Mountain Biking in Southwest Montana
Biking is quickly becoming one of Southwest Montana’s most popular pastimes. Helena and Butte in particular have enthusiastically embraced mountain biking. And, it’s not hard to see why, considering that both cities are deep in the Rockies, and surrounded by National Forest and public land. Both cities host annual mountain biking endurance races, and Helena is one of less than 40 cities in the world to have International Mountain Biking Association Ride Center Status. Both towns have trails galore for everyone from beginners to professionals. But Helena and Butte are just the beginning. Our National Forests are full of dirt tracks, or head to the remarkable Red Rocks Lakes.
As a region of mostly rural highways and dirt roads, road biking can be a bit more difficult to come by, but we do have some great scenic routes. You can wind your way through the Big Hole Valley, tackle the Pioneer Mountains, or set off from Wolf Creek (and, because loops are the best trails, end up back where you started). Or, if you’re in for the long haul, you’ll pass through Southwest Montana (and overnight in Twin Bridges) as you tackle Adventure Cycling’s Trans-America, Lewis and Clark, or Great Divide routes. If you do, you’ll probably plan an overnight at the bike camp in Twin Bridges.
For more info on bike trails, check out Southwest Montana’s list. Trail Forks, SMBA, and the MTB Project also have interactive maps. But, you best source for local information, repairs, equipment, and rentals is of course the local bike shops: Great Divide and Big Sky in Helena, Bad Beaver in Butte, and Sven’s in Anaconda.