Regional Guide

Glacier National Park and Northwest Montana - Biking

Lake Koocanusa Loop is arguably one of Montana's best road-riding opportunities—an 80-mile lakeshore circuit between Libby and Eureka in the Kootenai River Valley. With many hills to conquer and many miles to ride, the route is best suited for experienced cyclists.

Columbia Falls Alpine Trail runs along the Swan Mountain Range, offering a spectacular view of nearby Glacier National Park and the Flathead Valley. This 25-mile point-to-point trail is primarily single-track, with plenty of switchback climbs (3,100 to 8,500 feet). Turn the ride into a loop by using backroads in the Columbia Falls area. Two cautions: Be careful on the mad descent into Columbia Falls and watch for bears throughout the ride.

Rest your weary quads: Take the gondola up Big Mountain Ski & Summer Resort and ride your mountain bike down 20 miles of newly expanded trails. If you exhaust Big Mountain's lift-served, established trails, take a ride around the neighborhood—Flathead National Forest's 2.3 million acres offer plenty of bikeable trails.

Avoid the usual traffic and see Glacier National Park in a whole new light—take a moonlight ride on Going to the Sun Road. Begin the uphill climb a few hours before sunset and coast down by the light of the full moon (and a headlamp), making frequent stops to take in the moonlit scenery.

Knobby tires or slick? Take your pick in Whitefish. Fat-tire fiends can pedal thousands of miles of old logging roads and trails. Roadies will enjoy rolling rural roads, short climbs, and steep descents. Whatever your riding pleasure, take time for leisurely cruising and enjoy the Alpine scenery, from wildflowers to Whitefish Lake.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 8 Nov 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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