OverviewA relatively new trail to the area, the Baingtail Divide trail was completed in 2003. The trail spans from the Brackett Creek Trailhead to Stone Creek for a total of approximately 23.8 miles. The trail is well built and hardly technical, but due to the length, is considered an intermediate trail.
Built with bikers in mind, the trail has excellent descents on both ends of the trail with a couple big grassy meadows that provide a great view of several mountain ranges to include the Briders, Crazies, Absaroka, Gallatin, and Madison.
There are several different ways to ride the trail. You can car shuttle from one end to the other, you can ride it as a loop if you add about 7 or 8 miles of highway riding, or you can ride it in sections by using Olson Road which puts you onto the southern part of the northern 1/3 of the trail. The most common choice is to ride from the southern to north (Stone Creek to Brackett Creek)
Trail DescriptionAs stated above, the trail was built with bikers in mind so the singletrack is nice and wide at 2-3 feet in most places. Many of the decents have berms built into the corners to make for a great time without losing too much speed. The steepest parts of the trail has plenty of switchbacks and the trail is smooth well maintained dirt for the vast majority of the ride.
From Stone Creek, you start the big climb right out of the chute. Along the climb, you'll cross several old logging trails...just continue straight across and keep your eyes up and open for the trail marker posts. You'll be climbing for about 7.5 miles before you get to the top of the Bangtail Range.
Along the top of the Bangtail Range, you continue to follow the trail marker posts through some beautiful mountain meadows with views of the above mentioned mountain ranges.
At about mile 11.5 you will cross a well defined logging road. There is a marker sign on the north side of the road with some mileages printed on it. If you take a left on this logging trail, you will come out onto Olson Creek Road which takes you down to the highway. Continue on the trail north of the road where you will climb a bit before the final descent into Brackett Creek.
Enjoy the descent down to Brackett Creek...just be sure to watch for walkers and other riders who are riding opposite of you.
0.0 - Stone Creek Trailhead
7.5 - Top of the big climb
10.2 - Start onto some double track
10.3 - Stay to left...don't go down faint trail to right
10.5 - Go through fence, veer left and then back onto singltrack
12.0 - Beautiful mountain meadow with view of the Absaroka Range
12.2 to 16.2 - Several paths cross the trail here, just follow the markers
17.0 - Cross Olson Creek Road
18.6 - You'll be riding on an old logging road, watch for a trail
marker on the right where trails goes into a small meadow
19.7 - Begin the final decent to Brackett Creek
23.8 - Brackett Creek Trailhead
Getting ThereFrom Interstate 90, take exit 306 and go north on N. 7th Avenue. Take a right on W. Griffin Drive then a left at the T-intersection. This will be Bridger Canyon Road...from the T-intersectino follow this road for approximately 10.5 miles then take a right on Stone Creek Road. Follow this road another 1.2 miles until you get reach the trailhead.
When to BikeSpring and fall can be hit or miss due to snowfall/melt, but from the beginning of June through mid September, you can hardly go wrong...unless you just happen to pick one of those freak days.
Typical Montana weather definitely applies to this area. It can change for the better or for the worse in the blink of an eye. This is more common in the spring and fall with mid summer being your best bet for steady weather.
The trail itself is mostly sandy and dries out after a rain fairly quickly.