9 Best Mountain Biking Trails in Montana

Popularly referred to as Big Sky State, Montana is one of the biggest and most spectacular states in the U.S. Situated in the northwest region, Montana is one of the biggest states in the union by the total area. However, it is the 44th-most populated and ranked as 48th when it comes to population compactness. It is an incredible locale for those seeking a challenging, technical, and scenically attractive trails specially designed for the sport of mountain biking.

The propagation of land in Montana, mostly mountainous and prairies terrain, and the population absence makes it an ideal destination for those seeking to deal with some of the most challenging and overwhelming trails globally. A vast part of Montana is covered by Prairie, which makes it one of the most adventurous regions. The landscape also features rocky mountain ranges, making it more adventurous and fun for mountain bikers.

If you are new in Montana and wonder about some of the amusing and breathtaking mountain biking trails to navigate, this piece will be of much help. Read till the end to get the much-needed insights on some of the tracks that will be worth your time and energy in Montana.

Let’s get to it

1. Whitefish Trail

Whitefish Trail
©CrownoftheContinent

Whitefish trail is situated near the Glacier National Park in Montana’s northwest region. It features sweeping vistas, mountainous recreational hubs, and prime wildlife habitat. It encompasses scenic overlooks, gate logging roads, stacked loops, and beautiful singletrack. This trail was put in place through a collaborative community project geared by a Whitefish Legacy partner.

Mountain bikers exploring the Whitefish Trail are urged to be cautious and careful not to cause harm as the track is also used by runners, walkers, hikers, and equestrians. The trail goes through miles of public and private lands and is ideal for all levels of biking skills.

Whitefish mountain biking trail encompasses approximately 30 miles of singletrack, with a number of route options and a network of fresh possibilities like the Woods Lake Loop and Swift Creek Trail. Future trail construction is forecasted for Lazy Creeks, Haskill Basin, and Whitefish Mountain Resort. The locals most preferred this trail due to its diverse terrain and a sheer gonzo rocky cliff.

2. Line Creek Plateau Mountain Biking Trail

Line Creek Plateau Mountain Biking Trail
©Trailforks

Situated in the town of Red Lodge in Montana, this mountain biking trail is a few of the most famous tracks in the state and also one of the most interesting going by the technical hurdles it presents. The black diamond course is rated as expert level and stretches up to 16 miles. It features an enormous 5,800-foot uphill slope and a 1,600 climb featuring a number of exciting hurdles.

Once you have reached the top of the Line Creek Plateau mountain biking trail, high on the ridgeline, the bikers are amused by some of the most astonishing sceneries the State of Montana has to offer. Once the bikers have enjoyed the majestic scenic views, they will eventually resume on a speedy descent, incredibly dropping up to 3,500 feet in the initial four miles. This downhill section is so fast that the bikers may require taking a break to rest their breaking fingers/hands before proceeding.

In this region where the Line Creek Plateau is situated, inclement weather tends to change rapidly, including lightning storms and thunder during the months of summer. In the same regard, mountain bikers are advised to be keen on the weather as they explore the trail and look for shelter if they notice lightning and thunder.

3. Mountain Helena Ridge Trail

Mountain Helena Ridge Trail
©Freehub Magazine

Located in the city of Helena, which is the capital city of Montana. Mountain Helena Ridge mountain biking trail is a section of the South Hills Trail System, one of the favorite amusing spots in the entire state. Its length is approximately 5.5 miles and eleven miles when biked as a counter-clockwise trail. It is categorized as an intermediate loop that sits on high altitudes. It includes a 900-foot drop and a 737-foot ascent.

The Mt. Helena Mountain biking trail system can be accessed via the trailhead on Prospector Gulch Road and is categorized as the hub of the vast array of exciting courses.

The navigation starts at a steady climb from the trailhead, which ultimately brings bikers a reasonably flat, steady-pedaling section of the trail that borders the slopes giving the bikers their initial taste of the incredible and grand ridgeline. After a loose and bumpy climb to the highest point of the course, the trail transforms into a very quick descent characterized by a number of switchbacks and obstacles, including rock, berms, and roots, which ultimately test the level of fitness and biking skills.

The Mt. Helena Ridge Trail provides incredible scenic views through some of the utmost stunning hardwood forests across the state. Mountain bikers may also come across some of the local wildlife in the region. Deer munching sightings on the neighboring vegetation are prevalent.

4. Grassy Mountain Loop

Grassy Mountain Loop
©Alltrails

Situated in the great city of Bozeman in Montana, the Grassy Mountain biking trail loop stretches up to 16-mile. In terms of difficulty level, it is rated as intermediate. The trail falls and rises an average of 2,700 feet and is specially designed to be biked in a counter-clockwise direction.

The Grassy Mountain trail loop commences with a rather long ascent on a fire road that ultimately leads to an immense grass meadow beaming with local flora colors, especially during summer and spring. From this point, the trail slightly descends up to the singletrack road. You will encounter an old four-wheel-drive trail that includes a vast array of drop-offs, natural jumps, and bumps. The trail goes further to the peak of the trail where bikers are rewarded with a quick rapid and descent that is extra fun.

Along the Grassy Mountain Loop, bikers will require to deal with a vast assortment of obstacles, including some rooty, rocky, and steep laden drops close to the top of the course, followed by banked and bermed turns. Following a series of twisty and tight switchbacks, the descent concludes at the sparkling waters of Brackett Creek.

The Grass Mountain Biking Loop is one of the most famous, challenging, and well-ridden course systems in the Bozeman area of Montana. It is also one of the relaxing nature rides in the most breathtaking settings.

