15 miles
Distance
2,414 ft
Climb
-2,410 ft
Descent
1 miles
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
    6,313 ft
  • Altitude start
    7,475 ft
  • Altitude end
    7,477 ft
  • Grade max
    -43.6%
  • Grade min
    43.1%
  • Distance climb
    7 miles
  • Distance down
    6 miles
  • Distance flat
    4,810 ft
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Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
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  • Ideal
  • Dry
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  • Wilderness (typically no bikes in USA)
  • BLM (public)
  • USFS (Wildlife sanctuaries darker than usfs)
  • State land
  • Indigenous
  • Military
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
  • Map Markers
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  • Ladder Ladder
  • Stairs Stairs
  • Bridge Bridge
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  • Bear Cache Bear Cache
  • Dock Dock
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      Trail transparency

      Recent Trail Reports Along Route

      statustraildateconditiondescription
      CDNST Joe Bowers to Bullion Road.
      Aug 31, 2019 @ 7:22pm
      Aug 31, 2019
      A couple trees down.
      Telegraph Creek Connector.
      Aug 31, 2019 @ 6:41pm
      Aug 31, 2019
      Several trees down.
      Continental Divide Trail: Ontario Creek Rd. to Thunderbolt Mountain
      Sep 13, 2018 @ 6:10am
      Sep 13, 2018
      Some 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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