Are you looking for places to enjoy the best road bike rides in Montana?
Montana is a state situated in the Northwest USA. It is the fourth largest state when it comes to the area. It has a wide range of diversity in terms of terrain ranging from the Rocky Mountains to great plains.
Its name is derived from the Spanish word ‘Montaña’ which means ‘mountain’ or ‘mountainous’. The average elevation of Montana is about 3400 feet, which’s the lowest among the mountain states. Montana has many mountains (almost 300 peaks).
How is Montana famous for road bike rides?
When we say there are myriads of mountains in Montana, it creates a kind of mixed emotions in the bikers. Cyclists or those people who love going on bike rides are fond of Montana. This is because they get to experience the best road bike rides in Montana.
There are more than hundreds of trails in Montana for the bikers to choose from. If you love to have thrilling experiences, you would like the breathtaking climbs there through the mountain passes.
While experiencing the best road bike rides in Montana, you can enjoy the heavenly view of beautiful lakes. You can also witness the Rocky Mountains and plains full of green grass. Not just this, you can also get to witness exciting wildlife species such as bald eagles, deer, and bighorn sheep.
The best time to enjoy the best road bike rides in Montana
The roads and trails in Montana are thrilling enough to make the bikers happy. But, the season of cycling and riding bikes there is not long enough.
The cycling season in Montana begins in the month of April. After that, the fearless riders head towards Yellowstone National Park for around three weeks. At this time, the roads there are clear of snow but not open for motorists. This cycling season generally comes to an end around late October every year as it begins to snow at that time.
The Best Road Bike Rides In Montana
Just like various mountains, there are so many roads, bypass and trails in Montana. When you go on a bike ride there, you will get to encounter the beauty of the mountains and lakes. The roads there will make your best road bike rides in Montana, a beautiful journey and experience. It is challenging for us to rate those road bike rides, but, here are the best road bike rides in Montana:
1) Beartooth National Scenic Highway
Distance– 65 miles
Location– Beartooth National Scenic Highway is situated at US 212. It is between the Red Lodge and Cook City.
About Beartooth National Scenic Highway:
If you love going on a bike ride, then this 65 mile trip over the Beartooth pass and Colter pass is surely for you. These passes overlook mountains in two states.
This is one of the best road bike rides in Montana for those who like thrilling experiences. It is because this mountain bike ride has dangerous Switchbacks. This way is particularly for those with skinny tired bikes.
Charles Kuralt, the late CBS journalist, called it “most beautiful drive in America”. The main reason behind this is that the Beartooth passes through beautiful lakes. You can also enjoy the plateaus and awe-inspiring mountain views.
Special advice or warning– If you are going on a bike ride there, you must be prepared to encounter cool, stormy weather. This is due to the extreme elevation in that area.
2) The Double Divide Ride
Distance– 135 miles
Location– You can ride out from Helena, then go up the Macdonald pass, ride to Avon, and then pass by the Nevada lake. After that, you have to head towards Lincoln on the highway by the Blackfoot River Valley.
(You can spend a night there in Lincoln if you like, and then you have to ride back Helena through the Flesher Pass.)
About The Double Divide Ride:
Are you planning a bike ride? Well, The Double Divide Ride is one of the best road bike rides in Montana. As this one covers a long distance of 135 miles, it can be quite exhausting. But, at the same time, if you are really into riding bikes, this can prove to be the best road bike rides in Montana for you.
If you are up for challenges, you can add up another one or two-day rides that feature calm valleys and thrilling mountain passes. You can take just the 135 miles journey or add up another ride. But in both cases, you will get to cross the Continental divide twice. This is something that is achieved by only a few fearless bike riders.
3)Three Forks Loop
Distance: 60 miles
Location: This one begins in Three Forks. It then takes to the Route 2 alongside the Jefferson River passing the Lewis and Clark Cavern. You keep going until you reach Caldwell. After that, you have to turn southeast and take the Route 359 to US 287 just north of Harrison. When going back, take US 287 while going back to Three Forks.
About Three Forks Loop:
This is one of the best road bike rides in Montana. This is called a “loop” because it begins and ends in Three Forks. When you go on this ride, you can enjoy the beautiful view of Jefferson River. Not just this, you also get to experience the gentle climbs among the isolated farms and empty fields.
When you pass by the Jefferson River, you can get to see Pelicans and other water birds. Not just this, you can also encounter antelopes in the prairie area. This is one of the best road bike rides in Montana. It offers beautiful scenery to the riders throughout the ride.
