Crete Pilgrimage 2016 - Day 6

Orofino, Idaho to Missoula, Montana


We had arranged to meet Margaret and Maurice for lunch, so we were able to look around Orofino and visit the Dworshak Dam and reservoir on the Clearwater River. After lunch, we headed south and then east to follow the Bitterroot River into the mountains, over Lolo Pass to Missoula. We followed the historic route taken by the early explorers Lewis and Clark in September to December 1805. At Missoula we found a hotel close to the I-90 so we could head north the next day.

The Dworshak Dam

Looking downstream on the Clearwater to the bridge and the mouth of Orofino Creek.
Spillway on the Dworshak Dam
Core samples of granite taken from the dam foundations
Looking along the outer wall of the dam
Looking along the inner wall of the dam
The reservoir
The Dalles Bridge and shipping lock.
Looking up the river to the Dworshak Dam
A squirrel entertained us in the car park.
Maurice and Margaret

Over the Bitterroot Mountains and Lolo Pass to Missoula

From Orofino we followed Highway 12 southeast to the town of Kooskia, then turned east and northeast to cross the Bitteroot Mountains to Missoula. Highway 12 through the mountains follows the Lochsa River towards its headwaters near Lolo Pass. This is historic territory, being first explored by Lewis and Clark on their famous expedition across the continent in 1804-1806. The road climbs gently at first, alongside the river, but later leaves the river and climbs more steeply to Lolo Pass. The pass is at 1,595 m or 5,233 feet and is often blocked by snow in Winter. In early May when we drove through, the pass was still snow-bound, with the road kept open by snow ploughs. We then dropped steeply down the eastern side into Montana and the city of Missoula, where we stayed the night.

The Lochsa River just above the junction with the Clearwater River, along Highway 12.
Heading into the Bitterroot Mountains
As we climbed the river became shallower with more rapids
Eventually we climbed above the river and headed for Lolo Pass.
Entrance to Lochsa Lodge
Idaho State Law requires chains when lights flashing
Nearly at the top
There is still plenty of snow around in early May
The scale measures the depth of snow in feet...
And the white crosses measure the lives lost because of the snow.
Heading downhill into Montana
Watch for wildlife.
Lolo Hot Springs
The final stretch downhill towards Missoula.

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Last updated: 23/01/2017