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Missoula, MT to Spearfish, SD (I-90 and US-212)


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I am thinking that you mean Missoula, MT? I have never been over the US12 route but am pretty sure that it would be more mountainous than I-90 which I have traveled several times. I-90 does have some mountains, but being an interstate it should be no serious problem.

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Hey John,


My wife and I have taken this route a few times, so allow me to share our experiences! From Missoula to Butte should be fairly easy, nice and rolling through some very scenic valleys. Butte pass is quite an incline. My only frame of reference for how a motorhome would do on the pass is that the semi's are usually going 35mph up the pass. It's a fairly winding pass but it's two lane, and not too tight.


From there you'll have easy driving again until Bozeman. Just east of Bozeman is another pass, but compared to the Butte pass, it's real nice. The only thing I would advise is watch out for high winds halfway through the pass and near Livingston. Again, not trying to scare you, just letting you know what to expect.


From there to Billings is nice and easy.


Here's where I would suggest an alternate route. 212 is a fairly winding, and narrow at times road, that offers little to no services over the whole stretch. I personally would stay on I-90 through Wyoming.


Safe travels!

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Coming from the West, US-212 starts at the Northeast Entrance to Yellowstone National Park. To get to this section of US-212 from Missoula, you would have to enter Yellowstone either through the West or North entrance and exit at the Northeast entrance.


Between Cook City and Red Lodge, MT it is known as the Beartooth Highway. It goes over Beartooth pass at 10,000+ and has grades of up to 8% and has lots of 15, 20, & 25 MPH turns. From Red Lodge it is a relatively mild drive to where it meets I-90 in Laurel, MT. It then runs with I-90 to the Crow Agency and Garyowen near the Little Bighorn Battlefield. From there US-212 leaves I-90 and goes East through the high plains of Montana. I have not driven all of it, but I do not think there is any real mountain driving on the section through Eastern Montana, a small corner of Wyoming and South Dakota.

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I can comment on the section of 212 from Belle Fourche, SD to its intersection with I-90 near the Little Bighorn Battlefield (Crow Agency, Mt). When I had a summer home near Sturgis, I used 212 frequently to get into this part of Mt.. 212 is a good 2 lane road and was no problem for either my motorhome & toad, or my HDT pulling a 39 ft Teton. It goes up & down between 3,000 - 4,000 ft elevations but no real steep sections. It is a remote, lightly used road with little services, But at just over 200 miles distance and plenty of services at both ends, it was never an issue. Staying on I-90 the whole way is an alternate, it takes about the same 3.5 hrs to cover that section on either I-90 or 212, but I always preferred to avoid the interstate where possible.

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