Selkirk Loop

The Selkirk Loop Bicycle Ride 02-06JUNE2011
Russ A. and I had been planning this loop for quite a while. We had other loops in mind, such as going to Glacier National Park, but realized that the snow conditions were not permissive of a ride anywhere we wished. There is a website that promotes this loop (, so we decided that this would be a perfect choice. We drove to the start of the loop in Newport, Washington in driving rain, hoping that the weather would clear. We stayed in a cheap motel and took off the next morning. Here is a map of the loop, and then our Garmin statistics…
03JUNE – Newport, WA to Bonners Ferry, Idaho, riding time 4:21, 101 km, 295 m ascent, 3755 calories – mostly cloudy weather, no rain; stayed in a hotel in Bonners Ferry
04JUNE- Bonners Ferry to Gray Creek, B.C., riding time 6:29, 125.5 km, 949 m ascent, 4872 calories – perfect weather, stayed in our tent at an RV park at Gray Creek, on Lake Kootenay
05JUNE- Gray Creek to Salmo, B.C., riding time 4:56, 88.54 km, 848 m ascent, 4098 calories  – again, perfect weather. Hard climb noted out of Nelson.
06JUNE- Salmo, B.C., to Newport, WA, riding time 7:33, 147 km, 623 m ascent, 5864 calories, we took the LeClerc Road variant, which was very flat, along the Pend Oreille River. The weather was perfect, but we drove back to Tacoma that evening, noting a very hard rain on the drive from Newport to Spokane, WA.
Total stats: 23:19 hours riding time, 462 km (287 miles), 2715 meters elevation gain (8907 ft), 18,689 calories burned off. We essentially accomplished the loop we wished, though it took us a little less time than anticipated. The only significant plan alteration was that we hoped to go to Kaslo and New Denver on the extended upper loop, but the weather did not look like it was going to stay perfect long enough for us to enjoy an entirely dry trip, and thus gave reason for doing the standard Selkirk Loop rather than a variant. Besides, we needed an excuse to return. Also, Russ had an injury to his thigh on the second day of riding, which suggested that it be best that we not push matters too hard.
In all, it was a delightful ride, and I had a wonderful time with Russ, and am already planning our next touring trip. It would be helpful if we knew what to expect in towns, and maps like the Adventure Cycle Association would be nice to have for all towns. Some towns on the map were essentially ghost towns, others had stores and motels and other provisions, and it was impossible to know what to expect along the route. This made it harder to plan for stops. Here are some photos of the trip…
Russ with the Selkirks in the background
Me on my loaded Co-Motion bicycle
Lake Kooteney in British Columbia
Lake Kooteney scene
The Glass House – built out of embalmers bottles
Lake Kooteney
On the Ferry crossing Lake Kooteney
West Arm of Lake Kooteney looking at the town of Nelson
Our hotel in Salmo, B.C.
Russ humping up a long steep hill out of Salmo
Russ and I in Metaline Falls
Last day – along the Pend D’Oreille River
So, we’re back. Tired, but, it was a wonderful trip.