Manitoba Road Questions

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Too Tall, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. Too Tall

    Too Tall Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Oddometer:
    226
    Location:
    Iowa Great Lakes
    Planning a ten day road trip from Iowa to central Manitoba in early August. Wife is not fond of extended gravel roads on her KTM SMT.

    Questions: Are the roads to Flin Flon, Hwy 39 to Ponton, Hwy 6 to Thompson, and Hwy 391 to Lynn Lake all paved? Availability of tent camping (commercial or provincial)? Any stretches where gas could be difficult to obtain?

    Looking forward to visiting an area of Canada we have not yet explored. Any "must-see" recommendations?

    Thanks in advance.
    #1
  2. BackRoader

    BackRoader ROK strapper

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,529
    Location:
    Right Smack in the Middle of No Where Canada
    Everything you mentioned is paved, gas maybe a stretch depending on the route you take.
    Accommodations in Lynn Lake may be a challenge. Flin Flon should be ok, camping nearby at Bakers Narrows.



    Sent from my iPhone 5 using Tapatalk
    #2
  3. Too Tall

    Too Tall Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Oddometer:
    226
    Location:
    Iowa Great Lakes
    Thanks BackRoader.

    I see MapSource indicates 60 miles of gravel on Hwy 391 to Lynn Lake. Has this section been paved now?
    #3
  4. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,368
    Location:
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    I'm pretty sure that stretch that isn't paved will be a bit over 220 km. (ie, most of 391) Also,fairly sure that they removed the 60 miles of paveement that was there.

    Are you sure this is the ride you want to do? It's many hours of straight and boring, to be honest. ( used to live in Leaf Rapids)
    #4
  5. SD Bugeater

    SD Bugeater Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
    I just got back from a ride from Nebraska to Thompson.

    All the roads you mentioned are paved but long distances without service or fuel. You won't die of thirst as you will be surrounded by water and black flies. Note on black flies: Use 100% deet and they are attracted to engine heat so, step away from your bike after riding.

    There is camping at select Provincial Parks. Not all Provincial Parks have camping so check the website that states there is camping. I know there is camping along MB-6, from Winnipeg to Thompson at: Lundar Park; Watchorn Park, and Paint Lake Park. There is camping in Thompson at McCreedy Campground. I tried calling but they never did answer the phone. When I got to Thompson, I rode over to see what was up. Nice private owned campground. $15 CD for tents. Showers and a nice meadow for tents. Owners live on site, they just don't answer the phone. Near Flin Flon, At Grass Lake Prov Park, there are quite a few different campgrounds for tents: Gyles campground, Iskwasum Landing, and Reed Lake.

    Please look up the free tent site map available on this forum, from ADV people. There is a wonderful couple in Selkirk, MB (near Winnipeg). They have turned their back garage into an ADV cabin, just for ADV folks. They were awesome!

    There are also private owned campgrounds at other small stops along the way, usually near a river rapid or some natural feature. Those owners don't advertise and only can know if those campgrounds exist if you live nearby. Most small stops have gas and a small motel.

    Don't expect your cell phone to work automatically. Make sure with your provider. If you have questions, buy a burner phone as soon as you get cross the border. My US phone is internet Republic wifi phone only. It would not allow me to make calls, send texts, or send e-mails in Canada. By a burner phone to communicate.

    Exchanging cash $USD for $CD should be done right after crossing. The Canadian border service has a welcome center that has a $ exchange. For up to exchanging $750 USD, the fee at the welcome center is 75 cents total. Banks, credit cards and ATM's charge 3%. Take advantage of the extremely low fee here. So bring all your US cash across the border and exchange immediately at the welcome centers. The exchange rate is $1 USD=$1.31 CD, so the US gets a 31% bonus! You can exchange on the way back also. They even accept coins which most banks do not.

    If you need to change oil on the bikes, just ask any service garage to borrow an oil pan. If you do, you should buy their oil. I changed oil in Thompson, on a Sunday afternoon, at the Canadian Tire store. Very nice assistant manager. I think her name was Bunny?. At that store I was approached by people. They all wanted to help me with changing oil. Even got an invite to a couples house to change oil there. Very nice Canadians.

    I did meet quite a few 1st Cree Nations people at gas stations and stores. Not sure why I'm making separate comments about this? What I experienced was either extremely nice and helpful, going out of their way to help, taking 5 minutes out of their day to sort things out with my plans and map or,.... mad at the world and didn't want to talk to me. At Ponton Junction I asked if there was gas available along the gravel road in Split Lake, on the way to Gillam. I mean, I have no ideas if there is gas there and I'm not from anywhere near there. The response was, "Do you think we drive dog sleds?" Wha? Whatever. I did notice bit of social separation. Just an observation from a regular dude in the US on a nice trip to Manitoba.

    You are going to have a great trip. I'm going back next year.

    Attached Files:

    #5
    Sunday Rider likes this.
  6. tferguson

    tferguson Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    Peace River, AB
    Can certainly appreciate seeing anything new, but I'll second ZZR_Ron's mention, long straight highways. Especially the 6 from Winnipeg to Thompson. When I lived in Thompson, tried to fly down South when leaving town, instead of the monotonous 8-9 hours. If you do make it to Thompson, about 75km South of town is Pisew Falls, highest falls in MB. Worth a stop to stretch the legs.
    https://www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/parks/popular_parks/northeast/pisew.html
    #6
  7. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,368
    Location:
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    I had forgotten about the falls, itś a nice stop on the ride.

    Iḿ also pretty sure that the 391 is gravel, but maybe a local can chime in. If I remember correctly, itś about 320 km from Thompson to Lynn Lake.
    #7
  8. tferguson

    tferguson Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    Peace River, AB
    Heading East to Gillam, gravel starts right at the 391 & 280 intersection. And North to Leaf Rapids, South Indian, & Lynn Lake, the 391 turns to gravel a couple KM North of the intersection. I haven't lived there for almost 3 years now, so things could have changed, but I highly doubt it.
    #8
  9. Too Tall

    Too Tall Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Oddometer:
    226
    Location:
    Iowa Great Lakes
    Leaving for Flin Flon & Thompson in a week. Glad I found and read the info in this thread.

    Thanks to all that have posted.
    #9
  10. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,368
    Location:
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    Have a good ride! Don forget the bug repellant!
    #10