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

Ward Mountain Details

  • Riding Area
    Hamilton, Montana
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Trail Type
  • Bike Type
    DH, AM, XC, Fat
  • Trail Usage
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Climb Difficulty
    Black Diamond
  • Physical Rating
  • Season
    It all depends how high you want to ride
  • Global Ranking
    #7351 in Mountain Biking
  • Local Popularity
    85 in Mountain Biking [+]
    • 5 in Trail Running
    • 5 in Hiking
  • Land Manager

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 bike 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 Jul 15, 2018
Avg: 5 (3 votes)

view (4)
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • 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 Ridden Direction

The intendid direction a trail should be ridden.

  • Downhill Only
  • Downhill Primary
  • Both Directions
  • Uphill Primary
  • Uphill Only
  • One Direction

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

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

  • 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 Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
  • Map Markers
  • trail Trail Head
  • photo Photo
  • place Directory Listing
  • region Riding Area
  • Parking Parking
  • Viewpoint Viewpoint
  • Information Information
  • Warning Warning
  • Directions Directions
  • Water Fountain/Source Water Fountain/Source
  • Sight Sight
  • Restrooms Restrooms
  • Gate Gate
  • Camping Camping
  • Trail Sign Trail Sign
  • Table or Bench Table or Bench
  • Other Other
      Directions to ward-mountain trailhead (46.191180, -114.221660)
      update trails status or condition

      Ward Mountain Trail Reports

      Jul 15, 2018 @ 11:31am
      Jul 15, 2018
      A few snow patches and down trees as of July 10, 2018. Easy to go around or over.
      Jul 15, 2018 @ 11:30am
      Jul 15, 2018
      A few snow patches and down trees as of July 10, 2018. Easy to get over or around.
      view all reports »

      Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail

      Past Week
      • 0 rides
      6 Months
      • 1 rides
      • 13 miles avg distance
      • 5 rides


      no photos have been added for Ward Mountain yet, add a photo.

      1 Review & Comments

      • + 0
      flag a406 (Jul 15, 2018 at 11:28)
       Awesome ride, with lots of hike a bike up to amazing views. A few snow patches and down trees as of July 10, 2018.

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