10 Best US Mountain Bike Towns with the Lowest Cost of Living

2. Butte, Montana

  • COL Index: 90.0
  • Median Home Price: $125,400
  • Population: 34,000
  • Miles of Singletrack: 300 +/-
Crystal and Warren Smith ride Maud S trail with views of Butte, Montana. Photo: Bob Allen

You probably noticed immediately that the COL index for Butte is quite a bit higher than it is for Anniston. and also some others on this list for that matter. Yet, the COL in Butte is 10 points below the national average and the median home price is just $125,400. This is an incredibly low number for a town in the Rocky Mountains. Compare to the nearby towns of Bozeman (over $300,000) and Missoula ($254,400) and with home prices literally half that, on the surface Butte seems like a diamond in the rough. While the market in Butte is on the rise, with the median list price at $149,450, the real estate market isn’t inflating nearly as rapidly as Bozeman or Missoula where the median list prices are $435,000 and $320,000, respectively.

Photo: Butte Chamber of Commerce Facebook Page

So what’s the catch? Are the trails shoddy?

Not in the least.

According to Bob Allen, Mountain Bike Hall of Famer and founding board member of the Montana Mountain Bike Alliance, Butte has around 300 miles of mountain-bike-legal singletrack in the immediate area. The singletrack opportunities are incredibly diverse, too. “There are trails and a bike park of sorts on the west side of the Montana Tech Campus,” said Bob. “The trails climb up to ‘The Butte’, the high point with a giant lighted ‘M’ above town.”

Photo: Bob Allen

In addition to the singletrack that’s easily accessible from town, backcountry trails extend into the mountains all around the area. “The CDT in both directions from Homestake Pass on Interstate 90 are worthy out-and-backs, or part of a larger point-to-point or loops,” said Bob. If you want to shuttle up to the CDT and ride all the way back into town, Linked Adventures is the company to contact for shuttles. If you want to get even more adventurous, of course there’s always bikepacking, but Linked Adventures also does supported multi-day rides on the Continental Divide Trail.

A new bike shop called Derailed Bikes will be opening this spring in Butte, and Headframe Distillery sells local libations. The mountain bike future looks bright for this historic mining town.

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