“Close-to-town access to an intermediate but lengthy ride featuring views of multiple mountain ranges”
— samh Haraldson
E-bikes are only allowed on the motorized sections of the trail. The Bangtail Divide Trail (Trail 504) from the Stone Creek Trailhead to the intersection with Trail 555.1 is closed to motorized use. The rest of Bangtail Divide Trail (Trail 504) is open to motorcycles but not ATVs.
Built in 2003, the Bangtail Divide Trail (BDT) quickly became the local go-to trail for those looking for a long ride without a long drive. The BDT offers easy access to a ridgeline traverse with stellar views of multiple mountain ranges, fields of wildflowers and well-crafted singletrack sections guaranteed to satisfy.
Highlights include: switchbacks, ridgetop singletrack, and flowing downhill.
Need to Know
There is little to no water on this route so plan accordingly.
Either set up a car shuttle or start with 7 miles of road riding south down Bridger Canyon Rd.
Once you hit dirt, expect to climb, climb, climb. Rigorous switchbacks take you to the top of the divide where the climb becomes more gradual and you are treated to views of the Bridgers, Crazies, Absarokas, Beartooths, Gallatins, Madisons, and Tobacco Roots.
The divide section is through vast open prairies and short sections of shaded trees. The last section of the trail is the fun begins. First, a lengthy flowing section off the divide as you leave the top of the range proper, then one last climb to the top of Grassy Mountain, followed by the sweeping, curving downhill of the Grassy Mountain trail to finish.
History & Background
The trail was built by crews led by Terry Johnson, a local trail building legend, who was ahead of the sustainable, bike-friendly building curve by delivering backcountry grade reversals, rideable switchbacks and flowing lines long before these techniques were popularized.