25.4 miles
4,731 ft
-4,731 ft
1 mile
High Point

Missoula's premier backcountry classic ride This is the typical way most people ride the Sheep Mountain loop, although it can be done backwards (with an amazingly long final descent from Blue Point to Woods Gulch Trail). The recommended counter-clockwise direction is slightly easier climbing (but still VERY hard). This ride takes you far into the backcountry, so bring appropriate food, clothing, first aid, and repair items. There is a spring near the intersection of 1513 and the Sheep Mountain Descend (shown on Trailforks). Bringing a filter and filling up at the spring is highly recommended. Count on this ride taking 4 to 6 hours.

MTB Missoula removes the deadfall from this trail annually. If you enjoy this ride, become a member and please give them your support!

Detailed Description
MTBM - Classic Sheep Mountain Loop is a 25 mile popular expert route located near Missoula Montana. This mountain bike only route can be used one direction and has a hard overall physical rating. This route includes 3 trails. This route climbs 4,731 ft with a max elevation of 7,581 ft then descends -4,731 ft.
Route Supporters
Local Trail Association
Local trail association
MTB Missoula (www.mtbmissoula.org)
Please consider joining or donating to the local riding association to support trail development & maintenance.
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9 Reviews & Comments

  • + 0
Teggert (Jun 30, 2021 at 17:45)
  • + 0
rth009 (Jun 27, 2021 at 15:11)
4 large trees Down on the sheep Mountain Trail after you start climbing again after you descend from the blue point trail intersection.
  • + 1
Azdolan (Jun 6, 2021 at 22:19)
The directions are mostly correct accept for the junction with Blue Point. At this intersection you start to descend for a few hundred feet as you continue out to Sheep.
  • + 1
ladyloam (Jun 22, 2020 at 8:25)
you'd have to be a beast to finish the entire loop in 4 hours. Not impossible, but 6 hours with stops is more reasonable.
  • + 0
iamhans (May 23, 2020 at 8:22)
Pretty dry to The bridge, then gets wet. Some parts of the trail were full on streams. Two trees down in the last mile before the wilderness boundary. The ride back down hill through the trail/stream was COLD.
  • + 1
jmahler TRAILFORKS (Aug 19, 2018 at 8:02)
Just a long flat road ride :-(
  • + 0
mtbmissoula (Jul 22, 2018 at 22:39)
A few large piles of bear scat on the trail
  • + 0
pjh754 (Jul 17, 2018 at 20:33)
If rocks are your archenemy, prepare.
  • + 0
kntr (Mar 22, 2015 at 21:10)
This is a grinder. This trail can be done in both directions but I think Id rather drop down from Sheep Mountain into Lincoln Hills and ride up the Rattlesnake.

Trails in Route


  • Featured
  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • Difficulty rating
    Black Diamond
  • Route Type
  • Bike type
    AM, XC
  • Direction
    One Direction
  • Physical rating
  • Ridelogs
More Stats for MTBM - Classic Sheep Mountain Loop mountain bike route
  • Altitude min
    3,575 ft
  • Altitude start
    3,589 ft
  • Altitude end
    3,589 ft
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    10 miles
  • Distance down
    13 miles
  • Distance flat
    2 miles
Avg: 3.8 (5 votes)
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Snow Cover Inadequate
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
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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
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  • Nordic Ski
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Recent Trail Reports Along Route

Sheep Mountain
Jul 10, 2022 @ 8:12am
Jul 10, 2022
Snow is melted out and the trail is riding really well.
Sheep Mountain
Jun 29, 2022 @ 7:43pm
Jun 29, 2022
Started at the Rattlesnake Main Corridor car park today and rode this. Quite a bit of snow on the switchbacks at the top. Steep and slick. Hats off to the sawyers and swampers who performed a herculean effort to cut 100's of large diameter trees off this trail. Thank you!! What an epic.
Main Corridor
Jun 16, 2022 @ 4:53pm
Jun 16, 2022
Big mud pit near the poe meadow outhouse. Other than that, fantastic.
more reports »
  • By Fanderson MTBM & contributors
  • #7016 - 5,780 views
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