Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    40

    Swan Creek to Hyalite

    More at the blog alliancebicycles.blogspot.com/
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MTBigSky's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    92
    Great pics

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: flipnidaho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    6,405
    Nice

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    58
    I did that last year from Squaw creek, over Hyalite peak, and out Swan. The trail is beautiful as it contours around Hyalite peak, Down Swan creek is a different story. Extremely steep, loose, trenched, and generally moto****ed for a long ways. Don't do it unless you like carrying your bike downhill.

    The trail then gets really good for about two miles before repeadetly punching you with small steep climbs for the rest of the way out. I can't believe you went UP Swan and out Hyalite. That's some serious punishment right there. How's Hyalite doing, been cut out yet? We should ride sometime.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    40
    I would be lying if I said Swan was an easy climb! At the same time, we knew that going into it. In the pictures on the blog you can see our trail running shoes strapped to our camelbacks. It was a solid three hour push from the point were we couldn't ride anymore. The bottom half is almost all rideable. It's pretty funning how your riding your bike and then it comes to a screeching halt. From that point on, it's all hiking. I would say it's about 5000 feet of climbing to the top of Hyalite Peak because it rolls a lot in the bottom. From swan creek to my house in Bozeman was 42 miles.

    I would also agree that Moto's hammer that trail hard. It doesn't look like it gets much use the higher you get. I think that it probably only takes a couple of moto's to do that much damage with a trail that steep.

    On the way up we were commenting on how impressive it was that the moto's had made it this high on a trail that steep, technical , and exposed. By the very end, you could tell that they only ride down it. Most of the erosion looks like rear wheel lock up to me. We were thinking they do a loop from Portal to the Crest trail and down Swan Creek.

    On a final note, Hyalite was awesome. Somebody has been stacking some rocks into jumps and the whole thing is perfect for ripping. The ride from the trailhead to town..........not really a hyalite of the ride.(sorry bad pun)
    Erik Rolf
    Ketchum, ID
    Visit the website @ http://www.alliancebicycles.com/

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    58
    On the way up we were commenting on how impressive it was that the moto's had made it this high on a trail that steep, technical , and exposed.
    I agree, I can't believe they can do it. Some trails they seem to do wonders for and others, well, you know, where it's steep it's not so good.

    I heard they were using that as access to/from the crest last year with that snowbank that covers the trail on Hyalite peak that lasted all summer.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    971
    How much snow was on the north side of Hyalite Peak? (Thinking about this weekend)

    Thanks for the posting. Beautiful pictures.
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    261
    After two trips up Blackmore and down Cottonwood last week, I've been eying the the Divide Trail too.

    Someday I'd like to try to ride (and camp) the whole thing, but I was hoping to check out a section or two of the route this summer.

    Does anyone know whether Hyalite Creek, Swan, Squaw or Windy Pass would be the easiest access to the ridge? I'd guess Windy, but then that's at the southern end and the roughest stretch (I'd assume) of the divide trail...

    Looking at the TOPO , Swan to Hylite seems to make the most sense...

    Does anyone have a sense for a more preferred route or direction to ride the Divide trail?

    Any beta would be greatly appreciated...

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    40
    [QUOTE=GregB406]How much snow was on the north side of Hyalite Peak? (Thinking about this weekend)

    There is a faily large cornice to cross into the meadow of Hyalite. It's hard enough that you can't stick your feet into it. Everyone that I saw slid down it on their butt. I did the same and pushed my bike down as well. Think 25 foot water slide into sharp jagged rocks = fun for the whole family!

    After two trips up Blackmore and down Cottonwood last week, I've been eying the the Divide Trail too.

    Someday I'd like to try to ride (and camp) the whole thing, but I was hoping to check out a section or two of the route this summer.

    The Divide is a big commentment as you know, but you can do it in one day. On Swan to Hyalite you don't spend much time on the ridge of the crest trail.

