Sheep Mountain

Missoula, Montana

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1 Review
4 out of 5
This is the definitive Missoula ride, traveling the ridgelines high above two valleys to the highest peaks in the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and then dropping down through mixed terrain of conifer forests and beargrass to the main stem of the Rattlesnake Trail System just north of Franklin Bridge. Because of the remote country the path traverses, the length of the trail, and the overall difficulty of this ride, only the strongest riders will want to tackle the course I describe here in one day. A logging road through Plum Creek Timber Company land on the Highway 200 corridor at Gold Creek provides additional access—check with any of the local bike shops or riding organizations for details—but for those looking to bag a peak from the valley floor, there is no better way to go than the way I’ve laid things out here. Along the way, keep your eyes open for mountain lions, black and possibly grizzly bears, elk, deer, and more. Tread: Singletrack, doubletrack, and jeep and gravel roads.
Mountain Biking Missoula

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Mountain Biking Missoula

by Dan Oko (Falcon Guides)

This is the definitive Missoula ride, traveling the ridgelines high above two valleys to the highest peaks in the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and then dropping down through mixed terrain of conifer forests and beargrass to the main stem of the Rattlesnake Trail System just north of Franklin Bridge. Because of the remote country the path traverses, the length of the trail, and the overall difficulty of this ride, only the strongest riders will want to tackle the course I describe here in one day.

A logging road through Plum Creek Timber Company land on the Highway 200 corridor at Gold Creek provides additional access—check with any of the local bike shops or riding organizations for details—but for those looking to bag a peak from the valley floor, there is no better way to go than the way I’ve laid things out here. Along the way, keep your eyes open for mountain lions, black and possibly grizzly bears, elk, deer, and more. Tread: Singletrack, doubletrack, and jeep and gravel roads.

©  Dan Oko/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Missoula
Distance: 26.8
Elevation Gain: 2,900 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Technical Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Physical Difficulty: Difficult
Duration: 5 - 8 hours
Season: Best summer and fall
Trailhead Elevation: 3,600 feet
Top Elevation: 6,500 feet
Local Contacts: Lolo National Forest; Rattlesnake National Recreation Area
Local Maps: USGS NE Missoula, Blue Point; Lolo National Forest
Driving Directions: Directions to Sheep Mountain

Recent Trail Reviews

8/27/2005
0

Very challenging aerobically with minimal-moderate technical challenges. Bring lots of water and/or go early while it's still cool. If you do the loop expect quite a bit of downfall to hike-a-bike over. Better option would be to turn the bike around at the top and bomb the downhill you worked so hard to get up. Definitely stop at Blue Point for a deserved breather, some food, and the views.



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