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Highlands Cycling

Area MTB Trails

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Area Trails
 
All trails are multi-use!  Share the trails with other users.  Good interactions with other user groups includes slowing or stopping to provide safe passage with equestrian and foot traffic.  Motorized users may be present.  Please, always ride with your safety and the safety of others in mind.
 
IMBA trail use guidelines
 
1. Share the trail with other trail users. Mountain bikers, hikers and equestrians must share multi-use trails. Mountain bikers should yield to hikers and equestrians.
 
2. Pass with courtesy and care.  Slow down when approaching other trail users and respectfully make others aware you are approaching.  Pass with care and be prepared to stop if necessary.
 
3. Stay on the trail.  Do not intentionally ride off-trail.  Riding off trail can damage the ecosystem.  Never cut switchbacks.
 
4. Avoid muddy trails. Riding a muddy trail can cause unnecessary trail widening and erosion that may lead to long lasting damage.   If muddy sections exist on the trail, it is best to go through the middle and not widen the trail.
 
5. Don't do unauthorized trail work.  Unautorized or illegal trailwork may lead to environmental damage, injury and potential loss of trail access. 
 
6. Get involved.  If you want to make a difference in your mountain biking community, get involved with your local club: join group rides, plan get togethers, participate in trail building and maintenance!  You enjoy riding the trails, help build them too so your input and ideas can be heard.

The Butte and Anaconda area has many miles of uncrowded trail to ride.  Listed below are some of the local trails with rating difficulty rating using the IMBA trail difficulty rating system, which follows the same designation as found at ski areas:
Green Circle: Easy.
Blue Square: More difficult
Black Diamond: Very difficult
Double Black Diamond: Extremely difficult. 
 
Most trails in the area involve relatively long, sustained climbs requiring an intermediate level of fitness.
 
We are currently working on creating GPS maps of the trails in the area. Please feel free to view them at the link provided at the bottom of this page.
 
Beaver Ponds Trail:  6.25 miles, all single track.
      Technical difficulty rating: Intermediate to Advanced
      Fitness difficulty rating: Intermediate to Advanced
The trail head is located at the second water fountain on Hwy 2 between Butte and Whitehall, approximately 1 mile before the summit on the west side.  It is an out and back trail that connects to the CDT at about it's half way point.  From the water fountain, the trail climbs steadily for about 3 miles, enters a drainage that was once blocked by beavers, and winds past the the dried up ponds (on your left side).  Two old cabins, long since fallen in, mark the top of the ponds area where you turn right, make a short climb and come to the junction of the CDT.  From the CDT juction the terrain is generally rolling and downhill to the summit of Hwy 2, where you can head down the hill (right turn, back toward Butte) on the hwy, re-trace your tracks, or continue on the CDT (Lime Kiln trail) on the south side of Hwy 2. 
     Other trails off Beaver Ponds trail:  Zelda's Forrest, Homestake CDT, Lime Kiln, Archery range.
 
Lime Kiln Trail (CDT): 4 miles, all singletrack out and back (loop possible)
     Technical difficulty is beginner to intermediate.
     Fitness difficulty is intermediate to advanced.
The summit of Hwy 2 (Pipestone Pass/Harding Way) has two areas to pull out and park.  The trail head is on the south side of the road at the nose of the parking area.  From this point you can follow the Lime Kiln CD trail, or ride the Beaver Ponds trail from the summit to water fountain trail head.  Lime Kiln is an , out and back trail passing an old quartz mine approximately 1 mile from the trail head.  The start of this ride is all up hill, but enters rolling terrain just after the quartz mine.  There is a vista point on your left about  1.75 miles up the trail.  At about mile 3 there is a left fork junction for Toll Canyon Trail, which zig-zags (lots of switch-backs!) down to Fish Creek road.  Taking a left turn onto the old road (now jeep trail) will bring you out to Hwy 2 about  2 miles east of the summit of hwy 2.  Staying right at the Toll Canyon trail junction will take you to Lime Kiln road, where you can continue on the CDT by crossing the face of the hill (this is your turn around point for an out and back). A left turn up Lime Kiln road will take you up a short, steep hill.  As you start to descend Lime Kiln, staying left and following the tree line will lead to Fish Cr. road (jeep trail) (in following the tree line, if you find an opening with roads crossing the hill to an old mine, you have gone about 1/4mile too far) This will take you down a fast and rocky descent to a creek crossing in a small opening.  On the left side of the opening at the creek, look for the trail sign in the trees, which lead you back up Toll Canyon trail to Lime Kiln CDT. 
     Other trails off Lime Kiln: Fish Creek, Toll Canyon, Highlands Campground CDT
 
Homestake CDT: 6 miles, all single track
     Technical dificulty is intermediate.
     Fitness difficulty is intermediate to advanced.
At the summit of Homestake pass on I-90 east of Butte, the south side of the highway has a parking area for the trailhead, which is just to the uphill side of the cattle guard on the entrance to FS 240 road.  This trail crosses under the power lines and over jeep trail before heading up in earnest.  The climb is steady for 2 miles after the utility shed you'll see just after crossing the jeep trail.  After a steady climb, the trail undulates, but generally continues it's upward route until you hit approximately 5 miles.  There is an approximate 1 mile down hill that takes you into the Beaver ponds trail, and continuing the CDTeventually to Hwy 2  The entire trip to Hwy 2 on the CDT is about 9 miles one way.
If you want to make a loop of this ride, go right at the junction with the Beaver Ponds trail and go about .5 miles until you see a beaver dam on the right side  that has a trail across the top.  This will lead you into Zelda's forest, which is a generally downhill progression past the archery range, onto Blacktail Ridge trail and to the Blacktail ridge trailhead.  At the trailhead go right, downhill.  At the bottom of the road, take a right.  Your next left will take you to Blacktail road.  Turning right, follow Blacktail road to the base of the hill and to the last house.  At this point the road becomes jeep trail and climbs steeply back up to Homestake, crossing under the power lines several times and returning you above the parking area for the CDT trailhead.  The entire ride is approximately 14 miles.
    
Blacktail Ridge: 3.5 miles single track and old jeep trail.
     Moderate Difficulty (IMBA blue square)  
This trail head is located at the top of    road.  Off Continental drive, south of Butte approximately .5 miles from the junction with Hwy 2 (known as 9-mile), turn east toward the interstate highway on Meadow View drive.  There is a steep gravel road to the right that curls left as it goes up hill.  .25 miles up this road is a dead end and trail head.  The trail is consistently up hill for the first mile, then rolling and more uphill until the 2 mile mark at which point you can turn left and follow trail back to a junction you passed about a mile up the trail you just rode up.  Going right will lead up into what is known to locals as Zelda's forest.  There are several steep climbs that will requrie walking when trail conditions are dry.  The last .75 miles to the Beaver Ponds is rolling and fast, taking you out to the beaver dam .5 miles below the CDT junction and 3 miles from the top of the Hwy 2. 

Trails that have been previously tracked with GPS are available for viewing at www.mapmyride.com

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