5. Woods Gulch Mountain Biking Trail

Woods Gulch Mountain Biking Trail
©MakeItMissoula

Situated in the popular town of Missoula in Montana, the Woods Gulch mountain biking trail stretches up to 6-miles. Due to its unique set of technicalities, this intermediate-rated course is speedily gaining much popularity.

The Woods Gulch mountain biking track is a loop course that begins and concludes at the trailhead at Rattlesnake Recreation Area. The course is mostly a single course that takes an average of 1.5 hours to bike and encompasses a cumulative elevation gain of 1,780 feet.

The Woods Gulch Trail Loop connects to a number of other tracks in Missoula while providing high and spectacular sceneries from Mount Jumbo and a splendidly technical downhill via the heart of Woods Gulch. The exploration can be very challenging to navigate at a time.

In addition to the technically-challenging and very rapid descent and some relatively grueling climbs, the Woods Gulch Trail also entails an array of patience-testing hindrances, ranging from rock gardens jutting roots to berms and jumps on some very tottering trail.

To help conserve the population of elk, the Woods Gulch trail is inaccessible during winter. However, from May to October, the course is usually accessible daily, treating mountain bikers to a fantastic adventure and an intriguing natural sightseeing excursion.

6. Beaver Ponds Mountain Biking Trail

Beaver Ponds Mountain Biking Trail
©Trailforks

Situated in Butte’s great town in Montana, the Beaver Ponds mountain biking trail stretches up to six miles. Based on difficulty, it is rated as intermediate. In the entire state, it is categorized as one of the most attractive areas.

The Beaver Ponds trail is located roughly over 6,000 feet in elevation, beginning with a paved highway climb proceeding to the main trailhead. This first climb is considered brutal. However, when the bikers reach the apex, the course switches into an exciting singletrack trail that is technical as it’s challenging. The often tortuous and flowing trail is followed by a quick and very picturesque descent that necessitates the bikers to cross some challenging swampy land that is certain to be muddy even to the most cautious mountain bikers.

Generally, the Beaver Ponds Trail system is breathtaking and nothing short of incredible and showcases the vast array of natural amusements the southwestern part of Montana has to offer. With a 20 percent broader double trail and 80 percent singletrack, the course is ideal for all levels of bikers, including those seeking to perfect their bike riding skills.

This trail gives you a chance to unwind and to forget the busy city lifestyle. You will also interact with new people and make new friends as you bike along the trail. Mountain biking at the Beaver Ponds will be worth your time and energy.

7. MacDonald Pass

MacDonald Pass
©Wikipedia

Situated near Lake McDonald in Montana, the MacDonald mountain biking trail is moderately trafficked and stretches up to 9.0 kilometers. This out and back trail features a waterfall and magnificent scenic views and ideal for all biking skills. The trails provide a wide range of activity options and are accessible between April and October.

MacDonald Pass mountain biking trail is the classic ride in Helena, Montana, equally famous for its killer views and downhill slopes. You will follow the spine of the divide for roughly one hour via old-growth Douglas fir and test your skills through sections of embedded granite rock.

The fun and the most exciting part starts at the 2000 foot descent with flowy high-speed sections to rocky sections that will undoubtedly keep you on your toes, offering 20 minutes of enormous grins on the faces of the mountain bikers.

All those wishing to explore this adventurous trail are urged to be careful and cautious as horses also use the trail. Wearing a helmet and protective gear is very important. Your safety comes first. Thus it would be best if you didn’t compromise on it.

8. Grizzly Loop

Grizzly Loop

Situated south of Bozeman in Montana, the Grizzly Mountain biking loop trail is quick-rolling singletrack with big-ring descents, and technical granny gear climbs. It stretches up to 10-mile and features a wide array of wildflowers.

The Grizzly loop begins at the Porcupine Creek Trailhead. Although the trail goes through braided narrow paths and doubletrack, a wide range of horse and social trails are available. The course proceeds further left to the USFS signage and uphill towards First Creek and Hidden Lakes.

Climb the singletrack occasionally rutted until crossing the first creek; proceed down, and right to the next junction beyond the second creek. Towards the right side, move downhill along a smooth trackback to Porcupine Creek. This is a perfect spot for working out and mostly parked on weekends and during holidays.

The Grizzly Mountain biking loop trail is managed by the office of USFS Gallatin National Forest.

9. Big Sky Resort Mountain Biking Trail

Big Sky Resort Mountain Biking Trail
©Big Sky Resort

Eat, sleep, bike, and repeat; if that sounds like an impressive cycle of events, then you should consider exploring the Big Sky Resort mountain biking trail. The trail was recently ranked among the best five mountain biking trails in northwest Montana. The trail is ideal for bikers with different skills level, from beginners to experts.

In 2015, the trail was expanded and included additional three lifts; it now encompasses over 30 miles of cross-country trails, various 14 downhill routes, and 40 miles of mountain biking trails starting from the Mountain Village. You opt to explore the mellow session if you are a novice rider and not yet skilled enough to jump a table-top. This trail is accessible close to the Huntley Lodge at the Explorer lift.

On the Otter Slide, you may opt to attempt the machine-built flow tracks. For challenging singletrack, you may try the hundreds of splendid miles of National Forest Service Roads and tracks surrounding the Big Sky Resort. Various Spokes Bike Shop hires specialized mountain bikes for $80 per day or $50 for 3 hours; this includes a single lift pass and a helmet. However, the $35 ticket for Bike Haul Lift is excluded.

Bottom Line

For mountain biking enthusiasts and those wishing to improve their biking handling skills and techniques, they should consider exploring Montana due to its vast range of scenic and breathtaking mountain biking trails. Trails for all levels of skills are available; thus, no one should feel left out.

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