U.S. Route 93 in Montana

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U.S. Highway 93

US 93 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by MDT
Length287.919 mi[1] (463.361 km)
Major junctions
South end US 93 at the Idaho state line at Lost Trail Pass
Major intersections
North end Hwy 93 at the British Columbia provincial border at Port of Roosville
CountryUnited States
CountiesRavalli, Missoula, Lake, Flathead, Lincoln
Highway system
US 91
US 93 Alt.

U.S. Highway 93 (US 93) is a north–south United States Numbered Highway in the state of Montana.

Route description

Montana State Line, US 93 at Lost Trail Pass

US 93 enters Montana from Idaho at Lost Trail Pass and travels north descending through the Bitterroot National Forest. The highway continues along the Lewis and Clark Trail into the Bitterroot Valley toward Missoula, passing through Darby and Hamilton. At Lolo, US 12 joins from the west and they run concurrently northeasterly for 7.5 miles (12.1 km), where US 93 heads due north on Reserve Street in Missoula. US 93 then joins I-90 and runs concurrently westward for 5.4 miles (8.7 km) to Wye, where it heads north.

The "Animals' Bridge" on the Flathead Indian Reservation is used by grizzly and black bears.[2]

From Wye, US 93 continues north through the Flathead Indian Reservation, where its signage includes the historic Salish and Kutenai names for towns, rivers, and streams.[3] Portions of this section run along the CSKT Bison Range. North of the reservation, US 93 traverses the western shore of Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River. North of the lake the highway runs through the cities of Kalispell and Whitefish, traveling through the Flathead National Forest and the Stillwater State Forest before reaching its terminus at the Canadian border near Eureka.

The portion north of Hamilton travels through one of the most densely populated areas in Montana. This section also serves as a popular north–south connection between Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park. As a result, the road tends to become more congested between Hamilton and Whitefish. A popular bumper sticker in Montana reads, "Pray for me, I drive Hwy 93!"[4]

Total US 93 mileage in Montana as of 2013 is 287.919 miles (463.361 km): 90.763 miles (146.069 km) from the Idaho line to Reserve Street in Missoula via corridor N-7 (C000007) (includes 7.524-mile (12.109 km) concurrency with US 12), 5.369 miles (8.641 km) via corridor N-92 (C000092) (Reserve Street), 5.384 miles (8.665 km) concurrent with I-90 and MT 200 (C000090), and 186.403 miles (299.987 km) from Wye to the Canadian border via corridor N-5 (C000005) (includes 27.215-mile (43.798 km) concurrency with MT 200).


The Lewis and Clark Expedition became the first white men to travel the future US 93 corridor between today's Lost Trail Pass and Lolo in 1805, and Lewis's detachment ventured further north to the future site of Missoula in 1806 on their way to explore the Marias River. When US 93 was established in 1926, the nature of the highway's construction in Montana's mixture of terrain around glacial lakes, through dense forests and over high mountains was a significant challenge given the construction techniques and equipment of the time. On completed sections, animal-vehicle accidents would prove to be a thorn in the side of traveler and engineer alike.

Many stretches have been widened and straightened, or else rerouted in ongoing efforts to improve traffic safety and preserve animals at the same time. Some of the old sections are still in use today, including the original gravel routing from Lost Trail Pass to Sula vía Gibbons Pass and Bitterroot-Bighorn Roads, and old paved sections from Darby to Hamilton, through Missoula via Brooks, Stephens, Orange and West Broadway Streets, through St. Ignatius, north of Ronan to north of Pablo, northeast of Elmo through Dayton, Political Hill Road south of Lakeside, Lakeside Boulevard north of Lakeside, Old US 93 S in Somers, Forest Hill Road north of Somers, and two sections between Whitefish and Eureka.

US 93 is now four-lanes from Hamilton to Evaro, through Arlee, north of Ronan to the south edge of Polson, and north of Somers to the south edge of Whitefish (except a six-block section near the county courthouse in Kalispell).

Significant animal conservation efforts[5] have also been accomplished in several areas of the corridor from Hamilton to Missoula, and from Missoula to Polson. In 1997, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation entered negotiations with the Montana Department of Transportation over improvements to the 56-mile section (90 km) through the reservation as the tribes were concerned that project would destroy wetlands, further fragment wildlife habitat, and kill more animals crossing the highway.[6] With concern for the nearby designated wilderness and grizzly bear habitat in the Mission Mountains, an agreement with the state and the Federal Highway Administration was reached in December 2000.[7] While the passing lanes, turning lanes, climbing lanes, and wider shoulders were intended to cut down on accidents, the project also included 41 fish and wildlife crossings with the most visible being “Animals’ Trail”, a 197-foot wide vegetated bridge (60 m).[8]

Kalispell Bypass

A new US 93 Alternate (US 93 Alt.) was built to bypass through traffic around downtown Kalispell, Montana, between 2010-2016.[9] Currently, US 93 through Kalispell is Main Street and Sunset Boulevard, a 25 to 45 mph (40 to 70 km/h) arterial. Three segments of the bypass comprising a total of 4.5 miles (7.2 km) were completed and opened to traffic between 2010 and 2013. The remaining three miles (4.8 km) opened on October 28, 2016.[10] The southwest 3.2-mile (5.1 km) segment of the bypass is currently only two lanes and is slated for expansion to four lanes with two additional grade-separated interchanges when funding permits.

