14.6 miles
2,369 ft
-2,367 ft
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."

Local Trail Association
Please consider joining or donating to the local riding association to support trail development & maintenance.
donate to earn trail karma!


Post a Comment


  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • Other Activities
    • Hike
    • Trail Running
  • Difficulty rating
  • Route Type
  • Bike type
    AM, XC
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Physical rating
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
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    7 miles
  • Distance down
    6 miles
  • Distance flat
    1 mile
no votes yet
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Snow Cover Inadequate
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail Flow (Ridden Direction)
Trailforks scans users ridelogs to determine the most popular direction each trail is ridden. A good flowing trail network will have most trails flowing in a single direction according to their intension.
The colour categories are based on what percentage of riders are riding a trail in its intended direction.
  • > 96%
  • > 90%
  • > 80%
  • > 70%
  • > 50%
  • < 50%
  • bi-directional trail
  • no data
Trail Last Ridden
Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine the last time a trail was ridden.
  • < 2 days
  • < 1 week
  • < 2 weeks
  • < 1 month
  • < 6 months
  • > 6 months
Trail Ridden Direction
The intended direction a trail should be ridden.
  • Downhill Only
  • Downhill Primary
  • Both Directions
  • Uphill Primary
  • Uphill Only
  • One Direction
Contribute Details
Colors indicate trail is missing specified detail.
  • Description
  • Photos
  • Description & Photos
  • Videos
Trail Popularity ?
Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine which trails are ridden the most in the last 9 months. Trails are compared with nearby trails in the same city region with a possible 25 colour shades. Think of this as a heatmap, more rides = more kinetic energy = warmer colors.
  • most popular
  • popular
  • less popular
  • not popular
Max Vehicle Width

Radar Time
x Activity Recordings
Trailforks users anonymized public ridelogs from the past 6 months.
  • mountain biking recent
  • mountain biking (>6 month)
  • hiking (1 year)
  • moto (1 year)
Activity Recordings
Trailforks users anonymized public skilogs from the past 12 months.
  • Downhill Ski
  • Backcountry Ski
  • Nordic Ski
Jump Magnitude Heatmap
Heatmap of where riders jump on trails. Zoom in to see individual jumps, click circles to view jump details.
Trails Deemphasized
Trails are shown in grey.
Trail transparency

Recent Trail Reports Along Route

CDNST Joe Bowers to Bullion Road.
Aug 29, 2021 @ 2:48pm
Aug 29, 2021
Trail is in great shape, quality single track in a nice forest. I cut 7 small trees out and the coast is clear.
Ontario Creek Rd. to Bison Blackfoot Trail
Jul 8, 2021 @ 6:11am
Jul 8, 2021
Bison - Bowers Connector
Aug 24, 2020 @ 4:28pm
Aug 24, 2020
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 »
  • flag
  • login to download gpx or kml files.