The downhill is a new trail (built in '08 or '09) that really screams. There are lots of fun curves, some
steeps, a few surprises, and some beautiful woods. Very fun! About half is newly constructed, the other
half is an old road bed converted to singletrack. Total downhill is about 4-5 miles and drops 2200 vertical
feet. It can also be done as an out and back from Rd. 4137, but it's a tough climb.
The downhill begins with a newly constructed section of fast, windy singletrack with lots of fun dips and
curves. After about 1.5-2 miles (?) of this, you come to a small saddle/mud pit where the trail makes a
hard left. After this left bend, the trail shoots you into a beautiful meadow with big views of the Big Belts.
This portion is fast and furious. The remainder of the trail alternates between old roadbed converted to ST
and recently built ST sections. Route finding is mostly very easy, but there is one hard left that you might
miss - look for a cairn on the left as you scream down a straight, steep section of old road grade about a
mile or so below the aforementioned saddle. The last mile is in the old Beartrap Gulch road grade and is
fast and smooth with some fun kelly humps. The trail ends at a fence. From here, continue straight down
to York Rd., about 250 feet further. Take a left and you're back at Vigilante camp in a few minutes. All
mileages are educated guesses.
The new trail sections are still a bit soft when wet and may have some horse damage. This trail has the
potential to be a classic downhill, it just needs a few more riders to help pack it down. Camp at Vigilante for
$5 and ride Hanging Valley the next day. Stop by the Helena Nat'l. Forest Service office (now located on
Skyline Rd. across from the airport) for more info.