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Bangtail Divide - IMBA EPIC

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

25.0 mile 40.2 kilometer point to point
75% Singletrack
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 3,611' 1,101 m
Descent: -3,309' -1,009 m
High: 7,923' 2,415 m
Low: 5,479' 1,670 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 25% (14°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Map Key

Trail shared by samh Haraldson

Close-to-town access to an intermediate but lengthy ride featuring views of multiple mountain ranges

samh Haraldson

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

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.

Overview

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.

Description

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.

Contacts

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Check-Ins

Sep 2, 2019
Casey Rose
Jul 25, 2019
Franco B
Ottimo trail! this is a jewel. Trail is in great conditions (only one downed tree). Parked at Bracket creek and biked to Stone Creek to do the loop. 31mi — 4h 30m
Aug 2, 2018
Jesse Loether
Jul 31, 2018
Chase Haggberg
My wife and I are not avid mtb'rs but I would certainly consider us active weekend warriors. This trail was tough and we really had to dig deep to… 25mi
Jul 6, 2018
Bruce Kingham
Jul 1, 2018
Dillon Smith
A little soggy towards the top, lots of little puddles to hit and almost no deep ruts. Great intermediate ride! 10mi
Jun 30, 2018
Dana Kramer
25mi
Jun 25, 2018
Matthew Guerin

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Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 44 votes

#240

Overall
  4.5 from 44 votes
5 Star
66%
4 Star
20%
3 Star
9%
2 Star
5%
1 Star
0%
Ride Rankings

#1

in Montana

#240

Overall
521 Views Last Month
26,411 Since May 24, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Views and wildflowers abound during a crisp springtime ride on the divide.
Nov 10, 2016 near Bozeman, MT
The view down Bridger Canyon, toward Bozeman, from the top of the Stone Creek climbing section, about 1 hour of climbing from the trailhead at Stone Creek.
Jun 10, 2015 near Bozeman, MT
Top of Stone Climb on the Bangtail Divide.
May 16, 2017 near Bozeman, MT
Overlooking the Bridger Mountain Range to the West
May 24, 2013 near Livingston, MT

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