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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Three-O-Three
    Posts
    13,591

    Riding around Helena, MT?

    My cousin was drafted a couple of weeks ago by the White Sox, and he was assigned to the Great Falls Voyagers in the Pioneer League. If he's still with them in late August, I was thinking of making a road trip to MT to watch them play a couple of games in Helena. Of course I'd bring my bike.

    During the day, I want to do some big rides... 20-25 miles, decent vertical, preferably with killer singletrack and amazing views. I'd also probably stop around Bozeman (and somewhere else, TBD) on the way there or back as well.

    What are the must-do rides in those areas? And if anyone's around and wants to show me the goods, well, I won't turn you down.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    15,021
    he needs some personalized heckling from local tgrs.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Missoula, MT
    Posts
    19,522
    CDT trail near Helena can be ridden for quite a ways. Rogers to Flecher and back is 13(?) miles each way. Just check MTB Project or Trailforks.
    Actually been looking for someone to do it with. It's not necessarily too challenging, just backcountry grizzly territory.
    No longer stuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuckathuntermtn View Post
    Just an uneducated guess.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Three-O-Three
    Posts
    13,591
    I'll only ride it with you if you're slower than me.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Southeast New York
    Posts
    6,156
    From what creaky says stucky is slower than everybody

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Park City
    Posts
    2,521
    There are a ton of trails that can be looped together to get that distance right from town. A short drive and it's limitless.

    Drop into great divide, big sky or the garage. They'll help you out.
    I rip the groomed on tele gear

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    18* to 45* N
    Posts
    96
    Town trails in Helena are awesome, but will likely be hot as balls in August.
    August is time for the big backcountry rides.

    Check out MacDonald pass, Beartrap Gulch near Helena.

    Near Bozeman: Mile to Sheep, Buffalo Horn to Porcupine, Curly Lake.

    Bring Bear spray and maybe don't do some of those alone.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Wasatch
    Posts
    5,771
    Bangtail Divide also works in Bozeman, if you want to be closer to town. Solid ride, though not necessarily as "epic" as those mentioned above.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The 8th best place in the LBP
    Posts
    2,166
    Good loop in the South Hills close to Helena is to start at the Dump Gulch trailhead, ride up the Wakina Sky trail and then stay on it and descend into Grizzly Gulch. From there take the Grizzly Gulch road south a few miles to the Prospector Gulch road which leads to the Mt. Helena Ridge trailhead. From the trailhead climb switchbacks to the ridge, then ride the Mt. Helena Ridge Trail north toward town. Best descent off the ridge trail back to your car is probably Show-Me-The-Horse, so cut off the Ridge trail when you come to that signpost. Not sure how many miles it is but it takes me about three hours. Good singletrack, good views.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    4,398
    What road are you taking to get to Helena?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Three-O-Three
    Posts
    13,591

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    228
    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    Most likely I-25 to I-90.
    I-90 south of Helena runs past two great rides: Thunderbolt Mountain above Bernice, and Muskrat Creek outside Boulder. Thunderbolt has the views and is in the Wilderness crosshairs, so I'd recommend it.

    South Hills trails are great neighborhood rides and you can easily make 25+ Mile loops, but what you're looking for is in the backcountry. Look at Casey Peak in the Elkhorns. The trailhead is only 15 minutes outside town, but accesses rugged backcountry singletrack with great views.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Three-O-Three
    Posts
    13,591
    Awesome, thanks guys... once I know more details and have a plan laid out, I'll let you know in case anyone wants to join me (and my group) for a ride and some beers.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Rossland BC
    Posts
    1,019
    Beartrap Gulch was by far the best ride in the Helena area.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Park City
    Posts
    2,521
    ^^^^^

    Especially when it's hot
    I rip the groomed on tele gear

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Carbondale
    Posts
    10,029
    See, this is why TGR can still be great.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Where the shadows run from themselves
    Posts
    11,615
    Bump.

    Currently in Bozeman through Friday. Looking to ride over Helena way tomorrow. Heard it's riding better over there aka drier?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    10,140
    Best bet is to call one of the Bike Shops in Helena for a current report.

    The Big Sky area will be ridable later this week to 8000' as long as it stays dry.

    If it were me and I had the time, Helena would be a good decision.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The 8th best place in the LBP
    Posts
    2,166
    Helena's South Hills trail system has pretty much dried out and the forecast holds no precip.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Where the shadows run from themselves
    Posts
    11,615
    Really nice dirt on Ascension > Entertainment > Rodney today. Worth the drive.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I need a sequence shot app for my phone that is full-res.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,112
    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteroom_Guardian View Post
    Really nice dirt on Ascension > Entertainment > Rodney today. Worth the drive.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I need a sequence shot app for my phone that is full-res.
    You should go for a quick soak at Bolder Hot Springs if your cruising on I-15. Pretty rough but very old school Montana.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Where the shadows run from themselves
    Posts
    11,615
    ^Thanks

    Already back in Bozeman. We did Chico Hot Springs the other day. Thinking of trying Bozeman tonight.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The 8th best place in the LBP
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    2,166
    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteroom_Guardian View Post
    ^Thanks

    Already back in Bozeman. We did Chico Hot Springs the other day. Thinking of trying Bozeman tonight.
    Bozeman Hot Springs is nice since they remodeled the pools. Expensive though.

    Nice pic, glad you had a good ride.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The 8th best place in the LBP
    Posts
    2,166
    FYI local SW Montana riders keep an eye out. Especially if anybody happens to check out the Bozeman bike swap tomorrow...
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  25. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Hugh's Mom's House
    Posts
    11,481
    What's a good loop from town with about 2500' feet of climbing (or less) that avoids all the road work right now? Going to be there for work on Wednesday and the high is only 79. Amazing.

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