We are going to be traveling across Montana on our way to Minnesota. We have to stop in Helenabut wondered which would be the best road to go east with a 40?motorhome towing a Jeep. Specifically how is hwy 12 from Helena to Billings.
From Helena to Billings you have have the choices right. Hwy 12 is 2 lane almost all of the way and unless it has been upgraded there are areas with small shoulders but very passable in a 40' MH. You will have to be careful in curves to be sure you stay on your side of the road. This is common problem in MT so if you take 12 be careful. the alternative of I-90 is interesting in that you should leave Helena on US 12 to Townsend and then continue to Three Forks and I -90 on MT 287 which is also 2 lanes. The last time we were on it there was construction improving the road significantly. Since that was years ago, it should now be very good. I-90 is good and from Three Forks there is only one mountain pass, just east of Bozeman and one long grade just west of Columbus.
If you go through Three Forks, there is a great bakery and deli just before you get to I-90. Great baked goods, soups and sandwiches. We always stopped there either to eat or pick up food for later. In town there is the best root beer stand, Custer's Last Root Beer Stand, that is worth a stop but there was no parking for the MH, only cars. :-(
The previous information is correct. We live in Montana and travel Billings to Helena a couple times a year. I generally take the Interstate from Townsend to Billings unless I'm up for a scenic drive, but the weather has to be perfect for me to take the two lane. There is no cell service for many many miles. Welcome to Montana. And definitely don't miss Wheat Montana. The parking lot is always full but they move through everyone very quickly.
Thanks for all the information and suggestions! Unfortunately we had some trouble with our new motorhome and had to turn back to Oregon for repairs. I would have liked to report on our progress, but it won?t be this trip. Again thank you for all the responses.
highway 12 from Garrison to Helena was a narrow 2 lane road over a mountain pass and is challenging to people not familiar with Montana roads and mountain driving in particular. it is not bad just demanding. We have driven it in both a gas and diesel powered MH but it is low and requires the drivers attention. Many, many years ago, I worked for the railroad in that area and it is a beautiful drive.
We mostly used hwy 2 or interstate 90 going through Montana but do know that there is a bridge out on hwy 12 in Garrison that you would have to detour around. Sorry couldn?t help more.