6.7 miles
Distance
722 ft
Climb
-2,333 ft
Descent
1 mile
High Point

Helena Classic

Four miles of the Continental Divide Trail lead to a locals' favorite downhill on the Switchback Ridge Trail. The CDT portion doesn't climb very much, but it is strewn with very challenging rock gardens. The downhill is relatively buff until the last few hundred yards.

Exit Highway 12 at the Cromwell-Dixon Campground, and drive up the hill to the Continental Divide overlook. The trail starts at the stairs. There is a gate shortly after entering the forest; be sure to close it behind you. As the CDT rises into an open meadow, stay left towards the trees to start the downhill.

During the summer months, Bike Helena and Vigilante Shuttles & Tours runs shuttles from bottom of Switchback Ridge up to the CDT overlook. This is a great way to do this ride, as it eliminates a shuttle run or a long road climb. The schedule is available at the Bike Helena website: http://www.bikehelena.com/index.php/trail-rider/

Detailed Description
MacDonald Pass is a 7 mile popular expert route located near Helena Montana. This mountain bike primary route can be used one direction and has a moderate overall physical rating. This route includes 2 trails. This route climbs 722 ft with a max elevation of 6,739 ft then descends -2,333 ft.
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6 Reviews & Comments

  • + 0
EricJBell (Jun 16, 2020 at 16:16)
About 90 trees down on the trail. Rideable but you’re going to be walking a bit of it.
[Reply]
  • + 0
Lowtech19 (Nov 3, 2018 at 12:35)
This trail needs to be cleared of down trees.
[Reply]
  • + 0
Sledge072 (Jul 15, 2018 at 13:35)
July 14, 2018: Trail is all clear, thank you. Some nasty Hog Weed at upper section to watch out for.
[Reply]
  • + 0
Sledge072 (Jul 15, 2018 at 13:32)
June 15, 2018: Trail is all clear (thank you!) except for one tree across. Lower switchbacks at end REALLY suck though, too bad, trail is otherwise awesome.
[Reply]
  • + 0
danstone12 (Jun 1, 2018 at 7:49)
This is unrideable due to hundreds of downed trees across the trail as of 6/1/18. The first mile off of Rimini Rd. is semi rideable but not worth the hassle since the upper section is also unrideable.
[Reply]
  • + 0
danstone12 (Jun 1, 2018 at 7:47)
This is unrideable due to hundreds of downed trees as of 6/1/18. Great if you like carrying your bike and climbing over trees though!
[Reply]





Details

  • Featured
  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • Other Activities
    • Hike
    • Trail Running
  • Difficulty rating
    Black Diamond
  • Route Type
    Shuttled
  • Bike type
    DH, AM, XC, Fat
  • Direction
    One Direction
  • Physical rating
    Moderate
  • Ridelogs
    83
More Stats for MacDonald Pass mountain bike route
  • Altitude change
    -1,611 ft
  • Altitude min
    4,804 ft
  • Altitude start
    6,415 ft
  • Altitude end
    4,803 ft
  • Grade
    -4.6%
  • Grade max
    -67.7%
  • Grade min
    44.8%
  • Distance climb
    2 miles
  • Distance down
    4 miles
  • Distance flat
    1,115 ft
Avg: 5 (1 votes)
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Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
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  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
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  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
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CDT Centennials part 2
CDT Centennials part 2
5:48 | 60 | comments: 0 | favs:
Oct 1, 2018
CDT
CDT Centennials
CDT Centennials
7:20 | 62 | comments: 0 | favs:
Oct 1, 2018
CDT Centennial Mountains

Recent Trail Reports Along Route

statustraildateconditiondescription
Switchback Ridge Trail
Jul 25, 2022 @ 3:48pm
Jul 25, 2022
Two trees down that would be easy with hand saw. Both come at you fast so heads up.
CDNST (MacDonald Pass to Switchback Ridge)
Jun 4, 2022 @ 2:23pm
Jun 4, 2022
Two passable snow drifts. All trees cleared. Ready to rip.
more reports »
  • By evasive MBG & contributors
  • #1441 - 4,513 views
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