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  1. #1
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    BZN / Livingston / Paradise Valley riding

    The wife and I will be at Chico for our annual Montana trip. We have been coming to MT for 12 Summers but have never done anything but road riding. This year I want to go to Big Sky and rent a DH bike and try some of the runs there. My wife isn't into anything that hardcore. I spoke with Dale at Timber Trails in Livingstone and he said he rents out Hardrock 29'ers. I want to rent a pair and take the wife out to some trails that are big on scenery but easy on the skill level. What do you folks suggest? would even travel to Bozeman area if need be.
    Last edited by Whipray; 08-06-2012 at 08:44 PM.

  2. #2
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    Probably it would be best to drive up Olson Creek in Bridger Canyon and ride the middle section of the Bangtail Divide Trail. This has scenery and relatively easier pedaling. It is not completely without difficulty though. 6 miles out to the top of Stone Creek is very scenic.
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  3. #3
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    when I hear big on scenery and easy(ish) on the skill level I think BUCK RIDGE, accessed just after Big Sky turnoff if you're going to be down there anyways...

    double-track climb isn't too bad then you're up on the plateau with expansive views everywhere.

    Probably easiest logistically and otherwise for a downhill newbies as out and back but if she's comfortable, it's not much more technical to ride out via Yellow Mule similar to Olson -> Bracket section of Bangtail Greg recommended above.

  4. #4
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    Cool thanks Greg & Montana Rider, I will check them out. Hopefully we will have a rental that will accomidate a couple of bikes so I can haul them up to bangtail or down to buck ridge.

    I saw on the BigSky website I can rent a DH bike, pads, lift ticket at Different Spokes. Is this the way to go for a 2-3 hr session on Lone Mtn? What runs should I check out for a DH noob ? (wife will not be with me on this excursion).

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the advice guys. Wound up doing the Bangtail and Bigsky Andesite solo. The wife was too crushed from climbing Black Mountain car to car on Sat to do any riding. Those two rides were maybe the most fun I've ever had on a bike in my life. I'll be back next Summer!!

  6. #6
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    Nice on Black Summit, I would rank that "very high" on scenery...and coming from FL, your wife's a tough cookie!

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the props. Saturday was the nicest day we were there for visibility, no smoke at all. We had to abandon Black Mtn in '08 after we took a wrong route on the spur above Pine Creek Lake. I was begining to think we might never get it. As good as the scenery was, and it was spectacular, I never want to go up there again, 3 trips to Pine Creek Lake is enough!! The view of Cowen and the West Boulder Plateau are scenes I will never forget. I told my wife the same thing as we were soaking our sore feet in Pine Creek at the campground she is tough!! 9:26 on foot is a long day especially gaining 5200' we were both crushed, I just recovered faster.
    I wish I had another two weeks out there!! Awesome country!!!!!!

  8. #8
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    A little late to the party, but Bangtail Divide is one of my favorite rides around BZN. It's about 24 miles of singletrack and it's super scenic. You might want to consider shuttling it, though.

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    Trying to line up next Summers activities. I did Olsen > Brackett section of Bangtail, and looped back via Bridger Canyon Road. I think that was about 16miles +/- . If we do
    Stone Creek > Bracket then back to Stone on the pavement, how far is that?

    Also, I know that the section from Olsen>Brackett was mostly downhill. What is the terrain like from Stone Crk > Olsen Creek? Thanks!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whipray View Post
    Trying to line up next Summers activities. I did Olsen > Brackett section of Bangtail, and looped back via Bridger Canyon Road. I think that was about 16miles +/- . If we do
    Stone Creek > Bracket then back to Stone on the pavement, how far is that?

    Also, I know that the section from Olsen>Brackett was mostly downhill. What is the terrain like from Stone Crk > Olsen Creek? Thanks!
    I think it adds about 8 miles (4 singletrack, 4 road mostly downhill)

    There's a wooded section before you get to Olsen which can be rutted and boggy in early summer. I prefer the Olsen Brackett (aka Grassy Mtn) segment myself...

    Once you do the Stone climb the rest is not too bad.

    I saw this blurb re: shuttling that section a few years ago somewhere:

    For an experience the kiddos won't forget, if it fits into your schedule, drive up Bridger Canyon, turn right onto Olson Ck road, drive up that dirt road about 5 miles until it tees into another road, hang a right, and drive about 5 or 6 miles until the road starts to drop down into Clyde Park. Look for a USFS gate on the right. Park there and ride south on the forest road for about 3 miles. Viola, you'll now be on the best part of the Bangtail Divide Trail without having to suffer any of the climbs. Great views, fairly flat, nice wildflowers, you can do about 16 miles out and back. Wifey and I have been thinking about riding out tandem on it this way.

    Assume it's still accessible but never tried it...

  11. #11
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    The stone creek to bracket creek option is a fun ride. The initial climb is 2,000 feet over 5 miles and then rolling terrain that goes changes from up to down. We rode it last weekend and here is the link: Bangtail Divide Trail by IrishMBA at Garmin Connect - Details

    I have never done the road portion to make it a loop, but it sure feels good to drive the second car back down the last 8 miles to pick up the first car.

  12. #12
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    I'm pretty sure the total mileage of Stone to Bracket and back to the Stone via the pavement is 33 miles with 8 of that being on the paved road.

    Once you get to the top of Stone - the high meadow with a barbed wire fence, about 6.5 miles from the turn off from Bridger Canyon Road - the ride north to Bracket isn't too hard at all. There are maybe 2 climbs that are somewhat steep but over quickly.

    Be glad you're not at Chico right now. It has to be awefully hard to breath down there with all the fires.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dir-T View Post
    Be glad you're not at Chico right now. It has to be awefully hard to breath down there with all the fires.
    Thanks for the replys. I think That I can talk her into it after reading this.

    I saw on facebook last night the pillar of smoke coming from behind Emigrant Peak, taken from up in Emigrant Gultch.
    Has that Emigrant fire gained strength or is it a new fire? Chico got two good rains last week, I thought the fire up around 6mile creek would have been extinguished.

    My wife and I spent much if last week soaking in freezing cold ass Emigrant Creek and we would see the same miner riding down Emigrant Creek road. He told us that he thought the fire was out.
    Last edited by Whipray; 08-20-2013 at 03:04 PM. Reason: content

  14. #14
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    It's gained strength. Blew up from about 500 acres to 7,200 a couple days ago. I can see the smoke plume from Bozeman. There are 3 other fires in the Paradise Valley now too.

    Funny, I probably know that miner. Sounds like he needs to take his head of his gold pan more often.

  15. #15
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    I went to incident web and saw it was a complex fire now with several fires in the area. We got out just in time again, last year the Pine Creek fire started the day after we left, glad we missed that one. Miner is a young guy with a 4X4 dodge ram with a orange flashing light on top of the cab. He must be up in the gulch somewhere?

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