Mountain Biking

 

RyanKrueger_SouthCottonwood

Photo by Ryan Krueger

Just like our bountiful opportunities for hiking, there are just as many great trails right in your backyard for your bike.

Bozeman Creek (Sourdough)
Out & back trail

A great introduction to mountain biking, Bozeman Creek is a wide trail that starts out relatively flat and gets steeper as you travel farther. As an out-and-back trail, you can take it as far as you like before turning back. It skirts along Bozeman Creek and reaches Mystic Lake 8 miles in.

Directions: Take S. Church Ave. (which becomes Sourdough Rd. after crossing Kagy Blvd.) heading south, turn right on Nash Rd., and continue a short distance before turning left on Sourdough Canyon Rd. Follow Sourdough Canyon Rd. until it ends.

S. Cottonwood
Out & back trail

Flowy, rolling hills; rocks and roots to test your technical ability. Turn around at the 4-mile-mark—things get rocky past that.

Directions: Take 19th south and then west to Cottonwood Rd., turn left, then take another left on Cottonwood Creek Rd., traveling for approximately two miles.

Truman Gulch
Out & back trail

A fun, flowy trail on the western side of the Bridger Range. The first couple miles are smooth and relatively easy, and the trail gets progressively steeper and rockier as you climb farther. At 3.5 miles, the trail comes to a meadow. Enjoy the descent, but be cautious of hikers and horseback riders on the way down.

Directions: Drive north on Springhill Rd. for 8.5 miles to Springhill Community Rd. on the right. Continue on for 1.6 miles to Walker Rd. on your right just after the Springhill Church. Drive 1.1 miles to Forswell Rd. on your left. Continue 3 miles to the trailhead at the end of the road.

Emerald Lake
Out & back trail

A local’s favorite, Emerald is a smooth, forested trail that passes mountain streams and waterfalls on the way up. It eventually tops out after 4.5 miles of moderate/difficult climbing at breathtaking Emerald Lake. Though some of the switchbacks near the end may be a bit tough, the views from the lake and the giggle-inducing descent more than make up for it.

Directions: Head south of town to Hyalite Canyon, drive around the reservoir, and take a left on the East Fork road. Drive past the Palisade Falls parking lot until the end of the road and park at the trailhead.

Leverich Canyon
Loop

The newly renovated Leverich trail is an easy-to-moderate five-mile loop with a gradual, inviting ascent (though steep at first) and flowy, manicured singletrack all the way back down. Climb for about three miles going clockwise on the trail and then descend the final two miles back down the berms and rollers to the parking lot.

Directions: Take S. 3rd Ave. away from campus to the trailhead. Make sure to stay on S. 3rd, as it turns and bends numerous times.

Etiquette
The trails around Bozeman are shared-use—which means you need to be respectful of hikers and horsemen, so be cautious when riding. Some trails prohibit riding on certain days, so check out the shared-use schedule at outsidebozeman.com/activities/biking.

 

Student Life, Outdoor Advice