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  1. #1
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    Technical Trails near Bozeman, MT?

    There is a good chance that I'll be moving to Bozeman, MT in the near future. In the past, I have lived in both Tempe, AZ and Santa Barbara, CA, and enjoyed the wealth of technical trail riding at both locales (National, Mormon, Holbert, 24th Street, the NRA pit in Tempe, and Jesusita, Tunnel, San Ysidro in Santa Barbara).

    From what I have read and seen (youTube vids), the majority of the trail riding is of the non-technical variety, but looks great nontheless. However, I will want to get my all-mountain fix from time to time, and it would be nice to be able to remain within a 2-hour drive to do so (not having to drive 12 hours to Moab or 5 hours to Jackson).

    So is there a least one technical trail in the area? Technical for me means interesting rock problems to solve, sections of trail that take skill and balance to navigate rather than just pedal-mashing and lung-busting. You know, the kind of trail that you feel good about having knee pads (and maybe elbow pads) on, but not a full-face.

    I know I can ride the downhill bike @ Big Sky, but I'm more of the all-mountain variety and am looking to pedal most of the time. Main bike is a 6-inch full-suspension rig.

    Thanks for any input / ideas.

  2. #2
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    There's more than meets the eye in the greater BZN environs.

    * = strongly recommended

    Closest to town:

    Fairly Lake area: Fairy 500, which I can't recall if it's still "legal" after some recent land swaps. If not, Shafthouse (which is the trail to the right a mile or so before the lake) is a fun ride with plenty to pay attention to, but not too long outside the forest service road climb.

    *Hyalite area: Blackmore to Cottonwood, not really in the guidebooks, as they recommend History Rock to Cottonwood. The downhill from the pass is pretty technical, as well as the next 2-3 miles

    History Rock -> Cottonwood is also pretty fun and technical, especially the first 2 miles of downhill (guidebook)

    Gallatin Canyon:

    Garnet: Somewhat technical and not as long (but in guidebook)

    Further outside town:

    *Curly Lake Highline: This is probably the trail you want to ride the most. A few rockgardens near the end of a LONG day are pretty technical. Perhaps the best ride in SW Montana.

    *Sheep -> Mile, or Mile - > Sheep: This is down in Henry Mtns near Hebgen Lake / W. Yellowstone. The trails themselves are fairly buff but the elevation gain/altitude/scenery more than makes up for it. Toss up between these trails and Curly as to my favorite.

    *The new CDT reroute off of Targhee Pass which you can ride out to Mile (or Sheep) is really sweet as well.

  3. #3
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    Thanks MT rider. I just moved to Bozeman as well, and I am looking forward to the MTB season. Are there any group rides? I'd love to get to know the area with some folks who know it best. Thanks man,

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterMarv View Post
    Thanks MT rider. I just moved to Bozeman as well, and I am looking forward to the MTB season. Are there any group rides? I'd love to get to know the area with some folks who know it best. Thanks man,
    I wind up riding alone 99.9% of the time, but I think "most" (i.e. Bangtail, Roundhouse or Summit) of the shops in town have some sort of weekly group ride.

    If you get the Beartooth Map / Book (from any local bike shop) that has great maps / info to get you started exploring solo...

  5. #5
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    Will do, I've stopped by the shops, I guess I'll pick up the maps. See you on the trails.

  6. #6
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    True technical? Not much. Gallatin Canyon: Hidden Lakes Trailhead to Porcupine, not the normal route from Golden Trout Lake Trailhead; Tamphrey; Swan (sucks); Squaw (sucks). West Yellowstone: The switchbacks in upper Watkins and Sheep; Kirkwood; Teepee Basin; DRY CREEK! It ain't Arizona, but once you get in Montana aerobic shape you can explore these trails and find nuggets of technical. Dry Creek is probably the most techy I've found for fast downhill, Hidden Lakes for uphill.

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