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Spiral Highway, Lewiston Idaho


Seeria

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We're driving a 30' class C type (26k lb) RV.

We'll be heading north over Lewiston Hill and later this summer we'll head south. Can anyone tell me what it is like to drive the Spiral Highway in a vehicle like ours?
Slow climbs and even slower descents are preferred. Also, are there any runaway ramps on the Spiral? I see the 95 has several.

Should we even attempt it, uphill or down? Would 95 be safer?

Suggestions welcomed!

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If it's Lewiston Hill you're asking about it is on US95 just north Of Lewiston, ID. According the the 'Mountain Directory for Truckers and RVers' - a must buy by the way, there is very little descent on the north side of this hill.

 

For southbounders the speed limit for 'trucks' is 35mph. The downhill grade is a steady 7% for 6 miles. There are 3 runaway truck ramps. They are 3,4-3/4, and 5-1/4 miles down from the summit. The grade continues all the way down into Lewiston with 45 mph curves the last 4 miles.

 

We've driven this multiple times with our 40' motorhome and had no issues. Traffic goes slow and it's over before you realize. :) Get into low gear at the top - not during the descent. Use your gears not the brakes as much as possible.

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If it's Lewiston Hill you're asking about it is on US95 just north Of Lewiston, ID.

 

 

No, the "Spiral Highway" is the old Lewiston Highway, not US-95. Here's a video taken by a motorcycle rider of the trip down this road:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTSqKTaPvPc

 

It appears to be a good two-lane road...just make sure you know how to descend a steep grade and use your transmission to slow you down, not your brakes. It's my understanding that the commercial truckers liked this road better than the current US-95 because they didn't build up the speeds they can on the newer highway. It's not a road I would want to take because there are too many sections where the road runs right next to the drop-off without any guard rails (or such puny ones, they wouldn't stop a car from going through, let alone an RV!).

 

DH tells a sad tale of a driver for Stack Steel who was carrying a load of tube (and/or pipe) down the new US-95 alignment during the winter. He lost his brakes and had to use one of the emergency ramps. Trouble was, it was frozen solid and he sailed off the end of it (one of the ones that goes uphill) and the load came crashing through the back window of his cab. Needless to say, he didn't survive.

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