4) The Bangtail Divide Trail
Distance: 24 miles
Location: North of Bozeman
About The Bangtail Divide Trail:
This is looked at as one of the gems of the Gallatin National Forest trail system. This makes this trail one of the best road bike rides in Montana.
The Bangtail Divide Trail is specially designed for mountain bikes. So, if you are a bike riding lover, this is a great place to have a thrilling experience. This one is also a loop as it begins and ends at the Brackett Creek Road parking lot and the Stone Creek Road trailhead (off to MT 86 both).
Bikers can experience one of the best road bike rides in Montana here. It offers the breathtaking views of the Bridger Range and Bangtails. You can also enjoy other Mountain View during your ride. And, if you are still not satisfied, you can add another challenging ride that this drive offers. This is for those bikers who like thrilling experiences.
Special advice or warning– While you are riding your bike there, you will be on single track mainly. However, there are a few double-track areas also with around 60 Switchbacks. A lot of bikers find it difficult and tiring, while the others find it a good opportunity to sharpen their turning skills.
5) Big Sheep Creek
Distance: 50 miles
Location: This is located in the west of Dell, Montana. It’s about 24 miles north of Montana-Idaho border
About Big Sheep Creek:
If you are looking for a short ride, this is one of Montana’s best road bike rides for you. This is a two-lane dirt road on the Bureau of Land Management land. This is a part of the Great Divide Trail which is fashioned out. It’s around 2500 miles of dirt and gravel road near the Continental divide, by the Adventure cycling.
You can get to enjoy the view of clear and deep water bodies. Not just this, you can get a sight of deer and bighorn sheep in the evening.
6) Going-to-the-sun road
Distance: 56 miles
Location: Glacier National Park road
About Going-to-the-sun road:
If you are looking for best road bike rides in Montana, this is a great option. This is a well known paved road that goes through the Glacier National Park. If you are planning to take a complete ride, from Apgar in the west of Glacier to Saint Mary in the east of the park.
Special advice or warning: If you are planning for a ride, make sure not to go between 15th of June and Labor Day. This is because there’s a lot of traffic during that time. This is one of the best road bike rides in Montana for those who love the thrilling experience. But, those who are afraid of heights must not go there.
7) Rimrock Trail
Distance: 4.5 miles
Location: Just outside Billings
About Rimrock Trail:
Rimrock Trail is one of the best road bike rides in Montana when it comes to the shortest rides. This is a mountain bike ride and provides options that are suitable for all skill levels. You can enjoy a beautiful view throughout the ride.
Special advice or warning– If you are planning a ride on a clear day, you will get to encounter five mountain ranges. Those ranges include the Beartooths, Snowies, Pryors, Bighorns, and The Crazies. The view of these mountain ranges makes this ride one of the best road bike rides in Montana.
8) West Yellowstone loop
Distance: 60 miles
Location: This starts in West Yellowstone and later continues past Quake Lake and Hebgen Lake.
About West Yellowstone loop:
This is another best road bike rides in Montana for those who love riding bikes. One of the bike clubs has names it “Tour de Quake”. This loop takes you across two mountain passes and two lakes (Quake Lake and Hebgen Lake).
9) Helena Ridge Trail
Distance: 13 miles
About Helena Ridge Trail:
Are you planning to go on a short bike ride? If yes, this is one of the best road bike rides in Montana for you. Once you reach Mount Helena, you can choose from various trails that end up at Adams Street Trailhead. You can even drop off early if you want and go back by Dump Gulch.
This is completely free for riders and hikers, and that makes it one of the best road bike rides in Montana.
10) Buck Ridge Trail
Location: Near Big Sky.
About Buck Ridge Trail:
If you like riding bikes, this is one of the best road bike rides in Montana. It gives you an opportunity to ride around beautiful wildflowers. When you are on your way, you will get to witness the breathtaking view of Lone Mountain, Gallatin Range and the Sphinx. This offers double track which is more comfortable to ride.
Special advice or warning: The weather there is changeable. If you are planning to go on a ride there, be all geared up in case it rains. As a whole, it’ll be a good experience as this is one of the best road bike rides in Montana.
Are you a bike lover living in Montana? Do you enjoy riding bikes? Is it that you are looking for a thrilling experience while riding the bike?
Well, the above-mentioned rides are the best road bike rides in Montana. Go there are have a magnificent experience while riding bikes.