Mountain to Meadow via Snake Charmer

Big Sky

Backcountry flow trail riding!

Mountain Biking Moderate

Distance
12 km
Ascent
40 m
Descent
756 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
1.9 km
High Point
2.6 km
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
Mountain to Meadow via Snake Charmer Map

Description

Have you ever fantasized about the idea of a backcountry flow trail? Of berms and rollers that run down a ridgeline for miles and miles, instead of the meager 1-2-mile downhill trails found in most bike parks? If you've ever wondered how a "backcountry flow trail" would ride, then you need to travel to Big Sky, Montana, and check out Mountain to Meadow for yourself.

Mountain to Meadow runs for about 4 miles from Big Sky Resort all the way down into the town of Big Sky, thousands of vertical feet below. Along the way, the entire trail consists of endless, perfectly sculpted berms, rollers, and the odd jump or two thrown in. The upper section flows endlessly through a pine forest, with the occasional viewpoint forcing you to stop and stare in awe at the Spanish Peaks.

Lower down, the trail enters steeper terrain, but to keep the grade mild, it transitions to bench cut singletrack that crosses back and forth across the steep side slope. Here you won't find quite as many berms, but the straighter singletrack begs you to open it up and rip just a little bit faster—just heed the eventual switchback turns! You'll also enjoy expansive views to the south from this aspect.

Unfortunately, the ride concludes with a paved descent into the town of Big Sky, due to easement disputes on the original section of singletrack. Be sure to obey the trail closure, though, so more trails can be built in this area in the future.

Now, there are two different ways to access the goods on Mountain to Meadow. The option shown here tacks on an additional 2 miles of fast, flowy downhill on the Snake Charmer trail. To get to the top of Snake Charmer, you'll have to ride the Ramcharger chairlift in the bike park. Since Mountain to Meadow ends back in the town of Big Sky, this is a popular route for the end of the day after a full day of bike park riding.

Snake Charmer itself is a well-built downhill flow trail, with some of the biggest tabletop jumps in the Big Sky Bike Park. In fact, Snake Charmer can be a good bit more challenging than Mountain to Meadow itself. But if you're not up for the big tabletop jumps on Snake Charmer and you instead just want to get to Mountain to Meadow, don't worry: you can slow down and easily roll up and over the jumps if you'd prefer.

To conclude, note that to complete this route as mapped, you'll need a vehicle shuttle from the town of Big Sky up to Big Sky Resort, and then a chairlift ride to the top of the mountain. Or alternatively, you could take the chairlift to the top, ride down Mountain to Meadow, and then catch a ride back to the resort. There is a shuttle bus with a bike rack on it that runs between town and the resort, and using that bus as a free shuttle option has become very popular. Unfortunately, it is now so popular that the limited bike rack space means you might have to wait a long time to get a spot on the bus. It's now not recommended to rely on the shuttle bus, and to instead set up your own vehicle shuttle. But of course, usage on the bus depends on the time of day and the day of the week... your mileage may vary.

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

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area