Best Mountain Bikes in Montana

Montana offers hikers, climbers, and mountain bikes many different travel options. If you’re just starting out, you can find a green trail that will suit you as you build strength and skill.

Advanced mountain bikes may choose to ride one of the ski trails that are best accessed by lift. No matter your preference, you can ride in Montana!

Best Mountain Bikes

1) South Hills Trails: From Beginner to Advanced

The South Hills Trail begins in Helena, Montana. There are apps that provide you with maps and network access points. To get the biggest benefit from your ride, no matter the distance you want to travel, do make sure you review the maps so you can plan out a ride that suits your interest and fitness levels.

If you have been cooped up all winter and just have to ride, consider the Dump Out Trail. It’s rocky, but it will shed snow more quickly than a green trail and clear sooner than other trails in Montana.

Beginners may prefer the Eagle Scout Trail. There are a lot of switchbacks, so it’s a slower ride. The views are completely worth it. If you’re starting out with one of the best budget mountain bikes for your frame and height, allow for plenty of time and walk when you need to. Just get back to the trailhead before dark!

2) Bangtail Divide: Bring a Snack, Enjoy the View!

The city of Bozeman is full of folks who love the outdoors. You will not struggle to find camping gear, mountain bikes shop, and other outdoor businesses as you approach the Bangtail.

Do be aware that this trial can take up to six hours. If you ride from south to north, you will be facing 4,000 feet of elevation gain. Of course, the views will be worth it. Pack food and water; this is a long haul.

Additionally, make sure that you allow for the full six hours in case you have to walk any part of this trail. You do not want to face this one in the dark.

3) Beardance Trail: See Kalispell in All Her Glory

Many hikers believe Kalispell, Montana to be one of the most beautiful spots on earth. If you have the endurance, you may find that the Beardance Trail gives you the chance to agree with them! The initial terrain can be tough, and the grade on the climb can be as much as 20%.

Pack food, water, and your binoculars. If your endurance isn’t where you’d like it to be yet, consider taking this as a shuttle ride. The shuttle is less than 7 miles and drops 3,000 feet. Be ready to get off the trail to check out the view.

Bear dance Trail is a favorite place for cyclists who own fat tire bikes.

4) Mile Creek to Sheep Creek Trail: Worth the Work on the Way Down

Seasoned riders will love the 28-mile loop of Mile Creek Trail. This trail is part of the Continental Divide Trail system. Once you leave the trailhead, you will be entering the backcountry of Yellowstone.

In addition to food and water, make sure you pack bear spray. This is grizzly country; don’t ride alone, and make sure you have all the gear you need to pack in and pack out your trash. The climb is quite serious and many people choose electric bikes for this one.

The saddle at the top of this trail is 10,000 feet; if you have any breathing issues, make sure you bring any necessary medications.

Yes, that’s a lot of warnings to worry about. However, once you get past the thin air, the bears, and all the switchbacks, you get to enjoy a nine-mile descent trail that will more than make up for your efforts.

5) Grizzly Loop: Flowers and Fierce Climbs

The Grizzly Loop offers riders from beginner to advanced a lot of options. There are some fast descents and some intense technical climbs to get up to this stretch of Big Sky Country. However, once you’re up here, the meadows offer a huge variety of flowers, birds, and wildlife.

This is still grizzly country, as is all of Yellowstone. Invest in bells, bear spray, and some training. There is some cliff work, so allow yourself plenty of time to manage the technical portions of the ride. If you’re new to mountain bikes, consider walking some of the steeper portions until you build confidence.

If you’re truly a beginner, keep an eye out for longer hiking trails and be ready to share the space. You may also want to start on the Rails to Trails in Montana, which provides a more groomed trail ride so you can enjoy the fantastic views.

Pay specific attention to sunrise and sunset. It gets cold early in Montana, and high elevations can be slick in the morning. With a bit of planning, your next mountain bikes trip could be epic. 

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