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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We're going to be traveling through Butte as part of a long Labor Weekend trip. I'd like to do a ride off Homestake and was thinking of 3 point to point options for Trailforks

1. Homestake-S Maude - return to car via RR Bed to Tunnel.

2. CDT Pipestone - Homestake - out and back for as many miles as we can.

3. Blacktail Ridge - Skeebogan - Beaver Ponds MT loop

Questions:

Which do you recommend/ or others
for #1 - which directions is better.

Thanks!
 

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1. A ton of climbing and the downhill can be sandy and not a ton of flow. Be ready to climb a ton of elevation. Also, the railroad bed back is kind of over-grown with grass and weeds. You should wear pants, if you take that route.
2. This is a great ride and you can loop Beaver Ponds once you reach it prior to returning back. Climbing but not anything really steep or super long. Great flow and some great scenery.
3. This would be the easiest choice on climbing. The only decent downhill would be skeebogan but there isn't a ton of elevation climb in comparison of the others. You could always add the shorter Thompson park loops to this ride.
4. Nez Pierce in elk park is a good choice, if you are looking for technical, pretty, out and back riding.
 

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I like to park at Homestake Pass (I-90) and head south, take the Beaver Pond route downhill and ride back up the road to Pipestone Pass CDT entrance and then back to car at Homestake...

Toll Canyon as an out and back (the downhill was the suck with downed trees earlier in the season) if you want to tack on more miles.

Homestake North to Virgin overlook and back is MUCH better than dealing with the Maude S return but YMMV...
 

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This helpful for me as well because will be in the area for a few days. I have been wondering about 4-mile basin/Twin lakes and 8 miles of Hell lollipop with South Toll Cyn? It looks like the CDT Seymour Lk to Sullivan Crk might be a good stretch. How is it best accessed and ridden?
 

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8 miles of hell might be full of trees. The trails that see more action have been mainly cleared by the cycling clubs and volunterrs. Covid and now forest fires have kept the forest service from clearing trees this year. Also, with the Butte 100 cancelation this stretch of trail is difficult to access to clear. It is a beautiful stretch. Basin should be clear up to the CDT but will be sandy from motorized vehicles and little moisture. I am not too familiar with Seymour but I would guess you access it via the trailhead on Seymour road on your way to Anaconda.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thought I'd give an update since folks took the time to make recommendations:

Day 1 we parked at Homestake Pass and rode south on the CDT-Beaver Pond-Hwy 2- CDT return loop - 20 miles, 3k elevation. Beautiful ride! We definitely look forward to more rides along the CDT.

Day 2 - Toured Yellowstone via West Yellowstone, out Gardner. Very crowded, we were primarily wanting to see as much wildlife as possible. Having worked in the park for a couple of summers it was interesting to see the changes, but the crowds made it an easy decision to go back the biking.

Day 3 - rode Bear Canyon loop near Bozeman. Fun 13 mile, 2K ride. When we returned to the van we could see the Bridger fire roaring in some of the canyons - scary sight. We decided to head back to the continental divide, so drove to Butte and Elk Park intending to ride Nez Perce trail the next day. Unfortunately there was another fire directly on the west side of the mountains, directly aligned with the trailhead. Even though the route headed south, we decided it would be stupid to intentionally ride into a fire area. Drove to Pipestone Pass for the night.

Day 4 - rode 8 Mile of Hell (CDT) out and back making a 17 miles, 3k ride. Again, awesome CDT ride! The Butte valley was hazy with smoke, but the air was clear where we were. I'd like to come back and go further out the trail. That evening we headed toward Helena hoping we'd get a ride in despite a poor weather forecast. Randomly pulled off near Clancy for dispersion camping and drove up a dirt road. Little did we know we actually very near the North Elkhorn trail system, but discovered that after we left for Helena the next morning.

Day 5 - raining hard in Helena, snowing heavily over MacDonald Pass. Hoped to get a ride in at Canfield beside Coeur d'Alene but highway construction held us up too long.

Great trip - we'll definitely be back to ride more CDT trails.
 

