Where would you live in this tri-state area for the best MTB?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Where would you live in this tri-state area for the best MTB?

    So... I'm planning an early retirement next year so I can finally get out and ride more often while I still have some youthful energy left . Riding in the Pacific NW has been awesome but my asthma just can't take all the dampness and mold anymore so my plan is to relocate to the mountains of MT, ID or WY. My other big sport is snowmobiling so... West Yellowstone immediately comes to mind and home prices seem "reasonable". How is that for MTBing? My other fave options are Kalispell (I LOVE Glacier Park) but the political climate seems to be favoring the non bike crowd and trail closures? McCall seems perfect but home prices are getting a bit out of hand (same with Sandpoint). I've seen some vids of freeriding there which I really want access to in my retirement location, not just XC trails. Where should I look?

    Thanks!

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

  2. #2
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    Driggs, Wydaho

  3. #3
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    north Idaho is very wet. The sledding is pretty dang good though. Still 13 feet up high, because we are very wet.

  4. #4
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    I'm in McCall, let me know if you need any info. Prices are climbing, but they're still below other mountain towns. Look in Donnelly if you want some acreage and to get the price down. Two lift served mountains in summer plus shuttles at Jug in addition to the miles of backcountry riding.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankyone View Post
    Driggs, Wydaho
    Nice! So that is like the affordable area of the Teton Valley?
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim208 View Post
    north Idaho is very wet. The sledding is pretty dang good though. Still 13 feet up high, because we are very wet.
    You got that right! Photo above Priest Lake. It's still pretty rainy though huh?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Where would you live in this tri-state area for the best MTB?-im000025.jpg  

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

  7. #7
    Hey, a Bright Shiny Thing
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    Flathead Valley has really great riding. Not sure what you are referring to as to the political climate and closures. Montana has had its fair share is Wilderness issues and closures, but not that I'm aware of in the Kalispell area.. A great example of cooperation there is the Spencer trail system....Used to be wildcat feature trails on state school forest lands and now a great area that still gets logged but everyone is on the same page. Theres lift served at Big Mountain and enough epic single track to keep you busy all summer. I like it because you have some of the big box amenities that are needed at times but drive 20-30 minutes and you can be pretty isolated. Not sure about snow mobiles......but there is a ton of snow this year.
    Not a bad choice to make either way and enjoy the retirement

  8. #8
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    The riding around west Yellowstone is some of the best in SW MT, so good that it's threatened for closure by forest service under RWA.

    Lionhead: Mile and Sheep Creek, and north/south side CDT

    Ride it while you can...

    I poked around Cliff and Wade lakes for an affordable biking friendly cabin, and settled on Island Park ID which is close to lionhead/Henry's Mtns and also has ton of trails and the Centennial Mtns which have good singletrack in high Alpine as well.

    IP might be too wet though if that's a concern...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by azfishman View Post
    Flathead Valley has really great riding. Not sure what you are referring to as to the political climate and closures. Montana has had its fair share is Wilderness issues and closures, but not that I'm aware of in the Kalispell area.. A great example of cooperation there is the Spencer trail system....Used to be wildcat feature trails on state school forest lands and now a great area that still gets logged but everyone is on the same page. Theres lift served at Big Mountain and enough epic single track to keep you busy all summer. I like it because you have some of the big box amenities that are needed at times but drive 20-30 minutes and you can be pretty isolated. Not sure about snow mobiles......but there is a ton of snow this year.
    Not a bad choice to make either way and enjoy the retirement
    Flathead is also super close to awesome BC riding. Nelson, Rossland and Fernie are super close and even Revelstoke and Golden are doable for a long weekend.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RooR View Post
    Flathead is also super close to awesome BC riding. Nelson, Rossland and Fernie are super close and even Revelstoke and Golden are doable for a long weekend.
    Yep, I was thinking that too. Are the roads going up there closed in the winter though? I'd like access to Revy and Sicamous for sure! Does the Flathead area have any freeride trails? The vid I saw of Big Mountain at Whitefish looked pretty tame?

    Thanks for all the responses guys, keep them coming!

    Cheers,

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

  11. #11
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    regarding the political climate there are a couple of small at risk areas- most notably 10 lakes, but predominately the trend here is building more trail, too the local forest service has been a good partner in addressing front country trails.
    regarding free ride the biggest systems would be at big mountain and spencer, i am not the one to comment there- try pm'ing kntr he lives in the area and would be a good resource for you.
    the roads to those towns don't close in the winter, but the bulk of the forestry roads do, largely becoming oversnow roads. Nelson is about 4 hours from kalispell, fernie 2, revelstoke 4-5.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Yep, I was thinking that too. Are the roads going up there closed in the winter though? I'd like access to Revy and Sicamous for sure! Does the Flathead area have any freeride trails? The vid I saw of Big Mountain at Whitefish looked pretty tame?

    Thanks for all the responses guys, keep them coming!

    Cheers,

    G

  12. #12
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    sundance lookout out of priest lake on 4-19-18
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Where would you live in this tri-state area for the best MTB?-untitled-attachment-00043.jpg  


  13. #13
    Hey, a Bright Shiny Thing
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    I don't know if I would call it tame....The flow trails and jump trails are pretty sweet. Runaway Train has some decent techy stuff as does GNR and Classic Rock. Spencer has some great trails with features. Flathead Area Mountain Bikers is a great advocacy group that may have some more resources. I forgot about the proximity to southern BC, that would put it up to the top....Fernie is amazing....I know the kids toss that word around alot these days, but it is truly a mtb Shangri La. I have 4 years left and Flathead is where I will be in the summer!
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  14. #14
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    gman

    the Kalispell general area is pretty nice, but I wonder what the north fork area north of salmon, Idaho would be like. I have a hard on for a town called gibbonsville, just north of north fork and south of lost trail pass.

  15. #15
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    Nice pic Tim!!! And yeah, Mike over at RedBarn was mentioning that area to me as his fave. The downside to that tho is that you are REALLY out there, away from major towns for essentials and a social life. Seems like Kalispell is a good mix of both... for now anyway!

    Cheers,

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

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Yep, I was thinking that too. Are the roads going up there closed in the winter though? I'd like access to Revy and Sicamous for sure! Does the Flathead area have any freeride trails? The vid I saw of Big Mountain at Whitefish looked pretty tame?

    Thanks for all the responses guys, keep them coming!

    Cheers,

    G
    Canadians excel at keeping winter highways open.

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