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Pedal miles of scenic roads, paved bike trails, pristine scenery and endless vistas. This is cycling paradise! Bring your passport: since this trip follows the International Selkirk Loop, you'll pedal from northern Washington State into southern British Columbia, Canada. Ride beside rivers and lakes and mountains: spectacular Lake Coeur d'Alene; Priest Lake and Lake Pend Oreille, tucked deep in the mountains of Idaho's panhandle; the Bitterroot, Selkirk and Cabinet mountain ranges. Breathe deep, ride hard and soak up day after day of glorious views.
Pedal beside the Cusick River and the million-acre Colville National Forest, home to the last remaining herd of caribou in the U.S.
The Selkirk Mountains range - pardon the pun - into eastern Washington, northern Idaho and southeastern British Columbia. Today: Ride 50 scenic miles beside the Cusick River as it winds through Colville National Forest, a million-acre-plus legacy from Theodore Roosevelt's presidency. This ride is one of the Top 10 Scenic Routes in the Northern Rockies. Stop now and then for a handful of wild huckleberries while you count the bald eagles and savor the amazing views.
Ride into Rossland, British Columbia, 'Mountain Bike Capital of Canada.' It's also home turf to Red Mountain Resort and several Olympic gold medalists.
Ride a challenging, hilly 60-ish miles north and across the Canadian border today. Just across the border sits tiny Rossland. Thousands of skiers and snowboarders descend on its Red Mountain Resort each winter - some with names you'll recognize: Dallas Drake, retired NHL Hockey player; Kerrin Lee-Gartner, downhill skier and Nancy Greene, downhill skier and Olympic Gold medalist. Summer finds it full of wildflowers, expansive views and a giant network of technical high alpine singletrack revered by mountain bikers.
Pedal along the border today to Nelson, British Columbia, beloved by draft-dodgers for epic rock-climbing and expansive views of the Kootenay Mountain Range.
Ride 60+ miles today, from Rossland along the southern British Columbia border into the artsy cultural centre of Nelson. Once a silver mining town, then a logging town, Nelson became a haven for well-educated draft-dodgers who were willing to put down roots. Top that off with an extensive network of mountain-bike trails, rock-climbing and bouldering hotspots, and you've got a smart, hip and very fit population. Plus a great brewery.
Hop a ferry. Back on land, ride to Creston, BC via Kootenay Lake = 65 miles of spectacular.
This morning, hop aboard a ferry to sail from Nelson to Creston across Kootenay Lake, tucked between the Selkirk and Purcell mountain ranges. It's one of the largest lakes in the province, home to largemouth bass, Dolly Varden trout and Kokanee salmon. There were no paved roads into this spectacular region until the mid-1960s. Watch for the Boswell Glass House - built entirely of bottles! - and spectacular views of the Kokanee Glacier. This afternoon, shuttle back across the border to Sand Point, Idaho.
Explore Sandpoint, Idaho. USA Today named it the nation's "Most Beautiful Small Town."
Surrounded by the Selkirk, Cabinet and Bitterroot ranges, Sandpoint is home to Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort, Idaho's second largest after Sun Valley. Ride, hike, golf, fish, go rock climbing: take your pick from a bevy of options today.
Ride south: quiet, scenic roads lead to the beautiful resort town of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Sixty-five miles of scenic side roads wind south to the idyllic resort town of Coeur d’Alene. Early French-speaking fur traders called the local peoples the Coeur d'Alene (translation: "awl heart," meaning 'sharp-hearted' or 'shrewd'). Twenty-five-mile long Coeur d'Alene Lake is one of the most spectacular places in the Idaho Panhandle. It's the perfect place to watch tonight's sunset.
Ride the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes before heading back to Spokane for your homeward flight.
The Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes bike path follows the Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way along the shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene into the Chain Lakes region and the historic Silver Valley. You won't have time to ride the whole 73-mile stretch today but the out-and-back is still a perfect finale. And it gives you a reason to come back.
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.