Level: Advanced
Length: 7 mi (11.3 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +352/376 ft
Total: 13 riders
 

Mountain Biking Truman Gulch

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#77 of 264 mountain bike trails in Montana
#4,767 in the world

The trail is out and back (~3.5 miles each way). It gradually climbs up the Truman Gulch drainage through a great shady patch of trees. Most of the year there is a creek flowing with a few crossings. The lower half is not very technical and climbs gradually. The upper half climbs more noticeably, with a couple tough sections and much more rocks & roots. The end of the trail is a large meadow that intersects a trail that runs North/South along the Bridger range with outlets in near every drainage. DO NOT ride that trail, it is super super tough and technical. The ride out of Truman is fast, with the top half needing some care so as not to super man off your bike. The lower half is incredibly fast, with little in the way of rocks or roots, but lots of twists and turns. Easily my second favorite ride around Bozeman, next to Emerald Lake.

First added by theskibum on Jul 31, 2009. Last updated Apr 28, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
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Getting there
Go north from Bozeman's N. 19th St exit on I-90 along the west side of the Bridger mtns. After approximately 7 miles there is a forrest service sign for Truman Gulch trail. Turn there and go about 2.5 miles further to the trail head
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Truman Gulch Trail map

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Paddy Stoy (on May 26, 2019)
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Dusty (on Nov 26, 2013)
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Reviews

  • Dan Mayland
    *****

    Truman Loop is my go-to fun ride. This is ride is an intense up-hill battle with several hiking sections on the way up. I used this trail to get in shape for the rest of my riding season. It is a lung busting brute on the way up and hell-a-fun on the way out. I prefer to turn left(back north) where the trail splits in the large meadow (south fork of Truman) and head over into the north fork of Truman and descend back to the main trail from there. Be warned this section is expert riding and not for the faint. Its pretty technical in a few spots and very steep. The trail switchbacks down into the north fork of Truman and forks at the bottom before ascending back up and out of the North fork into Johnson Canyon. Be sure not to miss this trail that heads east back to the main trail. The grass can be tall here in the summer months and that trail is not as used and can get grown over. This section can be very dangerous for the inexperienced or rider who never traveled this section. Its a fast section back with lots of twists and turns but what makes it the most challenging is the tall grass and unseen boulders on the trail edge. I once lost my brake in this section and almost went head first into a large boulder. Once back to the main trail the best part begins. A super fast decent through the canyon bottom is exhilarating. Watch out for dogs and other traffic here on weekends as its can get busy. The entire loop takes me about 1.5 hours when I'm in prime shape.

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  • brday10
    *****

    Climber's trail for certain. Find your breath and low gear to grind it out. It's worth it. This is a brutal climb for most and this ride tends to satisfy climbers and downhillers alike.
    The downhill reward is better than most. Very technical rocky, rooted sections. I've had a few pinch flats on the descent due to a couple of big drops (one is a root drop of about 6 feet and the other is a great stump jump that you can air to your hearts delight). Plenty of opportunities to air rollers, rocks and roots throughout. Creek crossings, corners as fast as you want, great flow. All good.

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  • harryhoodlum
    **

    This is a beautiful area with great views of the west side of the Bridger Mtns.
    Trail is singletrack for its entirety. This ride ascends very steeply. Except for 1 mile at bottom it is strictly granny gear climbing for the duration. It's a challenge to stay on your bike. Because of the short length and steepness, I don't ride this trail at all. I go back every few years thinking that my previous experience must have been out of the ordinary, always leaving telling myself not to go back there. You can tell by the original review, others don't feel the same way.

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