Leverich Canyon Loop

One of the only bike-only, downhill-only trails in Bozeman.

Mountain Biking Moderate

Distance
7.8 km
Ascent
394 m
Descent
394 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
1.7 km
High Point
2.1 km
Gradient
Leverich Canyon Loop Map

Leverich Canyon is home to one of the only bike-only, one-way, downhill-only trails in the Gallatin range. As such, it's an ultra-popular mountain bike ride, which is evidenced by the braking bumps that permeate the descent.

Description

The ride begins by climbing a steep but smooth singletrack trail up the mountainside. First, you'll pedal a short stem of singletrack before reaching the loop portion of the ride. This section of the ride is also open to hikers, so please be courteous as you pass. The smooth singletrack can feel very steep in places, but most riders will still be able to manage the climb without hiking. Whether you climb it easily, can barely hold on, or resort to hiking will be a result of your fitness level.

Once on top of the ridge, the trail continues to undulate up and down, following the ridgeline with a few fast descents and steep climbs. And then, finally, it's time to truly descend!

The main descent is the noted bike-only, downhill-only trail. This fast, flowy romp features rollers, berms in most of the corners, and the occasional kicker for optional airtime. The trail tread is mostly smooth, with braking bumps and a few steep sections posing the only potential challenges. Thanks to the fast flow and smooth trail tread, everybody from intermediate riders on up will have a blast railing down this mountainside!

Some sources describe Leverich Canyon as a "modern flow trail," but in 2021, that is no longer the case. Leverich Canyon provides an old-school hand-built flow trail vibe that is an incredible amount of fun to ride but is a far cry from the modern machine-built flow trails of today. You'll have to watch out for small berms that aren't quite tall enough, a few awkward twists and turns along the exposed hillside, and sections where the mountain just seems to fall away. It all adds to the fun, making for an absolute blast of a mountain bike ride.

The final section of the descent follows the stem that accesses the loop, but remember: this is now a shared-use trail again. It's a fast, steep section, and many riders have a hard time reigning it in. Yet you should try to slow down for both hikers and uphill riders that you're likely to encounter.

Note:

The Bozeman 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

Moderate

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability, with unavoidable obstacles 8in/20cm tall or less. Other obstacles such as rock gullies and steep sections may exist. Ideal for lower 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

June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Flow
  • Singletrack
  • In the forest
  • Jumps
  • Roots
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area