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Blodgett Canyon

Very Difficult
 4.3 (4) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Insane views on an insane trail.


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Map Key

14.2

Miles

22.8

KM

100%

Singletrack

5,509' 1,679 m

High

4,281' 1,305 m

Low

1,303' 397 m

Up

1,303' 397 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

31%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Overview

The Bitterroots consist of a series a parallel glacially carved canyons separated by steep walled ridges. Most of the valleys are in Wilderness or otherwise not bike friendly. Blodgett Canyon is the exception, and luckily, probably the most scenic.

I have one friend who has a family emergency whenever I suggest this ride, and other friends who will only come down to ride here. Why the dichotomy? This trail is classic old school that reminds you with every turn why you have that 6" trail bike. Derailleurs are regularly eaten, hangers mangled and blood sacrificed; body armor recommended.

Being close to town and so lovely, the trail is also very popular with hikers and less frequently horses, so if the trailhead is packed think about riding somewhere else. There are plenty of trails you can have to yourself.

The trail as mapped ends at the Wilderness boundary, even though the trail continues, but that is a far as bikes are allowed so don't go exploring. Also, the trail beyond the pack bridge can stay muddy for quite awhile. We usually don't ride the upper section until late July.

Have a fat bike? Due to foot and ski traffic, this trail can be surprisingly fun in the winter with most of the rocks buried in snow.

Description

There are plenty of things to be anxious about on this ride, but getting lost isn't one of them. There is only one trail and no forks to be on the look out for. Ride as far as you want, as long as it isn't past the wilderness sign, then turn around.

Warning about the rocky sections and the possible hike-a-bikes is superfluous. If you are worried about technical challenges and are are worried about scrapes, scratches and the occasional sprain, this probably isn't the trail for you.

Around the 2 mile marker is one of the major talus fields. A few years ago, a trail crew came on and smashed boulders into smaller rocks making this section potentially rideable, before it was a mandatory hike. Above here there are several sections where a series of "steps" were created - give them a try.

The trail crosses the creek at about 3 miles. This is the most frequent turn around spot. However, the trail mellows out for the next 2 miles until reaching the falls. After the falls, the trail becomes increasing technical and frequently muddy, but still fun as long as you are still feeling fresh.

Turn around at the wilderness boundary and get ready for a technical descent.

Contacts

Shared By:

Lance Pysher

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 4 votes

#2071

Overall
  4.3 from 4 votes
5 Star
25%
4 Star
75%
3 Star
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2 Star
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1 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#28

in Montana

#2,071

Overall
8 Views Last Month
2,553 Since Jan 14, 2015
Very Difficult

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Photos

Just another talus field
Jan 26, 2015 near Hamilton, MT
A touch of spring runoff for extra fun
Jan 26, 2015 near Hamilton, MT
A few rocks on Blodgett Canyon Trail
Jan 26, 2015 near Hamilton, MT
Once the upper trail is dry enough to ride, it gets hard to find- in Blodgett Canyon
Jan 14, 2015 near Hamilton, MT

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Check-Ins

Jul 9, 2018
Nathanael Nisbett
7.5mi