32 miles
7,706 ft
-8,188 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.

Local Trail Association
Salmon Idaho Mountain Bike Association (www.ridesalmon.com)
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Route Sections

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


  • 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
    -483 ft
  • Altitude min
    4,225 ft
  • Altitude start
    4,709 ft
  • Altitude end
    4,226 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    16 miles
  • Distance down
    14 miles
  • Distance flat
    2 miles
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Trail Style
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Recent Trail Reports Along Route

South Fork Sheep Creek
Dec 9, 2017 @ 7:28am
Dec 9, 2017
Carmen Creek
Dec 9, 2017 @ 7:28am
Dec 9, 2017
Carmen Creek Road
Dec 9, 2017 @ 7:28am
Dec 9, 2017
CDT (4th Of July)
Dec 9, 2017 @ 7:28am
Dec 9, 2017
CDT (Twin Lakes)
Dec 9, 2017 @ 7:28am
Dec 9, 2017
more reports »
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