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Unravel the Scratchgravel Route

Intermediate

Trail

5.5 mile 8.9 kilometer point to point
30% Singletrack
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 586' 179 m
Descent: -584' -178 m
High: 4,566' 1,392 m
Low: 4,257' 1,298 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 13% (7°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Map Key

Trail shared by Christine E.

A fun route through the Scratch Gravel hills for intermediate and experienced mountain bikers.

Christine E.

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

The area is closed to motorized vehicles year-round.

Overview

This is the trail used by the Montana Bicycle Racing Association for the "Unravel the Scratchgravel" mountain bike race. It takes advantage of much of the available singletrack in the area. It's a nice, fun loop to ride! There's one short/steep climb and a singletrack descent that requires intermediate bike skills.

A major advantage of this area is that it is usually the first to dry off in the spring, thus making it a good place to go early on. Dogs are allowed off-leash here as well.

Description

This route is ridden clockwise. Start by riding North on Echo Drive a few hundred feet until you see a cairn on the left side of the road. This indicates the start of the singletrack. The singletrack heads back southeast until it reaches a point that is almost directly across the road from the Echo Lane Parking Lot. Another cairn indicates it's time to make a right turn and head up the hill on doubletrack. From there the route follows the doubletrack road. After descending, you'll encounter another cairn indicating a right turn onto the doubletrack that heads up a very steep hill! Stay to the center if you want to stay on your bike.

Stop and check out the amazing views of Big Sky Country at the top of the hill, then descend down slightly rocky singletrack. There are a couple of tight turns on this descent, but it's fairly short. After the descent you'll turn left onto doubletrack again. The route is flat for a bit, then there is a wide, but sandy descent, and another cairn indicating it's time to turn right and head uphill again. Keep following the doubletrack until you see a cairn on the left side of the trail. This indicates you should make a left turn onto the singletrack. Follow the rolling (fun!) singletrack until it meets a doubletrack road once again at the top of a small hill. A cairn here indicates that you should turn right and head downhill. You'll now be heading back toward the parking lot. One last cairn is located at a fork in the doubletrack trail. Turn left at that intersection and you'll soon be back where you started.

History & Background

Check out the following web site for some interesting tidbits on the history of this former mining site: deq.mt.gov/abandonedmines/l….

Biked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed

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Check-Ins

Jun 4, 2019
Anne Schuschke
Always a good loop 5.5mi
Apr 27, 2019
David Goodson
A lot of fun fast rollers, and some good not very steep climbs 8.7mi — 1h 24m
Jul 8, 2017
Victoria Norton
May 6, 2017
Kirkwood Donavin
2017 URTSG Race 11.5mi — 0h 56m
Mar 26, 2017
Tim Ferber
6mi
Apr 10, 2015
Matt Quinn
Unravel the Scratchgravel 6.2mi
Feb 14, 2015
Andrew Hess
Feb 14, 2015
Jesse Thomas
Warm February weather. 4.3mi

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 3 votes

#2

in Helena

#2770

Overall
  3.7 from 3 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
67%
3 Star
33%
2 Star
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Ride Rankings

#2

in Helena

#42

in Montana

#2,770

Overall
83 Views Last Month
5,251 Since May 21, 2013
Intermediate

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Photos

The piles of rocks on the edges of the trail are a sign to tell you to turn right here.
May 21, 2013 near Helena…, MT
View looking back at the trail approaching the right turn
May 21, 2013 near Helena…, MT
Last downhill heading back to the parking lot.
May 21, 2013 near Helena…, MT
Cairn at fork in the trail indicates time to take a left turn, which will take you back to the parking lot/trailhead
May 21, 2013 near Helena…, MT
Echo Lane Trailhead Parking Lot
May 21, 2013 near Helena…, MT

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