Supporters, Builders, Maintainers & Land Managers of Ward Mountain Trail
Ward Mountain Details
- Mountain Bike
- Trail Running
Hiking SAC ScaleT2 Mountain Hiking
Bike TypeDH, AM, XC, Fat
DirectionBoth DirectionsPopular in reverse
Climb DifficultyBlack Diamond
SeasonIt all depends how high you want to ride
eBike AllowedYes up to Class 1
Global Ranking#21235 in Mountain Biking [+]
- #30598 in Trail Running
- #14207 in Hiking
Local Popularity65 in Mountain Biking [+]
- 5 in E-Biking
- 5 in Trail Running
- 100 in Hiking
- 5 in Dirtbiking
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.
Drive up Roaring Lion Rd
Local Trail Association
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trail development & maintenance.
More Stats for Ward Mountain multi-use trail trail
Altitude change4,829 ft
Altitude min4,285 ft
Altitude max9,114 ft
Altitude start4,285 ft
Altitude end9,114 ft
Distance climb5 miles
Distance down2,364 ft
Avg reverse time01:06:07
- view trail stats
- Snow Groomed
- Snow Packed
- Snow Covered
- Snow Cover Inadequate
- Freeze/thaw Cycle
- Prevalent Mud
- Very Dry
The colour categories are based on what percentage of riders are riding a trail in its intended direction.
- > 96%
- > 90%
- > 80%
- > 70%
- > 50%
- < 50%
- bi-directional trail
- no data
- < 2 days
- < 1 week
- < 2 weeks
- < 1 month
- < 6 months
- > 6 months
- Downhill Only
- Downhill Primary
- Both Directions
- Uphill Primary
- Uphill Only
- One Direction
- Description & Photos
- most popular
- less popular
- not popular
- mountain biking recent
- mountain biking (>6 month)
- hiking (1 year)
- moto (1 year)
- Downhill Ski
- Backcountry Ski
- Nordic Ski
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Ward Mountain Trail Reports
Oct 2, 2022 @ 8:18pmOct 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 @ 9:16amJun 15, 2022
|reporter Clear to Molly meadow.|
Oct 22, 2021 @ 11:46amOct 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 @ 5:40pmMay 6, 2021
|reporter Dry to the old burn about 1500’ above the trailhead|
Aug 23, 2020 @ 8:28amAug 23, 2020
|reporter Drier than a popcorn fart. No trees down. Good riding.|
Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail
- 0 rides
- 1 rides
- 5 miles avg distance
- 32 rides
- Last: May 17, 2023
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