A Weekend in Alpine
Utah is a great jumping-off point for some spectacular riding just across the border. In an effort to escape the heat, some friends and I decided to take a three-day weekend and head north to Alpine. While I love day trips, in my mind there’s nothing better than spending a few days on the road with nothing to do but see the sights from the seat of my Road King.
Our six bikes left about noon on the 24th and headed north. I’m not a big fan of the Interstate, but there’s really no way around it leaving the Salt Lake Valley. We jumped off I-15 at Utah Hwy 30 at Riverside and headed east toward Logan via the back way. After a quick lunch in Smithfield, we pointed the bikes north and headed to Soda Springs on Hwy 34.
The plan was to follow 34 past Blackfoot Reservoir through the mountain pass past Tincup Mountain into Etna and finish up in Alpine where we would stay the night. The rainclouds looked pretty ominous where we were headed, so we geared up for the rain and spent the next few miles on my favorite part of the day’s ride. The road was wet, but the scenery was beautiful as we weaved our way through the beautiful mountain pass. I don’t know anyone who really likes to ride in the rain, but I can’t think of the last tour I was on where we didn’t face at least one cloudburst—today was no exception as it went from light rain to the fire hose as we pulled into the Nordic Inn, our basecamp for the next couple of nights.
The Nordic Inn is a favorite stop for our group whenever we’re in this part of the country. Although the inn has been around for many years, the rooms look and feel new. The staff is friendly, the food is great, and BSing under the gazebo after dinner is always one of the highlights of a trip through this part of Wyoming. With our bikes safely under the trees, we enjoyed a good nights sleep before our scheduled 8:00 am departure the next morning.
After a quick breakfast at the Yankee Doodle, we jumped on U.S. Hwy 26 for a beautiful morning ride along the Snake River into Jackson. After the obligatory stop at the Harley Store, we spent the rest of the morning walking around Jackson while the girls did a little shopping and visited the Farmer’s Market.
Around noon we headed back toward the junction with Hwy 22 and the climb over Teton Pass for a beautiful ride the long way back to Alpine. The pass is pretty steep and the campers and motorhomes can get in the way, but it’s a beautiful ride into Victor where we stopped for lunch at the Brakeman. I think it deserves the 4-1/2 stars it gets on Yelp!, at least my steak sandwich was one of the best I’ve ever had.
Leaving Victor, we spent the next couple of hours weaving our way through another beautiful mountain pass to Swan Valley to meet up again with the Snake River on Hwy 31. At Swan Valley we hung a left onto Hwy 26 to follow the Snake River past Palisades Reservoir back into Wyoming and our basecamp at the Nordic Inn.
I was pretty bushed after dinner and decided to call it an early night. I slept like a baby and was ready to go as we sat around the breakfast table the next morning before we headed south and home.
We followed Hwy 89 through Star Valley into Montpellier, ID and the west side of Bear Lake, stopping for a famous raspberry shake in Garden City. We left 89 and picked up Hwy 30 around the south end of the lake headed toward Randolf, Ut and the junction with 39 at Woodruff. Riding over the pass to Monte Cristo and into Ogden Valley is always a beautiful ride, but dropping into the valley we could feel the temperatures starting to rise as it became obvious we were getting closer to home. It had to be 20 or 30 degrees hotter than when we left Alpine which felt like just a few, short, hours ago.
An uneventful ride over Trappers Loop into Weber Canyon and the rest of the way home had us unloading the bikes about an hour later. Like most road trips, about an hour after we get home I’m ready for the next one.
Where did you ride this weekend?