Level: Advanced
Length: 9 mi (14.5 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +713/656 ft
Total: 20 riders
 

Mountain Biking Lewis And Clark Caverns State Park

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#52 of 264 mountain bike trails in Montana
#2510 in the world

This is a nice little gem. It starts with a tough climb for a couple miles, where you'll gain a good deal of elevation. The grade is tough, but rideable. The closer you get to the top, the better the views get, and you'll see just how much altitude you've gained. The front side is all south-facing and remains quite dry. Overall, the whole area gets less snow than nearby ranges, so the season is a bit longer than other rides, especially around Bozeman. Once you get to the top, you have a couple options. I recommend bearing right to go for the biggest loop. Also, this puts you on some more technical terrain, with a couple rock moves, followed by a drop down the more lush backside with sime very tight switchbacks. After losing a good bit of your altitude, you'll hit the road that bisects the park (the road you came in on). Continue through the tunnel under the road and regain all your altitude (again, with some cool rock moves and challenging switchbacks) to the visitor center where you can get a tour of the cave (during the short summer months). Then, it's an all out bomb fest down almost straight down the mountain to complete the loop back to your car (there's a short bit of climbing back to the parking area). There are places you can really let it go when you drop off the top, just look out for the gravel and the ruts.

First added by John Fisch on Apr 28, 2020. Last updated Apr 28, 2020. → add an update
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Getting there
From Butte, head east on I-90. Exit on highway 2 and follow it to the park entrance. Head into the park, past the entrance to the camping area on the left and look for the parking area on the right just before enetering the canyon. From Bozeman, head west on I-90 and exit on 287/2. When 287 turns south, stay straight on 2 to the park entrance and follow the instructions above.
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Donald Jones (on Apr 21, 2018)
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  • Dan Mayland
    ****

    Great Early Season riding. Most will ride up the closed road in the early spring tow the caverns parking area and then chose one of the three descent options. I prefer to punish myself and ride the single track up for cardio and then ride one of the other sections back down. There are several options which makes this a great place to ride. Option 1 is to ride the road up and pick one of three descents. Descent 1 is from the lower parking lot and takes you back down the mountain on the south west side. Its a steep decent with technical turns and rock drops. Descent 2 is a fork off of Descent 1 that loops back around the north side of the mountain and eventually connects to Descent 3. Descent 3 starts at the top parking area and drops down the north side of the mountain and ends in the campground.
    I prefer to ride up the single track from the campground. The trail splits in a saddle about half way up. Take the right fork and grind up to the next fork. Here a left turn will take you into the lower parking area. A right turn will take you back down the best single track section to the parking area. Descent 3 is fun and fast with some loose rock sections that can catch you off guard and be dangerous if your not experienced. The lower half of this descent is epic and fun. I do not recommend trying to ascend up this section due to the loose rocks.

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