5.9 miles
4,953 ft
-124 ft
Avg time
Supporters, Builders, Maintainers & Land Managers of Ward Mountain Trail

  • USFS
    Land Manager

Ward Mountain Details

  • Activities
    • Mountain Bike
    • E-Bike
    • Hike
    • Trail Running
    • Dirtbike/Moto
  • Riding Area
    , Montana
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Hiking SAC Scale
    T2 Mountain Hiking
  • Trail Type
  • Bike Type
    DH, AM, XC, Fat
  • Direction
    Both Directions
    Popular in reverse
  • Climb Difficulty
    Black Diamond
  • Physical Rating
  • Season
    It all depends how high you want to ride
  • Dogs Allowed
  • eBike Allowed
    Yes up to Class 1
  • Global Ranking
    #21235 in Mountain Biking [+]
    • #30598 in Trail Running
    • #14207 in Hiking
  • Local Popularity
    65 in Mountain Biking [+]
    • 5 in E-Biking
    • 5 in Trail Running
    • 100 in Hiking
    • 5 in Dirtbiking
  • Land Owner

Most of the peaks in the Bitterroot are within the wilderness boundary. Ward Mountain is your only chance to ride from valley bottom to peak top with nearly 5000' of sustained climbing.

If your sole goal is riding fast flowy trail, you can stick to the lower third of the mountain where the trail is the sweetest, and it is a great afterwork option, but sometimes you want to climb until there no more trail; until there is no more climbing to be done. For those times unless you won the genetic lottery or are a member of the PED of the month club expect to be pushing your bike at some point.

So push on past the fun bottom zone, through the old burn and pedal your way up to the top.

There are no forks or challenging route finding issues. Find the trail and climb.

The bottom third has the highest quality trail, with a great grade for climbing and plenty of swoop of the way back down. Climbing to the burn can be a great post-work ride. Once at the burn, the trail gets steeper with some erosion and encroaching lodgepole on the edges of the trail. Until you are out of the burn there is a fair amount of hike-a-bike, and be prepared for fallen trees, there are still quite a few dead snags waiting for the next windstorm.

After the burn, the trail levels out temporarily until you reach Raven's Rock. Take a break at the overlook into Roaring Lion and Goat Mountain.

From here on out the trail slowly eases up on the gradient, but the top seems forever distant. Stagger to the top, ooh and ahh a few times. Take a selfie. Check the status of your brake pads and hope you have been doing your forearm exercise since you have 5000' to descend.

History & Background:
Ward Mountain dominates the Bitterroot Valley south of Hamilton and has the only trail in the range open to bikes.

Access Info

Drive up Roaring Lion Rd

Local Trail Association
More Stats for Ward Mountain multi-use trail trail
  • Altitude change
    4,829 ft
  • Altitude min
    4,285 ft
  • Altitude max
    9,114 ft
  • Altitude start
    4,285 ft
  • Altitude end
    9,114 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    5 miles
  • Distance down
    2,364 ft
  • Avg time
  • Avg reverse time
  • view trail stats
on Oct 2, 2022
Avg: 5 (3 votes)
Your vote: 0

view (95)
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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x Activity Recordings
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  • mountain biking recent
  • mountain biking (>6 month)
  • hiking (1 year)
  • moto (1 year)
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      Directions to ward-mountain trailhead (46.191180, -114.221660)
      update trails status or condition

      Ward Mountain Trail Reports

      Oct 2, 2022 @ 8:18pm
      Oct 2, 2022
      Lots of trees down, even on the lower (rideable) section. Some definitely chainsaw worthy. Not worth riding until they are cleared.
      Jun 15, 2022 @ 9:16am
      Jun 15, 2022
      reporter Clear to Molly meadow.
      Oct 22, 2021 @ 11:46am
      Oct 22, 2021
      Riding prime. Little snow at the top but not bad. New weather may shut down the top though About 5 trees down. Two are on the lower rerouted...
      May 6, 2021 @ 5:40pm
      May 6, 2021
      reporter Dry to the old burn about 1500’ above the trailhead
      Aug 23, 2020 @ 8:28am
      Aug 23, 2020
      reporter Drier than a popcorn fart. No trees down. Good riding.
      view all reports »

      Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail

      Past Week
      • 0 rides
      6 Months
      • 1 rides
      • 5 miles avg distance
      • 32 rides
      • Last: May 17, 2023


      more »
      133 |
      Feb 2, 2021 @ 9:38am
      Feb 2, 2021
      99 |
      Feb 2, 2021 @ 9:37am
      Feb 2, 2021
      130 |
      Jul 12, 2019 @ 5:45pm
      Jul 12, 2019
      154 |
      Jul 12, 2019 @ 5:44pm
      Jul 12, 2019

      1 Review & Comments

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