroad. In 1932, the United States and Canada created the world’s first International Peace Park; joining Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park as Glacier International Peace Park. Going to the Sun road construction began in 1921 and was completed in 1932. The road is named after Going to the Sun mountain, which is seen heading eastbound from Logan Pass. On December 6th, 1995 the park was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The land encompassed in Glacier International Park is an integral part of the Crown of the Continent; which is one of two intact ecosystems that remain in the lower 48. The Crown of the Continent is the spine of North America and water flows to the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The terrain is rugged, wild and beautiful. Grizzly Bears, Elk, Moose, Wolverine, Wolves, and many other animals still call this home. The Rocky Mountains form the heart of Glacier National Park and stretch for 3,000 miles from British Columbia, Canada all the way to New Mexico. Experiencing the park by bike is an amazing opportunity for cyclists and a true bucket list ride. The area West of Glacier National Park is where we will spend the second half of our trip. The town of Whitefish is one of the best ski towns in North America. Whitefish Mountain Resort was established in 1940 and is the main attraction offering amazing skiing in the winter and lift access for hikers and bikers in the summer. In 1904 Great Northern Railroad established Whitefish as a railroad stop, sparking development in the area. Whitefish continues to be a stop on Amtrak’s Empire Builder line offering passengers easy access to Whitefish Mountain Resort. Whitefish is surrounded by the Flathead National Forest which is nearly 2.5 million acres, more than double the size of Glacier National Park. The National Forest offers an abundance of opportunities for outdoor activities in all seasons. Whitefish is a small town of approximately 7,000 residents, but it offers a wide array of restaurants, shops, and bars and breweries. The town sits at the foot of beautiful Whitefish Lake, a glacially fed lake that is 7 miles long and a major attraction in the summer months. The Whitefish Legacy Partners and City of Whitefish have built over 42 miles of trail with 12 trailheads that are easy access from town. The trail system in and around Whitefish is impressive and is quickly becoming a major mountain bike and trail running destination.
Our arrival day will take us into Glacier National Park on our first day of riding and we take Camas road over to the North Fork of the Flathead River. The arrival day ride will give us our first glimpse into the park. The following day we will ride Going to the Sun road, which bisects the park in Montana crossing the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. The ride offers fantastic views and has been regarded as one of the most scenic bicycle rides in the world! The climb up Going to the Sun is just under 11 miles with 3,100′ of elevation gain, and an average grade of 5% and considered an HC climb topping out at 6,646′. Cycling Going to the Sun is certainly a challenge but a steady consistent pace will get you to the summit. We will offer a couple of options on Going to the Sun, either 50 or 81 miles with 4,100′ or 7,400′ of climbing. Our ride with start on the West side of Glacier and take us over to the East side of the park, either ending in St Mary’s or East Glacier. The Cycling House will have two shuttle vans that will take us back to the Glacier Outdoor Center from East Glacier after we have lunch. After the big day on the bike, the legs might be ready for something a little shorter, and that will be what we get as we ride from West Glacier to Whitefish. The route will follow the backroads meandering across the Flathead Valley before we get to Whitefish. In Whitefish we will stop for lunch and an espresso before we complete our ride to the North end of Whitefish Lake to our overnight. The ride is 34 miles long with just under 1,500′ of climbing and will be the perfect recovery to get you ready for the following day’s ride. We will enjoy a nice afternoon on Whitefish Lake and another home cooked meal by our Cycling House Chef. Our 4th day of riding will start with a shuttle taking us North of Whitefish towards the Canadian border. The ride will take us to the Lake Koocanusa scenic byway, a quiet route around the lake. The ride can be as long as a century ride with 5,700′ of climbing, but we will also offer shorter options. The ride is well worth the shuttle and we will finish up with a picnic lunch before we head back to Whitefish. Our last ride takes us on another local favorite ride up Star Meadows road. The ride is a 50 mile out and back with 2,500′ of climbing. We will cap off a great week of cycling in Western Montana with a fiesta dinner at The Cycling House on Whitefish Lake. You can check out the actual maps and itinerary at Ride with GPS.
Other 2019 Montana Cycling House Trips
- Glacier to Yellowstone (Indoor)– New for 2019 we have added an indoor accommodation option for our incredibly popular Glacier to Yellowstone ride. We will be traveling through rural Montana so our lodging options are limited. We have selected the best possible lodging to fit our needs, many of which are best described as rustic or historic lodges. Nothing fancy, but clean and comfortable rooms. Additionally, we will do a combination of Cycling House prepared meals and restaurants.
- Glacier to Yellowstone (Camping)– Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks are two of the most iconic and beautiful natural places in the United States. On this point-to-point camping tour, you’ll have the chance to experience both – and everything in between. This is the most challenging trip that we offer. It includes two of Montana’s most iconic rides. The Glacier to Yellowstone trip satisfies those looking for a challenge, big miles and fantastic support from our staff. We’re based in Montana, and we welcome this chance to show off our “backyard”. With fully supported bikes rides, delicious chef-prepared meals, and incredible riding, the Glacier to Yellowstone cycling tour is a trip you’ll never forget!
- Montana Gravel– The Montana Gravel Tour starts and finishes in Missoula, MT, and is a culmination of our appreciation for gravel grinding in Western Montana. The tour incorporates the best routes TCH has pedaled around our home base for the past 15 years. For this camp, we base ourselves out of Seeley Lake at The Double Arrow Lodge, 45 minutes from downtown Missoula. Here we will have indoor accommodations and a Cycling House Chef will be preparing breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Riders will enjoy stunning scenery and be amazed by the relative absence of other people, cars, and noise. The cooler fall temperatures make for great riding conditions.
- Whitefish Mountain Bike– Our home base for this mountain bike trip is the quaint town of Whitefish, MT. Nestled in the Northwest corner of Montana among the magnificent Rocky Mountains, Whitefish offers a perfect blend of views, Montana backcountry, and flowing singletrack. We will stay at the Whitefish Bike Retreat on the outskirts of town, with singletrack right out the back door. The Whitefish Bike Retreat offers a wide array of amenities, and you can choose between indoor accommodations or camping under the Big Sky. This will be a home-based trip, that includes TCH chef-prepared meals. We will experience the local fare for a couple of dinners or lunches at some of our favorite restaurants. Evenings will be spent around the campfire reminiscing about the day’s ride, sipping local craft brews, and of course – eating a few s’mores.