Seeley Lake, MT Area Riding?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Seeley Lake, MT Area Riding?

    So... my dream of retiring early and moving to the Whitefish/Kalispell area is rapidly diminishing with increasing home costs. Seeley Lake looks to be still affordable and great for my winter sport of snowmobiling. How is that area for mountain biking? Any other areas I should look at? Ideally I like mountain resort towns without the high resort prices (still want access to town amenities; don't want redneck communities with meth/drug problems). West Yellowstone and Bigfork come to mind too.

    Thanks!

    G
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  2. #2
    Hey, a Bright Shiny Thing
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    I see a few trails near Seeley Lake on Trail Forks, but nowhere near the amount near Kalispell. I don't know how long you have till you punch out, but although Whitefish certainly has high prices, some of the surrounding areas are affordable. We have a small place just north of Bigfork in Creston, but there are a bunch of other places nearby that would work too. We just accept the fact if we want to go out to eat or go to town, its a 20 minute drive. Most of the riding in the Flathead is not what I would call your typical out the back door rides, although there are some. Try Ferndale, Creston, Evergreen, Rollins, etc. Seeley isn't all that far from the Missoula area either. Happy hunting!
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  3. #3
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    I donít know much about riding around Seely, beyond that there isnít a ton. Itís not a mountain resort so much as a timber town that was lucky enough to be on a lake. Itís a good lake and XC skiing area. Itís also a very small town without many amenities. I think of it as a cabin in the woods place.

    Bigfork is a nice place, though. More happening, more desirable, and closer to Flathead trails.

    West is a hole full of shitty businesses catering to busses of tourists. And itís expensive on top of that. I have a friend who works for the USFS in that district and she bought a house in Ennis because it was much more affordable. But if youíre into sledding, itís a great place in the winter.

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys! Yeah evasive, I did a Google Map "drive-thru" of Seeley Lake yesterday and pretty much came to the conclusion that I was mislead by my realtor and it is just way too small for me. Apparently the trees in the forest around it were all tightly spaced making for poor trail building so very little in the way of MTB but it all burned in the '17 fire so... now they are marketing it as a snowmobile paradise (which led me to consider it in the first place). I did more research on Bigfork too and... WOW, that looks like it could be home for me!!! Is it more desireable to be on the East side of the valley than the West side for MTB and snowmobiling? The mountains look bigger on the East side!

    Thanks again!!!

    G
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  5. #5
    Hey, a Bright Shiny Thing
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    The west side of the lake is typically calmer in the summer. The east side usually gets more snow when the weather backs up against the mountains there. I don't know how that translates to sleds, but FWIW, I think all of the Flathead is amazing. I ride up there every summer and there is so many good trails, some 5 minutes away, some 45. The southern parts of BC are also within easy striking distance too. Fernie, Golden, Rossland etc.

    Bigfork is a nice little town, but will be very crowded weekends and holidays. There are a bunch of great options near there for riding.

    No sales tax, but a bit higher property taxes and vehicle registration is dirt cheap
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  6. #6
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    I live in Creston and the best riding in the valley is in my backyard. PM me and we can talk.

  7. #7
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    seeley reminds me of priest lake, lumber town that has a shitload of tourist in the summer.

  8. #8
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    Pyramid Peak is awesome in Seeley. There is a ton of good riding real close.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim208 View Post
    seeley reminds me of priest lake, lumber town that has a shitload of tourist in the summer.
    I could see that comparison! I LOVE to sled at Priest in winter! I'll check out Pyramid Peak too kntr, thanks for the tip!

    Cheers,

    G
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Seeley Lake, MT Area Riding?-12792197_10153928867798774_2359616297957164992_o.jpg  

    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  10. #10
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    For right now, there is good backcountry bike riding to the east of Seeley, in the Monture and Otatsy areas. Some of that may get closed and some may be enshrined as a recreation area. Time will tell. Meanwhile there has been talk of a cross country trail from Seeley all the way to the Rattlesnake area near Missoula. There will be even more possibilities as the area recovers from fire.
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    I could see that comparison! I LOVE to sled at Priest in winter! I'll check out Pyramid Peak too kntr, thanks for the tip!

    Cheers,

    G
    phoebes tip, i will be doing a southern selkirk loop tomorrow.

  12. #12
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    OP - I'm late to the conversation, but it sounds like we are searching for similar housing.

    I grew up in Columbia Falls, college in Missoula. Still 10yrs from retiring (maybe less) and now moving back to Montana (can work from home). We focused our search on upper Flathead Valley and Missoula as we have aging parents in both locations that we want to be near. I really wanted Whitefish area, both great riding and skiing. Missoula has similar riding (not as much backcountry feel) and skiing is less refined. We almost bought between Kalispell and Whitefish on Hwy93, but ended up buying in Missoula. We will move there this summer.

    Reasons for Missoula - larger town, college activities (sports, culture), good restaurant scene. Price was somewhat lower, but we are spending about the same amount. I can ride to 3 or 4 different valley locations for good singletrack. Skiing will be ok, but short drive to parents in Flathead will allow more skiing at Whitefish.

    Missoula wouldn't have the snowmobiling you desire, but short drive to Seeley and west on I90 to St. Regis should have plenty.

    I actually considered Bigfork and Seeley due to proximity to Tour Divide route. But, the remoteness and my desire to be around amenities won out. Good luck in your search.

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