3 miles
50 ft
-1,980 ft
Avg time
Trail Supporters, Builders & Maintainers of Switchback Ridge Trail


  • Riding area
    Helena, Montana
  • AKA
    Mac Pass Downhill
  • Difficulty rating
  • Trail type
  • Bike type
    DH, AM, XC, Fat
  • Trail Usage
  • Direction
    Downhill Primary
    Popular direction shown
  • Climb Difficulty
    Black Diamond
  • Physical rating
  • Season
    June - November
  • eBike Allowed
  • Global Ranking
  • Land Manager

The Switchback Ridge Trail is a locals' favorite downhill. It is relatively buff until the final few hundred yards. The trail follows an old road prism in some locations, although this may be re-routed in 2017 or 2018. There are a few 90-degree turns that can catch you unawares, so keep your head up. The trail ends on the west side of Tenmile Creek. You can either hop across the rocks, or ride a few hundred yards to the north where the creek flows under the road.

Please notify the Montana Bicycle Guild of any issues related to this trail.

Access Info

Most riders get to the Switchback Ridge Trail from the Continental Divide Trail: 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. Alternately, some ride this trail as an out-and-back early in the season before the CDT is clear.

Local Trail Association
More Stats for Switchback Ridge Trail mountain bike trail
  • Altitude change
    -1,930 ft
  • Altitude min
    4,793 ft
  • Altitude max
    6,747 ft
  • Altitude start
    6,723 ft
  • Altitude end
    4,793 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    954 ft
  • Distance down
    3 miles
  • Distance flat
    237 ft
  • Avg time
  • Avg reverse time
  • view trail stats
on Nov 1, 2017
Snow Covered
Avg: 5 (2 votes)

view (77)
Layers winter
Trail Style
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Directions to switchback-ridge-trail trailhead (46.520736, -112.293169)
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Switchback Ridge... Trail Reports

Nov 1, 2017 @ 11:24am
Nov 1, 2017
reporter First real snowfall of 2017/18
Oct 25, 2017 @ 3:57pm
Oct 25, 2017
Dozens of downed trees on trail
Sep 30, 2017 @ 5:58pm
Sep 30, 2017
Sep 30, 2017 @ 5:50pm
Sep 30, 2017
reporter Cleared dozens of trees. Some larger trunks will need a chainsaw. Hopefully tomorrow.
Sep 4, 2017 @ 7:00pm
Sep 4, 2017
view all reports »


more »
47 |
Apr 12, 2017 @ 9:28am
Apr 12, 2017
Switchback Ridge Trail
176 |
Oct 24, 2016 @ 7:01pm
Oct 24, 2016
Switchback Ridge Trail
86 |
Oct 24, 2016 @ 6:57pm
Oct 24, 2016
Switchback Ridge Trail

Routes with this trail

MacDonald Pass
7 miles
Freehub Magazine: MacDonald Pass
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