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Day 3 - rode Bear Canyon loop near Bozeman. Fun 13 mile, 2K ride. When we returned to the van we could see the Bridger fire roaring in some of the canyons - scary sight. We decided to head back to the continental divide, so drove to Butte and Elk Park intending to ride Nez Perce trail the next day. Unfortunately there was another fire directly on the west side of the mountains,
Ahh, that explains it. Wifey and I camped in the Bangtails Friday night and couldn't figure out where the smoke to the north was coming from. Must've been the Butte area.

It was amazing how fast the Bridger fire blew up on Saturday. We looked down on it from Stone Ck around noon and it just looked to be smoldering. We got back to camp an hour or two later to find a ton of texts from friends that were worried about us and thought, "WTF, we're 15 miles away from that little fire". Then we looked to the south and the sky looked like Armageddon had arrived. We got back to Bridger Canyon road in time to see 6 sheriff's deputies speeding south. We caught up to one to ask if we could drive over Jackson Ck or Kelly Canyon and he said, "nope, we're shutting the whole road down. Did you see anyone else up Olsen Ck? We're going to evacuate that too". We were among the last 4 people to ride B-tail before the closure.

Glad you had fun. We're looking forward to the CDT area later this season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
As we drove into the Bozeman area on Saturday morning I was trying to decide between Bear Canyon and Bangtails - we haven't ridden any trails in the area. The fire was burning near the "M", so we opted for Bear Canyon. Within a couple of hours the fire must have hopped the ridge and it was roaring on lee side. Glad you got out okay!
 

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We had a good weekend of riding over Labor Day as well. We left on Friday and rode 4 Mile Basin/Twin Lakes on our way in. We rode to Twin Lakes first, then hit 4 Mile Basin. The trail to Twin Lakes is was not overly technical or difficult until it hit the narrower singletrack. There were some rock gardens, which I find kind of fun to navigate to try and clean. The scenery is great. The trail to 4 Mile climbs more than Twin Lakes, but doesn't have the same level of techy sections. The views here were amazing as well.

Saturday we did a loop starting from the Pipestone-Homestake CDT trailhead. We took Sketchy Twotrack/road/Blacktail Ridge/Beaver Ponds/CDT. Great loop, minus the bits on the road to connect. Hit the Butte Brewing Co afterwards. Thumbs up!

Sunday we were going to ride the CDT Homestake-Maude S, but finally opted to go try Lost Creek-Foster Creek over by Anaconda. I figured this would be an "easy" ride, but there is quite a bit of climbing. The trail is wide heading out, but it is rocky in places. It narrows down after you pass an old cabin. You pass by some nice meadows before dropping down the other side. The other side is pretty rocky and I feared the climb back out, but it wasn't too bad. The descent back to the car was fun. We drove to Philipsburg to hit the brewery there. Crowded, but stellar. We then hit the brewery in Anaconda on the way back to Butte, which was also a winner.

Monday we got weathered out.

We had a good time and will be back. My only frustration with the area is the difficulty in riding loops. Some of the loops are either too monsterous, or the trail conditions are too sketchy (not maintained). Lots more to explore though!
 

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Anybody have any early season trail conditions beta for this area? Would love to hit Homestake S. to Beaver Ponds if that's dried out. Guide book says May typically. Other early season reccos?
 

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Anybody have any early season trail conditions beta for this area? Would love to hit Homestake S. to Beaver Ponds if that's dried out. Guide book says May typically. Other early season reccos?
Homestake S to Beaver Ponds is still holding snow and numerous downed trees. Thompson Park, Blacktail, Archery Range, and Behind Tech are all open and in great condition.
 

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Anybody have any early season trail conditions beta for this area? Would love to hit Homestake S. to Beaver Ponds if that's dried out. Guide book says May typically. Other early season reccos?
I haven't been yet but L&C Caverns and Copper City are riding supposedly...


If you two haven't done Muskrat it is the shiznet (though clearly not riding yet, put it on your list for next time....)



i suspect Cdogbout is correct, though those trail soils hold less clay than CC / L&C so won't be long...

Beaver Ponds does stay swampy (duh) longer than the CDT but here's a link for I90 / MDOT cam re: homestake


 

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Copper City are riding supposedly...
Definitely. I rode Copper City the first 3 weekends in a row in April. It's just a matter of what the recent weather conditions have been at this point. If it hasn't rained/snowed in Three Forks before you're ride, CC is good to go.
 
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