Butte, America, might not seem like the most obvious candidate for mountain biking capital of the state. But with hundreds of miles of trail right at its doorstep, this town has what an outdoor lover is looking for in single track. And what better way to explore Montana sustainably than by bike, from a home base close to it all? Here are a few ways to uncover Montana’s mountain biking secret in Butte.
If you want to test yourself and enjoy the whole range of mountain biking in the region, the Butte 100 might be for you. Billed as the most difficult bike race in the country, this 100-mile ride takes competitors into the mountains, along portions of the Continental Divide Trail, and through the wilderness. See if you have what it takes to pedal your way to victory here.
This municipal recreation area just a few minutes out of town boasts 25 miles of trail to explore by bike. The Milwaukee Rail-Trail at Thompson Park traverses several high railroad trusses, giving the same feel as the Hiawatha Trail near the Idaho border. Soar above the forest before you duck into railroad tunnels on this 4.5 mile ride.
The Beaver Ponds, also known as Skeebogen Trail, is a stretch of track right outside of town in Thompson Park. It’s been optimized in recent years for riding, making for a fun route. Follow several fast miles through lodgepole pine in this mountainous gateway to the CDT.
The CDT runs from Mexico to Canada along the ridge that separates the eastern and western watersheds of the continental United States. With over 3,000 miles of trail along its entire length, you have a lot to choose from as it passes by Butte.
Up in the mountains at the Continental Divide, the stretch of the CDT between Homestake and Pipestone Pass gives several miles of smooth riding, through scattered boulders of the batholith that make the forest otherworldly. Cruise this stretch along the backbone of the country, and see the trail in a new light.
Test out your technical skills on a bike at the Whiskey Gulch skills park at Montana Tech. The pump track is a fun way to cruise the dips and rolls without pedaling. And the rest of the 30-acre park offers trails optimized for mountain bikes, a great place for beginners to gain confidence and experienced riders to have some fun. The spot is just adjacent to the Big Butte Open Space for more biking access.
Even just getting around Butte on a bike is easy with the city’s web of trails and bike routes around town. Get from the Berkeley Pit to the brewery without fighting traffic, and enjoy the connectivity.
When you’re ready to load up your bike and head for the hills in Butte, Highline Adventures has your base camp set up. The Butte KOA Journey has joined the family of properties, a campground addition that sports many amenities for comfort when you return to camp from your adventures. Book your stayand get ready to hit the trail.