Major intersections

RavalliLost Trail Pass0.0000.000
US 93 south – Salmon
Continuation into Idaho
MT 43 east – Wisdom
Access to Chief Joseph Pass and Gibbons Pass
S-473 south (West Fork Road)
Access to Painted Rocks State Park, Horse Creek Pass and Nez Perce Pass
S-531 north (Roaring Lion Road)
MT 38 east (Skalkaho Highway) – Phillipsburg

S-269 north (Marcus Street) / S-531 south (Main Street)
S-373 east (Woodside Cutoff) – Corvallis
S-370 east (Bell Crossing)
S-269 south (Stevensville Road)
S-203 east (Eastside Road)
US 12 west (Lewis and Clark Highway) – Lewiston ID
Southern end of US 12 concurrency

US 12 east / US 93 Bus. north (Lewis and Clark Highway / Brooks Street)
Northern end of US 12 concurrency
I-90 BL east / US 93 Bus. south (W. Broadway)
Interchange; former US 93 south / US 10 / MT 200; southern end of I-90 BL concurrency
I-90 / MT 200 east – Butte
Western terminus of I-90 BL; southern end of I-90 / MT 200 concurrency; exit numbers follow I-90
97.908157.56899Airway Boulevard
I-90 west – Coeur d'Alene
Northern end of I-90 concurrency
S-559 east (Jocko Road)
Connects to Seeley Lake via Jocko Canyon, Placid Creek, and Placid Lake Roads
MT 200 west – National Bison Range, Thompson Falls
Northern end of MT 200 concurrency
S-212 south – Charlo, Moiese, Dixon
National Bison Range visitor center and HQ in Moiese
S-211 west (Round Butte Road)
Connects to Hot Springs via Sloan Road and Little Bitterroot Road
MT 35 north – Bigfork
Flathead Lake east lakeshore route
S-354 south (Main Street)
Access to Kerr Dam
MT 28 west – Hot Springs, Plains
S-352 west – Proctor, Lake Mary Ronan
MT 82 east – Bigfork

US 93 Alt. north (Kalispell Bypass)
Southern terminus of US 93 Alt.
S-317 north (Willow Glen Drive)
De facto southeast bypass
S-503 south (Airport Road)
Serves Kalispell City Airport
213.632343.807 US 2 (Idaho Road) – Libby, Glacier Park

US 93 Alt. south (Kalispell Bypass) / West Reserve Drive
Northern terminus of US 93 Alt.
MT 40 east – Columbia Falls, Glacier Nat'l Park
S-487 north (Baker Street)
Access to Whitefish Mountain Resort ski area and Whitefish Lake
S-424 south (Twin Bridges Road)
MT 37 south – Libby, Rexford
Access to Lake Koocanusa
Roosville Border Crossing287.919463.361Canada–United States border
Hwy 93 north – CranbrookContinuation into British Columbia
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ Montana Department of Transportation (2013). Montana Road Log (PDF). Helena: Montana Department of Transportation. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  2. ^ Devlin, Vince (October 3, 2010). "Cameras show wildlife use Highway 93 North overpass and tunnels". The Missoulian. Missoula, MT. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  3. ^ Devlin, Vince (October 15, 2013). "Missoula councilors seek tribal elders' help for 'wayfinding' signs". Ravalli Republic. Retrieved October 24, 2013.
  4. ^ Montana Department of Transportation. "Frequently Asked Questions About the People's Way Highway Project, US 93: Evaro to Polson". Montana Department of Transportation. Retrieved September 21, 2007.
  5. ^ "People's Way Partnership – The Western Transportation Institute". Retrieved 2021-04-21.
  6. ^ Einhorn, Catrin (2021-06-01). "How Do Animals Safely Cross a Highway? Take a Look". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-09-27.
  7. ^ Azure, Bernie (February 11, 2022). "Building a Better Road". Char-Koosta News. Retrieved 2022-09-26.
  8. ^ "People's Way Partnership". Western Transportation Institute. 2019. Retrieved 2022-09-27.
  9. ^ Montana Department of Transportation. "Kalispell Bypass". Montana Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  10. ^ "Ceremony set to make completion of Kalispell Bypass". Missoula, MT: KPAX-TV. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  11. ^ Montana Department of Transportation (2013), pp. 56–60; Montana Department of Transportation (2013), pp. 109–110; Montana Department of Transportation (2013), p. 11; Montana Department of Transportation (2013), pp. 50–56.

External links

U.S. Route 93
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