Rattlesnake NRA - TRAIL

Rattlesnake NRA - Trail, Missoula, Montana

Rattelsnake NRA has maybe 50-75 miles of ST and FR trails leading from town TH to several peaks and the wilderness area.

since there are so many trials you can pick your own line, but a favorite is a tuff climb up Sawmill Gulch to trails that cuts over to Spring Gulch, about 1800' elevation gain over 3-4 miles, which translates into some steep, steep grades. For us mere mortals i say you might push up 1/2 mi. on this one.
attached trail map has contour lines. TH has maps and signs but it is tuff to figure out what grades and elevations gains are.

you can even ride to Stuart Peak for a 4400' gain over 18 mi.

the is the favorite spot for serious Missoula riders.

the trails are technically beginner/intermediate but grades are for the fittest.

this is a lungs and legs special.

http://www.missoulabicycleworks.com/images/rat_public.pdf

User Reviews (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4  
mtbmc82   Weekend Warrior [Sep 24, 2011]

Fun and fast ST. Nothing technical with the exception of a few tight switchbacks on some of the trails. However, bring your legs and lungs if you plan to experience what this trail system has to offer. The best trails in Missoula will be found in this area. I give these trails 5 flaming chilis not because any one of them is a 5 flaming chili trail, but they are all mostly 4 flaming trails, and when you can link together miles upon miles of 4 flaming chili trails the entire area is worthy of 5 flaming chilis. Aerobic difficulty I give a 4. If you follow my recommended route it is probably a 3 or 4 (as I beleive I've found the easiest way to the top). If you decide to climb the wrong trails though, you are easily looking at 5 flaming chilis.

Customer Service

If you've never ridden here grab a map (they are free at the trailhead). There are lot's of junctions out there. The easiest way I've found to the top is to ride out on the gravel road/trail along the creek. Bear left at juction B, left again at J. Take a left at junction T when the trail deadends. This short climb takes you out of Curry Gulch and over to Sawmill Gulch. Take a right at the end of that trail (not sure if it is posted but I think it's par of junction R). Stay right at all jujctions until you reach junciton M and go left. At the end of this trail you can turn left and choose your descent, or turn right and continue up. I reccomend turning left and bombing down 24.3 and looping back up, or bombing down 24.6 (my personal fav), or riding the fenceline all the way back down for a more mellow, varied terrain descent. And as previously stated the 24.2 trail that connects the parking lots is not to be missed. If you miss it your a sucker.

Oh yeah, do the woods gulch side too. So many good trails up there. Too many to even recommend a route. I like to access them from the Marshall Mountain side via FS roads though (much easier climbing).

Similar Products Used: Pattee Canyon, Blue Mountain, Snow Bowl
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Mtn_times   [Nov 16, 2009]
Similar Products Used: Woods gulch area via trail in corner of Aspen drive.
OVERALL
RATING
4
kayakjamie   Cross Country Rider [Jul 19, 2009]

Lots of mellow single track that have been cut on old logging roads. Less challenging than we were expecting. It was very easy on our tandem.

Customer Service

Head up sawmill gulch on the single track out the parking lot up the hill from the parking lot. We did a good loop up 108T to 24.1T then down 29.1T

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
M_S   Cross Country Rider [Jan 10, 2008]

Nice area. You can ride from the University or Downtown along rattlesnake Drive. About 3 miles along the road yuo can cut through the suburbs on your right and take a fun trail that follows the creek up to the main trailhead. Area is not very technical but is STEEP and rather rocky.

Customer Service

If you just want an easy cruise you can take the main FS road straight ahead. You can only go about 13 miles, howwever, until you hit the Wilderness area, where bikes are not allowed.

Otherwise the best route is to head into sawmill gulch. This is mostly widish track for a few miles, and it gets STEEP. Volunteers recently cut switchbacks next to what used to be a climb of death, but the tread there as of now is very loose. Honestly the fastest way may be to hike your bike up the last half mile. After that the trails sort of meander around in the hills for a ways. Because of the climbing this can be an all day ride even if you don't go much more than 20 miles.

Similar Products Used: Patte Canyon/mount sentinel can be a good loop for a 'cross bike or 29er, starting with a road and FS road climb, and descent on gravel roads and singletrack.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-4 of 4  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

mtbr.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.