Bangtail Divide Trail

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Photo by Ryan Krueger

 

Length: 24 miles (one-way from Stone Creek)

Duration: 4 to 6 hours (one-way)

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

Elevation Gain: 3,045 feet

Activities: Mountain biking, hiking, trail running

Crowds: Moderate to high traffic


About
East of Bridger Bowl, Bangtail Divide is a must for mountain bikers, but hikers and runners hit the trail, too. A 24-mile ride that connects Stone Creek, Olson Creek, and Brackett Creek, the northern trailhead—also called Grassy Mountain Trail—begins at Brackett Creek and the southern trailhead begins at Stone Creek. You can take on any portion of this trail as it is accessible from three different trailheads, though this trail is best biked south to north to take advantage of the switchback intensive climb of Stone Creek and the fast flowy descent of Grassy Mountain. The trail has several switchbacks but isn't very technical. Bikers and hikers get to experience a variety of southwest Montana's best scenery: lodgepole pines, spruce, and fir forests; wide-open wildflower meadows; sweeping views of the valley; and views of Bridger, Sacagawea Peak, and the Crazy Mountains. During the downhill, switchbacks pop up out of nowhere, and non-bikers need looking out for. Set up a shuttle vehicle to go back and forth between Brackett Creek and Stone Creek. 

Seasonal Conditions
Every summer, the Bangtail Divide 38K takes over the trail for a day, so check your calendar before heading out. 

Directions
To Stone Creek Trailhead: Head north on N. Rouse Ave. as it becomes Bridger Canyon Dr., and drive up Bridger Canyon for 12 miles. Turn right onto Stone Creek Rd. just past the Lazy J Ranch, and continue 1.2 miles to the trailhead on the left. 

To Brackett Creek Trailhead: Head north on N. Rouse Ave. as it becomes Bridger Canyon Dr., and drive up Bridger Canyon for approximately 19 miles. Between mile markers 18 and 19—2 miles past the entrance to Bridger—turn right on Brackett Creek Road. The trailhead is 100 yards ahead on the right. 

 



Courtesy of Robert Stone's "Day Hikes Around Bozeman, Montana"

Map courtesy of Robert Stone's Day Hikes Around Bozeman, Montana.

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