Eureka, Montana & US 93

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US 93 is quite scenic near its northern end, at the Canadian border, but as you head south, it plunges into endless trees. Then, you’ll face traffic as you approach Whitefish, Montana. While the route is not necessarily a “scenic” route, it’s not ugly either — but most importantly, it gets you where you need to go, since there aren’t many alternatives in this area. The town of Eureka provides a worthwhile stop.

My Visit

I ended up on US 93 as part of a longer-than-necessary scenic detour from Libby, Montana. My destination was the west side of Glacier National Park, and US 2 would have provided the most direct route, but I decided instead to drive up Montana 37 along the shoreline of Lake Koocanusa.

At the northern end of MT 37, I reached US 93, just a few miles south of the Canadian border.  That long line of mountains in the distance is pretty impressive, and they get even bigger as you look towards Canada.  But, I needed to go in the other direction, so I turned south.

Moments later, I was driving through Eureka, Montana.  Eureka was founded in the early 1880’s.

The town is just a few blocks long, but it’s worth a leg-stretching few minutes of exploration.

Eureka, and this part of US 93, is in the Tobacco Valley.  In addition to tobacco, the area also produced a lot of Christmas Trees, shipped around the country, for many years.

Speaking of trees…

… once you leave Eureka, you’re going to see a whole lot of them.  There are occasions where a mountain peak peeks over the trees, giving you a nice view along US 93.  But, for the most part, you’ll be driving along a two-lane road for the next hour, with a wall of green on either side, and not a lot else to look at (aside from the line of cars in front of you — traffic is heavy and passing is difficult).

US 93 reaches civilization again at Whitefish — a town that looked very nice and inviting.  But, I was determined to make it over to Glacier for the afternoon, so I drove though without stopping (this picture comes from the Drivelapse camera on my dashboard — for a better idea of the entire drive, watch the video below).

 

The Bottom Line

My experience on US 93 left me with the impression that it’s not especially scenic, but it is tedious to drive, thanks to heavy traffic and limited passing zones.  The drive up Montana 37 is quite nice, though.  So if you’re following my path, an hour on US 93 will be a necessity.

Location

US 93 in Montana runs north-south, from the Canadian border to the Idaho border. On this page, we’ll talk about the northern portion of US 93, from the Canadian border to Whitefish, Montana, which runs somewhat diagonally in a northwest-to-southeast direction.

Drivelapse Video

Check out this time-lapse, dash-cam video of the drive south on US 93 from Eureka to Whitefish, then over to Columbia Falls:

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