Rattlesnake Trailhead: Missoula's Mountain Biking GemIn the scenic landscape surrounding Missoula, Montana, the Rattlesnake trailhead emerges as a predominant hotspot for mountain biking aficionados.
- Distance: 50 mi
- Level: Intermediate
- Route Type: Network
- City: Missoula
- State: Montana
Terrain and Route
The Rattlesnake trailhead forms the gateway to an intricate network of trails. Designed to cater to bikers across the spectrum of skills, this region boasts:
- Main Corridor: Dominated by the largest drainage, this expansive corridor offers a broad doubletrack dirt road tailing the creek.
- Three Unique Gulches: Sawmill Gulch, Curry Gulch, and Spring Gulch, each flowing south to north, make their presence known, each having its distinct trail system. These gulches seamlessly interconnect, adding to the complexity and charm of the trails.
Directions to Rattlesnake
Embarking on this exhilarating journey necessitates:
- Departing from Missoula, venture north on Van Buren, which transforms into the Rattlesnake trail.
- At a 4-way junction, located 2.2 miles north of Broadway on Van Buren/Rattlesnake, opt for a right turn to remain on Rattlesnake.
- Following a 1.8-mile drive, make a left onto Sawmill Gulch road (the alternative is Woods Gulch Road).
- In 0.3 miles, the expansive trailhead is noticeable on the right. For the Sawmill Gulch drainage enthusiasts, another trailhead waits 1.2 miles up the road.
Insights from Fellow Riders
Garnering feedback from fellow cyclists:
- Missoula's Favorite: Many hail this as their top trail system in the area, perfect for summer evening rides.
- Diverse Difficulty: While the entire system leans towards intermediate levels technically, expect gradients ranging from moderate to extremely strenuous. Optimal routes can lead to thrilling descents.
- Strenuous Climbs: The trails, though challenging, promise captivating views and rewarding downhill experiences post the climb.
- Local Recommendations: Wheaton's Bicycles is known to direct biking enthusiasts to Rattlesnake National Recreation Area, a testament to its popularity.
For those exploring Missoula's terrain on two wheels, the Rattlesnake trailhead beckons with its multifaceted trails and spectacular vistas. Offering the right mix of challenge and enjoyment, it stands as a testament to Montana's undying allure for mountain biking enthusiasts.