Our tour begins in Spokane, Washington, where we meet our guides and cycling companions outside our host hotel near the Spokane International Airport. We take a short van ride to the Nine Mile Falls trailhead on the Spokane River. Our first bike ride heads back through Spokane on the Spokane River Centennial Trail, a 40-mile multi-use recreational trail that follows the river through Riverfront Park past Spokane Falls and the world?s largest Radio Flyer wagon. The trail eventually brings us to the Washington-Idaho border. We ride on the trail directly to our overnight hotel in the town of Spokane Valley. Lunch and dinner included.
Cycling: 30 miles (3?4 hours, paved trail), Elevation gain/loss: +1,576? / -1,215'; Van transfer: 45 mins
After a hearty breakfast, we jump back on the Spokane River Centennial Trail, heading east for 9 miles to the Washington-Idaho state border. There we pick up the Northern Idaho Centennial Trail and pedal on to Post Falls and Coeur d?Alene. This lakeside town was named for the Native American people who first inhabited these lands, the Coeur d?Alene Tribe?known as the Schitsu'umsh in their own ancient language. The trail passes through town to Higgins Point, where we reach Wolf Lodge Bay on beautiful Lake Coeur d?Alene. From here you can choose to take a very short van ride to tonight?s hotel or double-back and pedal the 7 miles to get there by trail. All meals included.
Cycling: 32 miles (3?4 hours, paved trail), Elevation gain/loss: +1,047? / -804'
The day starts with breakfast at our hotel before we pack up and transfer 40 minutes to Plummer, Idaho, the endpoint of the Trail of the Coeur D'Alenes. This 73-mile section of the Union Pacific Railroad is a Rail-to-Trail Conservancy Hall of Fame cycling route. We begin in the Palouse prairie and drop down into the lakes region near Lake Coeur d?Alene, where we have the chance to spot moose, elk, otter and bald eagles. In the morning, we cross the impressive Chatcolet Bridge, a 3,100? former railroad swing bridge, as we make our way into Harrison for a lakeside, guide-prepared lunch. As we leave the lakes region, making our way toward the Silver Valley, we stop by the oldest building in Idaho?the Cataldo Mission. Our guides load the bikes into the van as we visit the mission and its nearby visitor center. A short van ride then brings us to our home for the next two nights in Kellogg, Idaho. All meals included.
Cycling: 47 miles (5?6 hours, paved trail), Elevation gain/loss: +593? / -1,160'; Van transfer: 1 hour
Today we?re back on the Trail of the Coeur d?Alenes, where an easy-grade uphill pedal leads us towards historic Wallace, Idaho. Founded in 1884, the entire town is on the National Historic Registry and it maintains the aura of days gone by as a prosperous silver mining town. We tour a silver mine to gain a sense of the area?s historic character. Wallace is also home to the Wallace Brewery Company and North Idaho Mountain Brew?welcome stops at the end of a day of cycling. At the end of our ride, we have the option to take a short van ride back to our Kellogg hotel to check out the town, or to bike the 10 miles back to Kellogg (downhill the whole way). All meals included.
Cycling: 28 miles (3?4 hours, paved trail), Elevation gain/loss: +887? / -301'; Van transfer: 35 mins
Our final day of cycling begins with a short transfer to the trailhead for the Route of the Hiawatha trail, the pinnacle of our journey together. This 15-mile rail-trail is the second Rail-to-Trail Conservancy Hall of Fame route on this tour. Built between 1907 and 1909, this was an active railroad line until 1980, and converted to a recreational trail in 1998. We enjoy a gentle downhill ride through the famous Taft Tunnel (1.6 miles long) and along a crushed gravel trail that passes through 9 tunnels and over 7 trestle bridges?one more than 200 feet high! Although the mileage is low, the views will invite you to pause on numerous occasions to snap an inspirational photo at one of the many stunning vistas in the Rocky Mountain Northwest. With our breathtaking route complete, we enjoy lunch together at the trailhead before loading up the van and heading back to Spokane where we say our goodbyes. Breakfast and lunch included.
Cycling: 15 miles (2?3 hours, crushed gravel trail), Elevation gain/loss: +2,330? / -3,324'; Van transfer: 2.5 hours