3 miles
Distance
100 ft
Climb
-2,039 ft
Descent
00:29:54
Avg time
Trail Supporters, Builders & Maintainers of Switchback Ridge Trail

Details

  • Activities
    • Mountain Bike
    • Hike
    • Trail Running
    • Horse
    • Snowshoe
    • Backcountry Ski
    • Nordic Ski
  • Riding Area
    MacDonald Pass
    Helena, Montana
  • Ref Number
    #348
  • AKA
    Mac Pass Downhill
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Hiking SAC Scale
    T1 Hiking
  • Trail Type
    Singletrack
  • Bike Type
    DH, AM, XC, Fat
  • Trail Usage
    Multi-use
  • Direction
    Downhill Primary
    Popular direction shown
  • Climb Difficulty
    Black Diamond
  • Physical Rating
    Moderate
  • Trail Visibility
    Always easy to follow
  • Season
    June - November
  • Dogs Allowed
    Yes
  • eBike Allowed
  • Global Ranking
    #12504 in Mountain Biking
  • Local Popularity
    80 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

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 bike trail
  • Altitude change
    -1,939 ft
  • Altitude min
    4,787 ft
  • Altitude max
    6,748 ft
  • Altitude start
    6,726 ft
  • Altitude end
    4,787 ft
  • Grade
    -10.596%
  • Grade max
    -39.531%
  • Grade min
    21.993%
  • Distance climb
    1,317 ft
  • Distance down
    3 miles
  • Distance flat
    669 ft
  • Avg time
    00:29:54
  • Avg reverse time
    00:00:58
  • view trail stats
Status:
on Aug 25, 2019
Dry
Avg: 4.75 (4 votes)

view (178)
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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 switchback-ridge-trail trailhead (46.520740, -112.293180)
      update trails status or condition

      Switchback Ridge... Trail Reports

      statusdatedescription
      Aug 25, 2019 @ 6:45am
      Aug 25, 2019
      reporter A couple big trees (12-15”) down on the high speed sections. Could probably be handsawed with some elbow grease.
      Jul 19, 2019 @ 7:09pm
      Jul 19, 2019
      reporter
      Cleared down trees
      Jul 14, 2019 @ 12:14pm
      Jul 14, 2019
      20 or so trees down in about 5 or 6 spots.
      Jul 7, 2019 @ 8:44am
      Jul 7, 2019
      reporter 4 trees down on Sunday AM.
      Jul 5, 2019 @ 6:47am
      Jul 5, 2019
      Montana Bicycle Guild finished clearing this trail 7-4-19
      view all reports »

      Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail

      Past Week
      • 0 rides
      •  
      6 Months
      • 0 rides
      •  
      All
      • 247 rides
      •  

      Photos

      more »
      10 |
      Aug 6, 2019 @ 6:57am
      Aug 6, 2019
      8 |
      Aug 6, 2019 @ 6:56am
      Aug 6, 2019
      10 |
      Aug 6, 2019 @ 6:48am
      Aug 6, 2019
      6 |
      Aug 6, 2019 @ 6:48am
      Aug 6, 2019

      Routes with this trail

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

      3 Reviews & Comments

      • + 0
      flag HubCoffee (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
      flag 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
      flag Lowtech19 (Nov 3, 2018 at 12:35)
       This trail needs to be cleared of down trees.
      [Reply]

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