    Does anyone know whether Hyalite Creek, Swan, Squaw or Windy Pass would be the easiest access to the ridge? I'd guess Windy, but then that's at the southern end and the roughest stretch (I'd assume) of the divide trail...

    If you go from Windy to Hyalite you are basicly doing the whole thing. You can ride the crest in either direction, both are good. Most people from Bozeman ride to Big Sky and vice versa, merely out of convience of the starting point. I was thinking Windy to Swan would be cool. I would love to descend Swan because of how steep and tech it would be, but I like that kinda stuff.

    Looking at the TOPO , Swan to Hylite seems to make the most sense...

    That's what I thought as far as a loop that isn't the whole thing. The hike isn't that bad, just don't do it in stiff soled bike shoes. The first 6 miles rolls through the canyon out to the headwall of Hyalite Peak (all ridable, with tuff sections). Then the last four miles or so is all hiking up to the top. I would guess the hiking to be about 2,500 vert. However, I would plan most of the day for Swan to Hyalite. It's a longer ride than the mileage would lead you to believe.

    As a disclaimer, I don't have any sort of gps or computer on my bike. The climb starts at 6,000 feet and ends at 10,000. The bottom is rolling so I would guess the whole loop from Swan to town to be 5,000 vert of climbing.
    Erik Rolf
    Ketchum, ID
    Visit the website @ http://www.alliancebicycles.com/

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    971
    I've gone in both directions, and presently prefer north to south. I'd avoid Swan. If I wanted to explore, there is an exit to the west just south from Crater Lake. It doesn't have a name, is may be quite grown over. It has to be an easier route than Swan.

    One loop option up there would be to start in Moose Creek and incorporate the Tamphery trail and the exit I mentioned. Go up the exit and them turn south on the crest trail, go to Windy Pass, then turn at the cabin onto the Tamphery Trail to complete the loop back into Moose Creek.

    Another loop option is to the south from Windy, dropping into Rock Creek, then Big Creek, then back up to Windy Pass.
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bigskyguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    141
    Rode to Ramshorn lake from porcupine on Friday. Trail was in pretty good shape, tall grass got a bit old. The motos have smoothed out the horsey chunky crap. Wondering if anyone has ridden portal 2 windy along the ridge and then dropped into porcupine or 320 ranch. I live in BS and it seems like it would be a fun loop with a shorter car shuttle than tom miner or hylite. Any beta would be appreciated. I'm only ten weeks out from ACL reco. So super tech rocky drop offs of death are a little ways off yet.
    "Speed focuses the mind. It cuts through the fog of drab everyday living and keeps us on our toes."

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    261
    Bumpety-bump...

    I didn't bring any reading material when camping @ Hebgen this weekend, so I spent some quality tent-time pouring over the BZN/BS map to find more "new-to-me" routes, and I remembered this Swan Creek thread from a while ago.

    Anyways, it's probably too smokey down there from the Millie fire, but was wondering if anyone had done this climb (Swan->Hyalite) recently and if it was still pretty Moto-ed out?

    IIRC, this connector was grandfathered into the Wilderness lite* travel plan, along with Cottonwood drainage (i.e. Hyalite->Blackmore->Cottonwood). Does anyone know for sure?

    Climbing up Swan and into Hyalite sounds like a sweet ride -- especially since the Cottonwood downhill from Blackmore is trashed (tons of avalanche debris / downed trees across the first 2 miles of the downhill...)

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    971
    Quote Originally Posted by Montana Rider View Post
    Bumpety-bump...

    I didn't bring any reading material when camping @ Hebgen this weekend, so I spent some quality tent-time pouring over the BZN/BS map to find more "new-to-me" routes, and I remembered this Swan Creek thread from a while ago.

    Anyways, it's probably too smokey down there from the Millie fire, but was wondering if anyone had done this climb (Swan->Hyalite) recently and if it was still pretty Moto-ed out?

    IIRC, this connector was grandfathered into the Wilderness lite* travel plan, along with Cottonwood drainage (i.e. Hyalite->Blackmore->Cottonwood). Does anyone know for sure?

