Key Information At a Glance
- Distance: 21 miles
- Difficulty: Difficult
- Route Type: Point to Point
- Location: Hamilton, Montana
A Full Itinerary: Conquer Dome-Shaped Mountain and More
To locate the starting point of this intense backcountry experience, consult the provided map. Given the difficult nature of this trail, make sure your gear is in top condition and you're prepared for a demanding ride.
The trail begins on Crystal Creek Trail (#10). At the apex of the initial climb, veer left onto Easthouse NRT (#313). Persist along this route until just past the juncture with Big Spring Creek Trail (#1269), where a left turn onto trail #149 is advised. Your ride culminates upon reaching the Forest Service road, following a serene pedal along the Bitterroot River via trail #321.
Highlights and Features
- Crystal Creek Climb: Starts your journey with a lung-busting ascent.
- Dome-Shaped Mountain: A peak that serves as the centerpiece of this trail.
- Bitterroot River: End the ride with a tranquil section along the river.
What the Riders Say
- The descent from Dome-Shaped Mountain: After this section, many fallen trees make the trail virtually impassable.
- Trail Condition: Outside of the tree issue, anticipate a dry, loose, and rowdy terrain. A dropper post is highly recommended for this ride.
- Alternative Routes: If the fallen trees are a deal-breaker, riders can opt to turn at the intersection with Palisade NRT, guiding them to the renowned Palisade Mountain descent.
Cautions and Recommendations
- Given the rough nature of the trail, make sure to equip your bike with a dropper post for more convenient descending.
- It is critical to consult current trail reports for the most accurate and up-to-date information on obstacles, such as fallen trees.
- If 21 miles of this kind of trail sounds daunting, consider the shorter but equally thrilling Palisade NRT route.
In a Nutshell
The Crystal Creek to Bitterroot River trail offers a comprehensive backcountry experience that is both demanding and rewarding. From conquering Dome-Shaped Mountain to the descent that brings you down to the Bitterroot River, this route provides a wide array of terrains and challenges. However, it's crucial to plan for the less accommodating sections of the trail and adapt accordingly. With the right preparation, this ride promises an adventure that veteran riders will find irresistibly challenging.