With Bozeman being such an outdoorsy place, the options for outdoor activities over the summer are almost limitless. One summer activity that will be great is exploring the mountains of the Bozeman area on bike. Although mountain bikes are expensive, if you love a good workout and an outdoor adventure, they are a great excuse to get up a hill. So, as summer break is around the corner, here is a quick checklist of mountain biking adventures prime for picking.
The Lewis and Clark Caverns: This area, which is only about 50 minutes away via I-90 West and Highway 287 South, offers a great selection of trails of varying difficulties. The trail is in a 10 mile loop that starts at the caverns’ visiting center and proceeds back around to the start. This trail offers being clear of snow even during earlier times in the year and, although it is not a particularly difficult ride, it features beautiful scenery of the Tobacco Root mountains.
Stone Creek Trail: This trail is located north of Bozeman on Stone Creek Road which is up Bridger Canyon Drive. This ride is more difficult, offering some steeper terrain and what feels like far too many switchbacks. A 10 mile round trip, it can take somewhere from one and a half hours if you’re booking it, to two and a half hours if you are going for a leisurely ride. Like the Lewis and Clark Caverns, this ride dries up early in the season as well so it can be used as a solid warm-up ride before you go tackle some steeper, more difficult trails.
Shafthouse Trail #540: This ride can be found about five and a half miles up Fairy Lake Road, which is off Highway 86 and is a single track trail marked with a sign. The road to the trail is a bit iffy, so if you don’t have some decent clearance, you may not be able to make it. However, the ride itself is a rewarding one that is relatively short, about six miles long, but is also relatively steep and has terrain varying from intermediate to expert level. From the top of this ride, there is a spectacular view of the Bridgers which makes the ride more than worth the effort.
Grassy Mountain Loop (Brackett Creek Trail): To get to Grassy Mountain Loop, go north on Highway 86 and you’ll eventually reach the trailhead off the road just after Bohart Ranch. Grassy Mountain is a 16 mile loop that leads back to the paved road for the last five miles. This ride features advanced terrain, including a starting ride on a fire road which turns into a steep and rocky single track with banked turns on the way down. For more advanced riders, this is an awesome trail to check out.
This summer, hit up some of the great biking trails the Bozeman area has to offer. With no shortage of mountains and trails to ride up, there is no excuse for having nothing to do on weekends.