Lolo Pass, Idaho & Montana

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Lolo Pass


Take a short side trip west from Missoula and drive over Lolo Pass, situated in the Bitterroot Range and the highest point on the Lolo Trail, once traversed by Lewis and Clark.

  • Lolo Pass sits at 5,233 feet in the Bitterroot Range, on US-12 between Montana and Idaho. 
  • Enjoy views of gorgeous meadows, mountain peaks, and forested hills.
  • Explore the Lolo Pass Visitor Center. 
  • In winter, ski, snowshoe and snowmobile at Lolo Pass. 
  • Enjoy year-round recreation in Lolo and Clearwater National Forests. 

Overview

Lolo Pass is the summit of Lolo Trail, once used by the Nez Perce and crossed by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The pass sits at 5, 233 feet along US Hwy 12, on the border between Montana and Idaho, in the Bitterroot Range.

Driving Directions

If traveling from Missoula, drive 10 miles west on US-12 before turning right onto US-12 W/Lolo Creek Road and traverse Lolo NF as you ascend towards the summit. Lolo Pass is located 32.5 miles down Lolo Creek Road.

If traveling from the junction of ID-13 and US-12, near Kooskia, ID, head east on US-12 for roughly 100 miles before reaching the pass.

Time/Distance

The drive from Missoula to Lolo Pass is 45 miles and takes roughly 50 minutes. For those who have more time, continue up and over the pass, crossing into Idaho through Clearwater National Forest. Driving time from Missoula to Kooskia is 2.5 hours one-way.

Highlights

  • Drive past lush alpine meadows and evergreen-covered hills.
  • Visit the Lolo Pass Visitor Center and Rest Area and view interpretive displays highlighting the area’s history including the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Nez Perce War, and geologic formations.
  • During summer, stroll through Packer Meadows and snap photos of the vistas and wildflowers.
  • Dive into frontier history when you further explore the Historic Lolo Trail Corridor.
  • Enjoy year-round recreational activities in Clearwater and Lolo National Forests.
  • During winter, Lolo Pass is a popular area for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

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Other Resources
  • Friends of Lolo Peak
    Friends of Lolo Peak is dedicated to preserving and protecting the public use land around Lolo Peak in Montana.