Grizzly Loop and Lemon's Knob

A more difficult loop from the Porcupine Trailhead

Mountain Biking Difficult

Distance
12 km
Ascent
513 m
Descent
513 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
1.9 km
High Point
2.2 km
Gradient
11˚
Grizzly Loop and Lemon's Knob Map

If you want to enjoy the sweet singletrack on Grizzly Loop, but you need a bit more mileage to call it a decent mountain bike ride, consider extending the route with a trip up and down Lemon's Knob. Also known as Lemon Drop Knob, this steep addition to the ride ratchets up the difficulty from the standard Grizzly Loop a couple of levels.

Description

The Grizzly Loop offers beautiful smooth, flowing singletrack running through the wide-open meadows near the Porcupine Trailhead. Even though the trail is generally non-technical, you'll still need to negotiate a few steep climbs on the way up. The steep climbs are worth it, though, because the subsequent downhill is ripping fast! You'll be able to blast down narrow, smooth singletrack with a few flowy s-turns thrown in. It's hard to believe that the climbing you've done thus far could yield such an incredible downhill, yet it does.

To head toward Lemon's Knob, you'll have to cut across the stream earlier than you would on the standard Grizzly Loop, and begin climbing again. You'll have to make several turns in this convoluted trail system, so be sure to download this map for offline navigation.

The main push to the summit of Lemon's Knob is fairly steep, and some riders may have to hike a bike.

Once on top, you'll drop into the beginning of the descent, but you'll have to weave your way around a few fallen trees. At the time of this writing, it appears these trees fell years ago, and riders have chosen to weave the trail around them, instead of cutting the trees out. This creates a poor mountain biking experience on the upper section, but as the trail steepens, things get better.

The final descent back down to the trailhead follows a steep fall line trail straight down the edge of the ridge. This steep shot is fast, loose, and rowdy in places. This is old-school mountain biking, which means that even if you get ripping down the mountain at mach-chicken, you could still be faced with an awkward ledge drop, a sharp turn, or even a downed tree. Grip it and rip it, but be sure to ride heads-up for obstacles and other trail users.

Note:

The Big Sky area is renowned as prime grizzly bear country. Signs at every trailhead warn that bears are highly active in the area. Mountain biking is considered a high-risk activity in grizzly bear country due to the quiet speed of a bicycle and how quickly you can accidentally sneak up on a bear when rounding a blind turn. To mitigate this risk, make plenty of noise while riding, try to ride with a group of people, and consider attaching a bear bell to your handlebars. Also, make certain that you carry bear spray with you every time you ride, in case you do get into an encounter with a grizzly.

Difficulty

Difficult

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability featuring larger and more unavoidable obstacles that may include, but not be limited to: bigger stones, roots, steps, and narrow curves. Compared to lower intermediate, technical difficulty is more advanced and grades of slopes are steeper. Ideal for upper intermediate riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • Drops
  • Roots
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area