The drive to the Big Hole is over 2 hours and 100 some miles but every bit beautiful . I got out of the house and on the road a tiny bit late and drove down the Bitterroot, over Chief Joseph Pass and into the Big Hole. The drive into the BH is beautiful and at one point I had to park the car while these elk took their time hogging the highway before getting spooked by a cyclist. The weird thing is that on my way back 7 hours later and the same elk was standing by the fence watching the traffic roll by at a rate of about 1 car every hour.
I started out from the car at 2 pm and headed the two miles into the little town of Jackson elevation 6,400. Its a nice little town of about 50 people and also has a hot springs/hotel which I made note of. This would be a great Stay the night and launch bike rides town. As I left this town and headed to my first climb I noticed the wind was picking up and the bad news … at my back.
At 12 miles I rounded a corner and saw my first climb up the Big Hole Pass. The entire 1.5 mile climb was in view and this was a straight shot up to a high point of 7,400 (around 1000 ft up). I took it easy and gently took this pass and looked for the web cam on top. After waving