15 miles
Distance
2,369 ft
Climb
-2,367 ft
Descent
1 mile
High Point

This 15 mile loop is a mixture of singletrack, doubletrack and dirt road and follows a decent portion of the CDT. I recommend that it be ridden counter-clockwise as this will mean you have more downhill on single-track.

It could be started from many locations, but the easiest place to start is from the end of Joe Bower Rd (as shown in this route) or alternatively from Joe Bower's Saddle (where the road comes close to the trail).

The CDNST Joe Bowers to Bullion Road portion of the route is all singletrack through some very beautiful forest. At the top of the descending switchbacks you will come to an obvious trail junction where the old trail continues forward and a new trail switches down to the right. This route follows the old trail down the hill, however it is possible to continue on the (very nice) new trail and meet back up with the loop via dirt roads.

After leaving Telegraph road you begin your main climb on double track. There are a couple of un-marked trail junctions so I highly recommend consulting with the GPS to make sure you're on track. At a post with missing signs you will take a hard left straight up the hill for a killer of a climb.

You will eventually be rewarded with some gentler gradients and some nice views as the trail traverses around the side of Mt Bison, before joining back up with the CDT and dropping back to the start.

From the sign at Joe Bower's Saddle: "This loop trail represents the vision of southwest Montana hikers, horsemen and women, mountain bikers and conservationists working together to build and protect a trail system along the Continental Divide between the Pintler Wilderness Area and offering quiet trails and open spaces for everyone."

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Details

  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • Other Activities
    • Hike
    • Trail Running
  • Difficulty rating
    Blue
  • Route Type
    Loop
  • Bike type
    AM, XC
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Physical rating
    Moderate
More Stats for Bison Mountain Loop mountain bike route
  • Altitude min
    6,306 ft
  • Altitude start
    7,461 ft
  • Altitude end
    7,464 ft
  • Grade max
    -47.6%
  • Grade min
    40.2%
  • Distance climb
    7 miles
  • Distance down
    6 miles
  • Distance flat
    1 mile
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Trail Conditions
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  • Snow Groomed
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  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
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  • Wilderness (typically no bikes in USA)
  • BLM (public)
  • USFS (Wildlife sanctuaries darker than usfs)
  • State land
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Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
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  • Very Dry
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  • Stairs Stairs
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      Trail transparency

      Recent Trail Reports Along Route

      statustraildateconditiondescription
      CDNST Joe Bowers to Bullion Road.
      Sep 28, 2020 @ 9:04am
      Sep 28, 2020
      Couple trees down, in pretty good shape overall. reporter
      Ontario Creek Rd. to Bison Blackfoot Trail
      Aug 24, 2020 @ 4:29pm
      Aug 24, 2020
      All clear south of the junction with CDNST Joe Bowers to Bullion Road. reporter
      Bison - Bowers Connector
      Aug 24, 2020 @ 4:28pm
      Aug 24, 2020
      reporter
      Telegraph Creek Connector.
      Aug 31, 2019 @ 6:41pm
      Aug 31, 2019
      Several trees down.
      Telegraph Creek Road
      Nov 1, 2017 @ 11:24am
      Nov 1, 2017
      First real snowfall of 2017/18 reporter
      more reports »
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