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Winner of a National Geographic Adventures '50 Tours of a Lifetime' Award! From Seattle, Washington to East Glacier National Park, Montana, this Epic trip combines portions of three of our favorite tours - the Washington Epic, Idaho's Selkirk Loop and a chunk of the Glacier National Park tours – spinning through three states and finishing with a one-of-a-kind train ride. Take on the Cascade, Selkirk and even the Rocky Mountain ranges as you spin through this 700-mile, 10-day extravaganza. On arrival in Whitefish, Montana, hop aboard Amtrak's Empire Builder train, with private sleeping cars - and head right on back to Seattle.
National Parks on This Tour: Glacier National Park
*Please note: sleeping car is purchased at the time of reservation, so for this tour there is an additional $100 train fee if you transfer or cancel at any time.
Meet in Seattle. Ride from Snohomish to Arlington to Marblemount, on the fringe of the Cascade Range.
Meet us in Seattle (or at Bicycle Adventures' World Headquarters). We'll skip the traffic and shuttle north to a bakery in Snohomish, then bicycle the Mountain Loop through northern Washington to tiny Marblemount at the base of the Cascade Mountains.
Up and over the Cascades.
Today's ride features 5,000 feet of climbing, over gorgeous Washington Pass and into Washington's Wild West - the Mazama / Winthrop area. You'll do a 50-mile gradual climb on the North Cascades Scenic Loop and cruise through Ross Lake National Recreation Area. Finish off with a 25-mile descent into Mazama.
Ride into the heartland - from Mazama to Omak, through the oldest wildlife area in Washington State.
Today's route has about half the elevation gain - 2,500 feet - and lands in Omak, nestled just below the Canadian border on the Okanagan River. From Mazama, ride through part of the Okanagan National Forest and skirt the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area, a nearly 19,000-acre park that was originally a mule deer preserve. Cedar and fir give way to scattered pine, sagebrush and wide open prairie.
Omak, Washington to Colville: 4,000 feet of climbing
As you head toward the Selkirks, you'll begin to leave the prairie behind and pedal up into stands of Ponderosa pine and aspen. Watch for white-tailed deer, moose and blue grouse! Today's route winds through the Sherman Creek Wildlife Area and across Lake Roosevelt, formed by the Grand Coulee Dam. Ride through Kettle Falls, a former rendezvous point and fishing grounds for the Yakama, Nez Perce, Flathead and Blackfeet tribes (to name a few), whose seasonal salmon catches would net up to 3,000 fish per day! Spend tonight in Colville, a one-time trading center for the Upper Columbia region.
Ride from Colville to gorgeous Sand Point, Idaho, on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille
Today's ride - all 100+ miles of it - takes you to a well-earned 2-night stay on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, the second largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi.
Stay put in Sand Point: ride, hike, fly-fish, golf, go rock-climbing…you get the idea.
...or take a 10-mile ride (climb) up to Schweitzer Ski Resort, Idaho's second largest. Surrounded by the Selkirk, Cabinet and Bitterroot ranges, Sandpoint is a fun-loving mountain town hugging the shores of sparkling Lake Pend Oreille. Ride, hike, play golf, go fly-fishing or rock-climbing -
take your pick.
Back on the road - 98 miles across the panhandle to Libby, Montana.
You are back on the road today ¨C crossing the panhandle of Idaho en route to the historic mining and timber town of Libby, Montana. Mountains and rivers and forests abound!
Libby to Whitefish, Montana, gateway to Glacier National Park.
Cycle 50 miles of shoreline along Lake Koocanusa (can you figure out how it got its name?) to Eureka. Shuttle on to Whitefish, Montana, the gateway to world famous Glacier National Park!
East Glacier National Park: Going-to-the-Sun Road is the perfect finale ride. And oh, yeah, you've got a train to catch.
Today, ride 70 miles over the Continental Divide - the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road, Logan Pass - into East Glacier. If you haven't ridden Logan Pass, highest point in Glacier National Park, you're in for a treat. From its beginnings at Lake McDonald, the road gently climbs higher and higher as the views unfold: alpine meadows and lakes, peaks skirted by fields of wildflowers and washed by waterfalls, the occasional bighorn sheep or mountain goat. Utterly spectacular. You've got a 6:00 pm train to catch, though, so sorry...no dawdling!
Wake up on the train. Watch the scenery spin past as you head back to Seattle. We'll miss you!
Having caught the train yesterday, you'll have spent the evening in the dining car, reminiscing and relaxing, before retiring to your private sleeper car. Wake up in the morning, have breakfast (still on the train) and arrive in Seattle at about 10:30 am for your return trip home.
As an optional extra, a person traveling solo on any inn-to-inn trip may reserve a room for his or her exclusive use. This will guarantee you a private room and private bath every night. Unlike other tour companies, if you're willing to share a room, there is no extra charge for coming solo, no matter when you sign up for the tour - even if you wind up with a private room by default.