    Climbing up Swan and into Hyalite sounds like a sweet ride -- especially since the Cottonwood downhill from Blackmore is trashed (tons of avalanche debris / downed trees across the first 2 miles of the downhill...)
    This connector, Swan to Hyalite, is not presently bike accessible due to our present interim Travel Plan. Just to the north, Storm Castle drainage which is still closed because of the ongoing Millie Fire, is open to bikes and motorcycles.

    Blackmore to South Cottonwood is in the best shape in years! Five weeks ago we had a joint trail clearing day with the Backcountry Horsemen. We attacked the mess from two directions and cut out almost 200 trees. It was a fabulous success and people were biking it the very next day! (announced on FB)

    However Blackmore to Cottonwood is still closed due to the Millie Fire. We could use rain!
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    97
    Hey Montana Rider, Squaw to Hyalite would be cool, but a wicked long shuttle unless you rode the 12 miles up Squaw Road from highway 191, and rode all the way down Hyalite canyon to 19th. And the Squaw trail has a lot of hike a bike. Way more fun would be an out and back from Hyalite trailhead to the Squaw divide, walk the ridge to Divide Peak it's only about 15 minutes. This thread brings back memories of all the great rides now closed. The "unnamed" route Greg mentions is Lewis Creek. One time we rode from Porcupine, up Onion, down Big Creek all the way to the trailhead, up Lewis Creek to Crater Lake, along the Crest and down Hyalite to 19th, 52 miles in the mud and rain, epic! Another regular was from Portal road to Windy Pass, down Rock Creek or Bark Cabin or Mist, up Big Creek back to the Crest and down Windy to Portal.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    97
    and Swan is the worst trail of them all, except for the bottom 2 miles, which might still be allowed?

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    971
    Quote Originally Posted by afraid View Post
    The "unnamed" route Greg mentions is Lewis Creek.
    No it isn't. Lewis Creek is on the east side of the range and what I am referring to is on the west side. It's an old hunting trail on the south fork of the Swan, and it's not on maps. When one is on the Crest trail where it drops low just south of Crater Lake, you can see the trail leading down the draw of the South Fork of the Swan. I've never followed this trail, but it leads to a logging road in only about 4 miles.

    Afraid. Those described rides are huge!
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    97
    Quote Originally Posted by GregB406 View Post
    No it isn't. Lewis Creek is on the east side of the range and what I am referring to is on the west side. It's an old hunting trail on the south fork of the Swan, and it's not on maps. When one is on the Crest trail where it drops low just south of Crater Lake, you can see the trail leading down the draw of the South Fork of the Swan. I've never followed this trail, but it leads to a logging road in only about 4 miles.

    Afraid. Those described rides are huge!
    oh, WEST side. One time I forgot my bear spray and got a flat in this low spot, a bit spooky there! Maybe it goes down to the end of Moose Creek road? I rode that Tamphrey trail from Tamphrey Road for the first time this summer, it's pretty brutal. The first 2 miles were dusty, rocky, motoed switchbacks, but rideable between each. Then the trail is kinda up and down, almost flowy, with some hike a bike for 2 more miles. Then it got really rocky and technical. Then i quit. Have you ridden it all the way to the cabin?

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    971
    Quote Originally Posted by afraid View Post
    oh, WEST side. One time I forgot my bear spray and got a flat in this low spot, a bit spooky there! Maybe it goes down to the end of Moose Creek road? I rode that Tamphrey trail from Tamphrey Road for the first time this summer, it's pretty brutal. The first 2 miles were dusty, rocky, motoed switchbacks, but rideable between each. Then the trail is kinda up and down, almost flowy, with some hike a bike for 2 more miles. Then it got really rocky and technical. Then i quit. Have you ridden it all the way to the cabin?
    I've never ridden Tamphery. Always been curious about it. The upper couple miles are frustratingly now closed to us.
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •