Fun ride worth doing once and a while, utilizing two roads sections and a lollipop to cover all the singletrack trails in Ashley Mountain area, without having to run a shuttle.
Numerous options for loop rides, out and backs, shuttles... Recommended - "Flathead National Forest map, Tally Lake Ranger District" map. The latest 2010 edition has an accurate description and trail #'s labeled. The Neo Trax maps have some trails(sections) inaccurately mapped.
There are numerous options in this area, in terms of ride direction and what trails to link together. This would be the most desirable way to ride all the trails in the area, taking into the account the best trail directions to ride up and down. Includes a bit of road, but not much.
Views are limited as you are in the forest for the most part with elevation ranging from about 4000'-6300'.
For a non shuttle version, park on road 313 where it crosses(bridge) over Logan Creek.
Use FS Road #9784
to access the start of the northern end of trail #310.
The 310, Ashley Divide Trail is good either way, for this loop we rode from the northern terminus to the top of Ashley Mountain. 100% rideable for strong riders and a bit of hike-a-bike for intermediates. Some old road and skid trail section, but the majority is skinny singletrack. *Note; From the top of Ashley Mountian, south on the #310 to the #800/#389-Ashley Divide/Peak trail, the #389 is not all that worth riding south. It is an out and back and is in poor shape from motorized use.
The 210, Lupine Lake trail, is best ridden as an out and back, including it with the other trails of this ride. 8 mile round trip. On the up, the first 3 miles is rideable and the last 1 mile is variable, depending on your skill and fitness level. There will be a few short hike-a-bikes for everybody though.
The 800 Trail, in the Meadow Creek drainage is best ridden down hill(east to west) from the top of Ashley Mtn. You'll get the best reward for your efforts of the days previous climbs. You could ride it going up, but you would be doing a bit of pushing. You eventually pop out onto FS Road #10437
at the Trail #800 junction of Meadow Creek and Bill Creek.
Head down FS Road #10437
to the junction with FS Road #313 and your car.
Total ride time at a moderate pace with several stops runs about 4 1/2 - 5 hours. Distance = 26.1 miles. There are a few water sources on the ride, Steri Pen or water filter recommended if you need a refill.
This area lies in the Flathead National Forest and is mainly a timber resource area. Lots of 2nd and 3rd growth timber with a few interspersed areas of old growth, so don't expect a wilderness setting. Although you are some distance from any services. All the access roads are good for two wheel drive vehicles.
********This area has become widely popular with the MOTO(motor cycles allowed, ATV's NOT) crowd over the past several years with increased use. Unfortunately the trails are becoming severely eroded/choosy and the pedaling more and more difficult, if not impossible in some spots. Rider beware. Still worth the ride though, at this point.