32.2 miles
6,142 ft
-6,621 ft
2 miles
High Point

Carmen Creek to Sheep Creek is a great ride in through the core of the Beaverhead Mountains on the Continental Divide Trail. This section of CDT traverses through stateline meadows then drops on some classic trail through northern Beaverhead peaks. It is safe to call this an Epic Ride.

Accessing the CDT from Carmen Creek is a test of will in gaining over 4000' from the valley floor. Shuttling up to the bridge and the gate cut out 5 miles and a big chunk of the climbing.

Once on the Divide the challenge continues but the riding improves greatly. The trail crosses to Montana and rolls through alpine terrain, over meadows and past lakes, with vistas of the Big Fly Country.

The ride enters Idaho at an old Salmon Nat. Forest sign and the trail begins to improve greatly. You will traverse the head of 4th of July creek on some amazing trail, and if you take a minute to look up you will see the rugged terrain of the Salmon River Country.

The CDT the loses 3000' rowdy feet as it drops to meet Sheep Creek near an old mining cabin. Hang a left here and pick up Sheep Creek (126) for 6 more miles of tough terrain with a couple more rowdy drops.

Finally the ride parallels Sheep Creek through a jungle-like corridor before meeting a gravel road that quickly connects to US93.

This ride can also be done from North to South by shuttling up 4th of July Creek Road, hitting the CDT near the top of Sheep Creek's South Fork and then dropping down Carmen.

An out and back from 4th of July is another great way to access this section of CDT.

Either way, this is classic backcountry riding on the Continental Divide.

Detailed Description
CDT - Carmen to Sheep Cr. is a 32 mile popular expert route located near Heidelberg. This mountain bike primary route can be used one direction and has a extreme overall physical rating. This route includes 10 trails. This route climbs 6,142 ft with a max elevation of 8,769 ft then descends -6,621 ft.
Local Trail Association
Local trail association
HD-Freeride e.V. (www.hd-freeride.de)
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Route Sections

1 Ride Start from Upper Shuttle Drop
  • 27 miles distance
  • 1 mile climb
  • -7,898 ft descent


  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • Difficulty rating
    Black Diamond
  • Route Type
    Point to Point
  • Bike type
    AM, XC, Fat
  • Direction
    One Direction
  • Physical rating
More Stats for CDT - Carmen to Sheep Cr. mountain bike route
  • Altitude change
    -479 ft
  • Altitude min
    4,234 ft
  • Altitude start
    4,712 ft
  • Altitude end
    4,232 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    17 miles
  • Distance down
    15 miles
  • Distance flat
    1 mile
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Trail Conditions
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  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
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Recent Trail Reports Along Route

CDT (Bradley Gulch)
Sep 25, 2022 @ 9:54pm
Sep 25, 2022
The Montana section is all clear (cut out 5 trees). Down in Bradley Gulch on the mining 2-track section, there is a 3-tree blowdown of 18-inch diameter trees that is challenging to climb over or around, also an 18-inch+ tree just past the first crossing of Sheep Creek.
CDT (South Fork Sheep)
Sep 18, 2022 @ 8:27pm
Sep 18, 2022
Clear of deadfall and riding very well. Fall colors coming on. Watch for wolves, other large predators and the usual S. Fork Sheep wildness.
Sheep Creek
Sep 18, 2022 @ 8:23pm
Sep 18, 2022
3 chainsaw worthy trees down.
Carmen Creek Trail
Aug 29, 2022 @ 6:45pm
Aug 29, 2022
Clear of all deadfall. reporter
CDT (Twin Lakes)
Aug 29, 2022 @ 6:40pm
Aug 29, 2022
About 13 trees down. Most are small or medium sized, and many can be ridden over, but 2 larger trees will need a chainsaw or large handsaw.
more reports »
  • By chuktA TRAILFORKS NFTA Map Team & contributors
  • #6107 - 1,093 views