Kick Back and Refuel
Ovando has been a stop for cyclists (manual and motorized) since 1897 when 20 Buffalo Soldiers, led by Lt. James A. Moss, rode their bicycles 1,900 miles from Missoula, Montana to St. Louis, Missouri.
"The 25th Infantry U.S. Army Bicycle Corps stationed at Fort Missoula, Montana set out across the country on their bicycles in 1896-7. Lt. James A. Moss led the company of black soldiers on several obstacle intensive test runs of the iron two-wheeled alternative to horses for transportation. Their greatest trip covered 1900 miles to St. Louis, Missouri, returning to Missoula by train. The 25th Infantry gained fame and was nicknamed the Buffalo Soldiers."
Since that time Ovando welcomes cyclists on the Tour Divide Race, Great Divide Trail, Bicycle Rides NW, Cycle Montana, Lewis and Clark Trail, and Park 2 Park tours, along with hundreds of folks bicycling through from all over the world. We work closely with Adventure Cycling. We've even had two gentlemen from Belgium using electric Segways to make their way across America.
Visit our More Summer Fun page to learn about biking trails, horseback riding and Garnet Ghost Town.
Beyond the general hospitality offered up, Ovando provides for the cycling enthusiast the following amenities to make their travels more comfortable.
For help call Kathy Schoendoerfer (just call her Kathy S.)
at 406 793 0018 or 406 793 3474.
Lodging and Amenities
- Ovando Inn is available for those in need of a private room, private bathroom and general R&R.
Camping is free on the grass next to the Brand Bar Museum, on the gravel near the teepee, or at the Ovando Valiton Park at the end of Main Street. There is an outhouse near the Sheep Wagon/teepee and the Ovando Park.
$5-a-night rentals, all proceeds go to the OVANDO COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT FUND, are available in the form of:
- The SHEPHERD'S WAGON, downtown, provides an enclosed and warm environment with a cushioned bed and even pillows.
- The TEEPEE, includes two cots to throw your bedroll on, giving you protection from the elements.
- The HOOSCOW [Jail], by the Museum and the original town jail from the 1800's, has been restored and provides old rope beds and can accommodate 2 to 4 people if 2 of ya want to sleep on the floor.
A porta-potty is located behind the Shepherd's Wagon and by the Ovando Park for cyclist use.
A shower/toilet is located in the back of the Blackfoot Commercial Company. Just go ask them for the key. Includes soap and a towel.
A laundromat is located in the back of the Blackfoot Commercial Company. Just go ask them for the key. Includes soap.
Solar shower bags are behind the sheep wagon to wash the road dust off if the shower is closed for the night. All we ask is that you refill and return the bags.
The teepee/wagon area and the hooscow all have clotheslines, mirrors, and an LED lantern for your comfort.
Horseshoe pits are located by the teepee for your entertainment.
A white board for messages to fellow bikers and a route map is available downtown by the Blackfoot Angler.
We are always open to suggestions to make your travels more pleasant.
- The Stray Bullet Cafe, downtown, is open from 7 am to 3 pm for high carb breakfasts and healthy lunches along with beer and wine.
- Trixi's Antler Saloon, up along highway 200, is open from 10 AM 'til 9 PM. They serve lunch, dinners from hamburgers to steaks and have a fully stocked saloon.
The Blackfoot Commercial Company market, downtown, provides espressos, munchies, snacks, bottled water and sodas, canned and packaged foods, the BEST ice cream in the valley and a free cup of coffee in the morning with a friendly hello.
The Blackfoot Angler, downtown, for our hundreds of cycling friends from all over the world has available for emergency repairs: brake pads, brake lines, lube, tubes, tires, pedals, chains, and a bunch of stuff we don't really understand, along with Hammer Nutrition bars and gels, camping gear and of course Bear Spray.
A bike stand for repairs is available across the street at the Blackfoot Commercial Company garage.
Over 1,000 bicyclists pass through Ovando every year. We're here to fill your water bottle or your belly, or just help you sleep in safety and comfort.