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First Trip to Montana - Where to Camp and Ride?

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I'll try and make this short. Our group normally goes to Colorado for 1-2 weeks every August to ride single-track. I think a few of them have been to MT years ago, but I have not. We haven't decided on where to ride yet, so I thought I'd ask this forum where the best place might be to camp and ride is. We are looking for intermdiate to expert trails, and hopefully a good place to camp that's within riding distance of trails (our bikes are plated if we need to use the road).

 

We're used to riding in the Pitkin/Taylor Park area in CO.

 

Let me know if you need any more info to make a suggestion. Thanks for your time.

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Hell I live here and that's something that's even hard to figure out for me. Pipestone single-handedly has the largest concentration of trails in one area, both single track and 50 inch. There are a lot of places to camp but it's also quite hot and dry there.

King's Hill area which is located by Monarch and neihart has a lot of writing and numerous nice campgrounds but there's a lot less single track and trails are spaced farther apart from each other but within 30 miles there are a ton of writing opportunities and it's much prettier then Pipestone

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I love riding Pipestone. It has over 200 miles of trails. Lots of 4wd and single track. I've been riding in Durango Colorado for the last month. It seems that around here the 4wd's really screw up the trails. Not so at Pipestone. They are fairly smooth, curvy, up and down, with fun whoops and berms you can use to jump. Most are through the trees. The single track there can be as challenging as you want it. If you go there, I would camp at Homestake. It's much prettier than the 4 corners staging area where many people camp and you can still access all the trails right from your camp. Also, if you go there be sure to check out the Nez Perce trail. Bozeman is an hour away and has some good trails in Hyalite Canyon, mostly intermediate stuff.

I was hesitant to post because I haven't ridden anywhere else in Montana. I live in Butte, Montana which is 20 minutes from Pipestone.

Also, I disagree about the heat. After being here in Colorado, Montana's summers are chill, including Pipestone. Homestake is cooler than the 4 corners area for camping.

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One more thing. Friends of Pipestone offers a map that you can download for free. You can use the map in an app on your phone called Avenza. Avenza is free also. First download Avenza, then go to the map store in Avenza and search for friends of pipestone. When you ride you can use your phone to tell exactly where you are via GPS. It's very easy to get turned around on the trails and get a little lost cause there are so many trails. This app and map helps tremendously!

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While its not Colorado, Pipestone is hands down, the hottest, dryest Mountain trail area in Montana. Just be forewarned, its not pleasant to ride mid day in the middle of Summer.

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Lot of great places in Montana, can't wait to get back up there, I typically stage out of the Helena MT area or ride out of Clancy MT. I've also done some great riding an 30 minutes north of Helena on the other side of the Missouri River. I have friends that have an RV Park/Cabins out of Clinton MT that too looks like some great staging areas. I'm trying to get back up there next May/June and also hit the area North of Whitefish... I've always found August-September to be a bit humid n hot, I've had better ridding conditions in May-early July but then we've also ran into snow. Heat has never been an issue coming from SoCal/Nevada/AZ deserts but there will be dust.

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July is the earliest I would make a trip to Whitefish area if you're going to ride at elevation. Lots and lots of snow. I'm heading up to Hungry Horse next week to ride Alpine Trail#7

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Thanks for the replies. An occasional jump or short whoops section is okay, but we're not on moto bikes, so we'd like to keep the mx obstacles to a minimum. I can post some footage of the Colorado trails we like if that would help y'all give me a better suggestion for trails to hit. Thanks.

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Thanks for the replies. An occasional jump or short whoops section is okay, but we're not on moto bikes, so we'd like to keep the mx obstacles to a minimum. I can post some footage of the Colorado trails we like if that would help y'all give me a better suggestion for trails to hit. Thanks.


They are minimal and small...just enough to be fun, not like mx.

I've done a lit of trails by Durango, Mancos, Delores, and Cortez. Are there any of those you like? If so, which ones?

Sent from my SM-G930V using ThumperTalk mobile app

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14 hours ago, Buttegal said:

 


They are minimal and small...just enough to be fun, not like mx.

I've done a lit of trails by Durango, Mancos, Delores, and Cortez. Are there any of those you like? If so, which ones?

Sent from my SM-G930V using ThumperTalk mobile app
 

 

I don't think I've done any of those. Here's a couple vids from last year's trip. First vid is the most technical trail we did (gets harder as it goes up), and the second was up a creek trail that was fun with a few technical sections.

Side note, I was just notified that someone elderly to me in the group has decided that we will be going to Red Cliff Campground that is just south of Big Sky. Anyone know the best single-track in that area? A friend and I will be driving separate from the rest of the group (we actually plan on bringing our supermoto's along at this point, which is very exciting), so we can decide to move to another area if we get bored.

 

 

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I don't think I've done any of those. Here's a couple vids from last year's trip. First vid is the most technical trail we did (gets harder as it goes up), and the second was up a creek trail that was fun with a few technical sections.
Side note, I was just notified that someone elderly to me in the group has decided that we will be going to Red Cliff Campground that is just south of Big Sky. Anyone know the best single-track in that area? A friend and I will be driving separate from the rest of the group (we actually plan on bringing our supermoto's along at this point, which is very exciting), so we can decide to move to another area if we get bored.
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Wow! Great trails, but beyond my ability. I can do things close to that, but some of those obstacles I'd need an assist. I had someone helping me in Colorado and went on a few trails like this. You would really like the Delores area. Lots of trails like this. Plenty at this level or close to it to keep you busy for a week or more.

There's a couple of good maps for the area you are going to. One by Beartooth Publishing and one by National Geographic Trails Illustrated. I don't see any single tracks in the area you are going to on either of these maps. There's one north of Bozeman on the Beartooth map, Bangtail Divide Trail 504 that I've heard is fun, but that will be an hour drive from where you are camping. Hopefully, your buddy know of some stuff that's not on the map. Please make sure it's legal to ride on though so we don't get any more trails taken away from us. Pipestone will be 2 1/2 hours away.

mattwhidden (TT member) seems to be a much better resource than I am for the kind of trails you're looking for.

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Wow that Campground is within about 45 minutes of my house, I have not been that far south in the gallatin range. I don't know the specifics of the trails but I can tell you that as some of the most beautiful country you will ever ride in. I've written up to a few fire Lookouts and I will try to find the pictures from them to show you. My suggestion is to download the avenza PDF Maps app and by the Gallatin National Forest West North map for 499. If you're not familiar with the app it will show you where you're at on the maps and you can even record your tracks. They are the same maps that the u.s. forest service sells for $15 but digital and better because the tracks you.

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Thanks for the reply. Yes, another member had recommended that app to me. I will look into buying that map specifically. Are there must-ride ST trails that you could name off?

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Nothing on that map. I've only ridden the drainages out of Storm Castle at the north end of the Canyon. Great views and are mapped as ST but were actually widened to 50"
My favorite ST in the area is Willow Creek out of the town Pony. About 1 hour from where you are camping on the other side of the gallatin range. I don't know of any epic ST in your area.

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Nothing on that map. I've only ridden the drainages out of Storm Castle at the north end of the Canyon. Great views and are mapped as ST but were actually widened to 50"
My favorite ST in the area is Willow Creek out of the town Pony. About 1 hour from where you are camping on the other side of the gallatin range. I don't know of any epic ST in your area.


Ok, thanks for the reply. My friend and I may move to a different location if we get bored.

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