Glacier to the Great Plains Epic Tour
22 Day Epic Bike Trip
We begin this segment of the great Northern Tier cross-country route at Glacier National Park. You’ll quickly cycle over the famous Going to the Sun Road and then have a day to explore the park. Now on the far side of the continental divide, it will be downhill through the Great Plains to cross Montana and North Dakota to reach our destination of Fargo.
The tour still has space. Make your travel arrangements.
1100 miles with an average of 56 miles per day with 3 rest days. You’ll experience all types of terrain in all types of weather. Advanced cycling level. Moderate with an ebike and some shuttling.
21 nights lodging, all breakfasts, dinners, & snacks on cycling days, van support, mechanical support, celebratory dinner, maps, cue sheets and GPS cues, and trained guides.
$395 for Specialized women-specific road or hybrid bicycle. $595 for electric-assist ebike.
Fly into Glacier Park International Airport and out of Fargo, ND
DAY 1: Arrive in time for an introduction and dinner with our group of riders who have cycled from the west coast. Then there will be a tour orientation with our guides. 0 miles.
DAYS 2-21: The days will quickly fall into a comfortable rhythm. We'll start early with a light breakfast provided by our inn or the hotel. Then we'll pack our bike bags with snacks of raisins, nuts, energy bars and peanut butter sandwiches. We'll make sure we have an extra layer of clothing and a rain jacket with us. We leave on our own, usually between 8-9am and cycle at our own pace.
We follow the cue sheets that have been meticulously prepared for us, along with the expert Adventure Cycling maps and optional GPS directions. We each ride at our own pace, sometimes alone and sometimes in small groups and we stop where we want along the way.
About every twenty miles, we’ll meet our SAG vehicle. It holds water, snacks, tire repair tools and a first aid kit. Even if we don’t need anything, we’ll stop to chat and talk about the wonderful tailwind or the panoramic view. If we’re too tired to bike anymore, we’ll take a ride in the SAG vehicle to our hotel for the night. The SAG makes sure everyone is in safely at the end of the day.
Once at our hotel, we find our luggage, (delivered earlier by the WomanTours van and trailer,) check-in to our room, and meet our roommate. Most of our hotels are chains and most of us will be in double occupancy rooms. We rotate roommates every night, unless you’ve requested the single room upgrade. There’s time to shower before dinner and perhaps take a dip in the hotel pool.
If anyone has experienced bike problems during the day, we’ll use the time before dinner to work with the guide to fix it. If it’s a more complicated repair, the bike will go to a trained mechanic at a nearby bike shop.
- Going to the Sun Road
- Crossing the Continental Divide
- Glacier National Park
- Great Plains
- Milk, Red and Missouri Rivers
- Theodore Roosevelt National Park
- States of Montana and North Dakota
Then we eat dinner together, served buffet-style outside. Our traveling chef prepares hearty and healthy dishes from our trailer kitchen. While she will accommodate guests with specific allergies and provide a nonmeat protein source for vegetarians, she cannot adhere to everyone’s likes and dislikes. You'll need to be flexible. If you require a vegan or gluten-free diet, there is a fee of $150.
After dinner, the guide holds a map meeting to discuss the highlights of the day and to go over the details of the next day’s route. We'll celebrate when we cross into a new state.
We’ll have three layover days on this tour to give our bodies a chance to recover. This will also be the time to clean our bicycles, do laundry, and explore the local town. There is no cycling on these days and meals are on our own. We’ll spend the first layover day in Glacier National Park to give you time to explore the park. We'll celebrate the end of our adventure at dinner on our last evening together in Fargo. Average of 56 miles per day.
Day 22: After breakfast, we say our heartfelt good-byes and take the shuttle to the airport in Fargo, ND. 0 miles.
We limit the group size to 25 plus staff. You’re neither alone nor anonymous. We guarantee you’ll make some lifelong friends along the way.
REGISTRATION DETAILS: To sign up for this tour, we require a nonrefundable deposit of $300. The first payment of $2000 is due by January 1, 2020 and $1000 of that payment is nonrefundable and nontransferable. The balance of the tour price is due by April 1, 2020 and is nontransferable and nonrefundable.
TRIP INSURANCE: We will provide you with a source for trip cancellation/interruption insurance. We strongly recommend insurance, especially for a trip of this magnitude.
SAG VOLUNTEERS: We use 3 volunteers to drive a support SUV during this tour. Each driver works once every third day supporting the riders until the last rider finishes cycling for the day. She provides food, drinks, flat tire assistance and moral support, and becomes an integral part in the success of the tour. In return, each volunteer receives a discount of 40% off the full tour price. If you’re interested in a position, please email or call us.
TOUR DETAILS: Help on training, transportation, packing, and an itinerary will be sent upon receipt of your registration fee. We will also send you periodic Prep Talk newsletters to help you prepare for the trip. For more information, including references and links to blogs kept by past participants, contact us and we’d be happy to send you more details. Sign up today!
Glacier to the Great Plains Itinerary (tentative)
|Jul 2, 2020||Whitefish, MT||0|
|Jul 3, 2020||Lake McDonald, MT||41|
|Jul 4, 2020||Lake McDonald, MT||0|
|Jul 5, 2020||East Glacier, MT||70|
|Jul 6, 2020||Cut Bank, MT||48|
|Jul 7, 2020||Chester, MT||66|
|Jul 8, 2020||Havre, MT||60|
|Jul 9, 2020||Havre, MT||0|
|Jul 10, 2020||Malta, MT||92|
|Jul 11, 2020||Glasgow, MT||71|
|Jul 13, 2020||Culbertson, MT||57|
|Jul 14, 2020||Williston, ND||44|
|Jul 15, 2020||New Town, ND||76|
|Jul 16, 2020||Minot, ND||78|
|Jul 17, 2020||Minot, ND||0|
|Jul 18, 2020||Rugby, ND||68|
|Jul 19, 2020||Devils Lake, ND||82|
|Jul 20, 2020||Carrington, ND||50|
|Jul 21, 2020||Mayville, ND||108|
|Jul 22, 2020||Fargo, ND||64|
|Jul 23, 2020||Home||0|