Day 13 Fort Fizzle

This morning we left late due to eating breakfast at the Lochsa Lodge. We were in the Pacific Time Zone so breakfast at 7 am was really 8 am just a short distance away. After breakfast we climbed about 12 miles up and over Lolo Pass (~5,100 feet). Welcome to Montana!

The Montana welcome sign was covered with stickers. The welcome to Idaho sign on the other side of the road was clean. Not sure what this means.

Coming down off the pass was 18 miles of downhill fun. Louis and Clark camped in this same valley back in September, 1805. Now there are cattle in the valley with the brand O/Z.

And bee hives (shout out to Dave Pangrac). This was one of two grouping that we saw.

And signs about moose crossing the highway.

We waited several minutes but not one moose crossed the road. Disappointing.

At today’s halfway mark we entered the town of Lolo, Montana and turned south into the Bitterroot Valley. Once again we entered the civilized world. Gas stations, stores, restaurants and lots of car traffic on a busy four lane highway. The good news is that we had a dedicated bike path for the remainder of the day. The bad news is that most of it looked like this:

The view to the west was much nicer:

Tonight we are in Hamilton, Montana. If you need a totem pole for your front yard you can get one here.


  • Lolo, Idaho to Hamilton, Montana
  • Distance: 81.8 miles (132 km)
  • Climbing: 2784 feet (849 m)
  • Temperature: 45 – 76°F (7 – 24°C)


Big Sky Beetle Works (Museum Quality Skull & Bone Cleaning)
Bitterroot Breakfast Bus has in-bus dining. Better than a food truck!

Fort Fizzle was a temporary military blockade erected in 1877. It consisted of a bunch of ditches and timbers that were supposed to stop the Nez Perce as they came down over Lolo Pass. The Nez Perce simply went around the blockade and the locals then called it Fort Fizzle.

For Jim Zahler‘s information, the Naz Perce were camped at the Lolo Hot Springs. Unfortunately we did not go to the hot springs.

One thought on “Day 13 Fort Fizzle

  1. Liked the bee hives. I see they were protected from bears by barbed wire.

    Fort Fizzle—Liked the story on its naming.

    Keep on treking.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: