Looking for suggestions between Bozeman and Seattle a/o Portland

Our scheduled install is for July 5, 2021 - a very busy time with the holiday and summer after isolation! Would’ve loved to spend time in Grand Tetons and/or Glacier, but they will be PACKED. Even the off-road 4x4 hidden gems I’m told are crowded around Grand Tetons. So I am looking for recommendations of places to see/camp between Bozeman and Seattle or Portland. Even scenic driving routes would be helpful. Again, trying to avoid some of the crowds.


how much time do you have?

We have some flexibility, but would like to keep it within 3 days between Bozeman and Seattle or Portland. The actual journey starts and ends in northern California which adds to the trip, but we want to see friends in both Portland and Seattle.

that really does not give you a lot of time but biggest bang for your buck is beat feet for Missoula then to Lolo turn up Highway 12 and head to Idaho and take the Lolo Motorway to Pierce Idaho. around 100 miles of dirt and you will see very few people and great camp spots along the way. Google Lolo Motorway. then on to Lewiston and whichever way after that.


Helpful, thanks! We already made reservations in Missoula the night prior to install, so good to see it has a recommendation.

Could also go a bit more south and cut across the magruder corridor if you are looking to do some dirt. Also, you want a bit more exciting drive you can loop Pinyon Peak north of Stanley, and also Railroad Ridge east of Stanley is a cool out and back.


Railroad Ridge


Wow that’s gorgeous - but that ledge, gulp!

Copper King CC. Fish Thompson River. After Missoula take a right at St. Regis and head towards Thompson Falls. Camp at Copper King. Continue over Thompson Pass into Idaho. Stop in Murry Idaho at the bar for a burger. Then back to I-90 along the Coeur D’Alene River. Pert nice!



better yet take left just past St Regis on the little joe road along the St Joe river past Avery Idaho and at St Marys take the white pine highway… I do love the Thompson Pass drive tho to.

It’s all really starting to sound pretty good - love the recommendations!

Big Sky will be packed on the 4th, for better or worse. :upside_down_face:

Yep, but that’s our install.

what kind of vehicle are you going to be driving? If you are experienced and your rig is capable I could recommend some cool stuff and if you want to take a few extra days some really cool stuff.


That’s really beautiful! Ford Raptor is the rig and have some 4x4 experience (but we usually take the Jeep TJ out for those). As our plans develop, we need to be in Seattle by the 8th. Not sure if that’s enough time, but please post anyway - there are sure to be others coming from the West Coast that would appreciate your recommendations!

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A quick heads up from Coeur d’Alene; like everywhere, it is packed around the lake this year. All the suggestions so far are tremendous but plan on having limited camping availability once you get closer to CDA.

Trails are busy, and most established campsites are full. I would recommend an app like OnX Off-road to help find “off the beaten path” options if it comes to it.

I am from Montana; I spent the last 15+ years in Bozeman, having grown up in the Bitterroot Valley south of Missoula. We recently moved to Idaho in 2017, and I honestly have never seen this many people out in the woods.

Not trying to put a hamper on your trip, just a friendly warning to have a contingency if things are packed.



Super helpful! I’m trying to put my trip together and having a tough time finding open campspots (reservation). I’ll have to try out that app because now that we’ll have the camper, we don’t need a campsite. Question - does anyone know where we can legally overland? We just need to find a great road and pull to the side, right? That’s the beauty of this system. I’m still routing through Missoula, would like to check out Thompson Falls (overnight) as recommended, maybe just drive by crowded Cour dÁlene, overnight somewhere in the Spokane area, and then stay with friends in Seattle (might appreciate a good shower by then). Still open to all the great recommendations!

Can’t stop looking at that picture - where is this?

If you make the right at St. Regis, check out Quinn’s Hot Springs. I haven’t been there in some time. Can’t remember if they have some camp spots. Nice hot springs, though, even if you just stop for a soak and a beer.

Pair-a-Dice bar in Paradise, MT is interesting…


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gold creek. you will be driving right on past it…exit 166 I90


I think you need reservations now just to soak at Quinns. It was guest only up until last week but still need reservation to soak. It has went high scale.