3 miles
Distance
847 ft
Climb
-557 ft
Descent
01:01:30
Avg time
Trail Supporters, Builders & Maintainers of CDNST (MacDonald Pass to Switchback Ridge) Trail

Details

  • Activities
    • Mountain Bike
    • Hike
    • Trail Running
    • Horse
    • Snowshoe
    • Backcountry Ski
    • Nordic Ski
  • Riding Area
    MacDonald Pass
    Helena, Montana
  • Ref Number
    #337
  • AKA
    Mac Pass
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Hiking SAC Scale
    T1 Hiking
  • Trail Type
    Singletrack
  • Bike Type
    AM, XC, Fat
  • Trail Usage
    Multi-use
  • Direction
    Both Directions
    Popular direction shown
  • Climb Difficulty
    Black Diamond
  • Physical Rating
    Moderate
  • Trail Visibility
    Always easy to follow
  • Season
    June-October
  • Dogs Allowed
    Yes
  • eBike Allowed
  • TTFs on Trail
    Rock Face, Rock Garden
  • Global Ranking
    #18000 in Mountain Biking
  • Local Popularity
    75 in Mountain Biking [+]
    • 5 in Trail Running
    • 5 in Hiking
    • 5 in Horseback
    • 5 in Snowshoeing
    • 5 in Skiing
    • 5 in Skiing
  • Land Manager
    USFS

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. Several of them provide very difficult climbs. Get ready to session them, or to carry your bike. The rocks are the trail's defining feature, and Helenans love testing themselves on them.

Access Info

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, the Switchback Ridge Trail is to the left towards the trees. This provides the downhill connection to Tenmile Creek and Rimini Road.

More Stats for CDNST (MacDonald Pass to Switchback Ridge) bike trail
  • Altitude change
    290 ft
  • Altitude min
    6,210 ft
  • Altitude max
    6,726 ft
  • Altitude start
    6,436 ft
  • Altitude end
    6,726 ft
  • Grade
    1.703%
  • Grade max
    -26.444%
  • Grade min
    30.946%
  • Distance climb
    2 miles
  • Distance down
    1 miles
  • Distance flat
    1,311 ft
  • Avg time
    01:01:30
  • Avg reverse time
    00:01:22
  • view trail stats
Status:
on Aug 22, 2019
Dry
Avg: 4 (6 votes)

view (179)
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Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail Ridden Direction
Trailforks scans users ridelogs to determine the most popular direction each trail is ridden. A good flowing trail network will have most trails flowing in a single direction according to their intension.
The colour categories are based on what percentage of riders are riding a trail in its intended direction.
  • > 96%
  • > 90%
  • > 80%
  • > 70%
  • > 50%
  • < 50%
Trail Last Ridden
Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine the last time a trail was ridden.
  • < 2 days
  • < 1 week
  • < 2 weeks
  • < 1 month
  • < 6 months
  • > 6 months
Trail Ridden Direction
The intended direction a trail should be ridden.
  • Downhill Only
  • Downhill Primary
  • Both Directions
  • Uphill Primary
  • Uphill Only
  • One Direction
ContributeDetails
Colors indicate trail is missing specified detail.
  • Description
  • Photos
  • Description & Photos
  • Videos
Trail Popularity ?
Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine which trails are ridden the most in the last 9 months. Trails are compared with nearby trails in the same city region with a possible 25 colour shades. Think of this as a heatmap, more rides = more kinetic energy = warmer colors.
  • most popular
  • popular
  • less popular
  • not popular

LEGEND
Trail Difficulties
  • Access Road/Trail
  • White
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Double Black Diamond

Trail Report Status
  • Clear / Green
  • Minor Issue / Yellow
  • Significant Issue / Amber
  • Closed

  • Land Owner Overlay
  • 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
  • trail Trail Head
  • photo Photo
  • place Directory Listing
  • region Riding Area
  • TTF TTF
  • Parking Parking
  • Viewpoint Viewpoint
  • Information Information
  • Warning Warning
  • Directions Directions
  • Sight Sight
  • Restrooms Restrooms
  • eBike Charging Point eBike Charging Point
  • Water Fountain/Source Water Fountain/Source
  • Gate Gate
  • Trail Sign Trail Sign
  • Table or Bench Table or Bench
  • Ladder Ladder
  • Stairs Stairs
  • Bridge Bridge
  • Camping Camping
  • Cabin Cabin
  • Lodge Lodge
  • Bear Cache Bear Cache
  • Dock Dock
  • Ranger Station Ranger Station
  • Summit Summit
  • Other Other
      Directions to cdnst-macdonald-pass-to-switchback-ridge trailhead (46.557070, -112.306940)
      update trails status or condition

      CDNST (MacDonald... Trail Reports

      statusdatedescription
      Aug 22, 2019 @ 3:54pm
      Aug 22, 2019
      7 trees down over the trail. Did some rock removal but didn’t have a saw to get rid of them....
      Jul 19, 2019 @ 7:07pm
      Jul 19, 2019
      reporter
      Cleared a few trees
      Jul 7, 2019 @ 8:44am
      Jul 7, 2019
      reporter All clear!
      Jul 5, 2019 @ 6:45am
      Jul 5, 2019
      Montana Bicycle Guild finished clearing the trail 7-4-19.
      Jun 30, 2019 @ 1:36pm
      Jun 30, 2019
      Went half way in and had over 10 trees on the trail. Luckily ran into some people who told us that there were a ton more.
      view all reports »

      Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail

      Past Week
      • 0 rides
      •  
      6 Months
      • 21 rides
      • 9 miles avg distance
      All
      • 283 rides
      •  

      Photos

      more »
      8 |
      Aug 6, 2019 @ 6:47am
      Aug 6, 2019
      8 |
      Aug 6, 2019 @ 6:46am
      Aug 6, 2019
      9 |
      Aug 6, 2019 @ 6:45am
      Aug 6, 2019
      5 |
      Aug 6, 2019 @ 6:45am
      Aug 6, 2019

      Routes with this trail

      titleratingdistance
      MacDonald Pass featured
      7 miles
      Freehub Magazine: MacDonald Pass
      7 miles

      Trail Events

      2 Reviews & Comments

      • + 0
      flag HubCoffee (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]
      • + 0
      flag 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]

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      Videos

      more »
      youtuber It's hella fast in Helena | Mountain Biking...
      11:29 | 228 | Aug 17, 2018 , Helena
      CDT Centennials part 2
      5:48 | 22 | Oct 1, 2018 , Helena
      CDT Centennials
      7:20 | 35 | Oct 1, 2018 , Helena
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