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Rattlesnake Canyon - Full Fenceline

An exceptional ride in a beautiful wilderness area

Mountain Biking Moderate

14 km
458 m
457 m
1-2 hrs
Low Point
1.1 km
High Point
1.5 km
Rattlesnake Canyon - Full Fenceline Map

Sitting remarkably close to Missoula is the Rattlesnake Wilderness Area, an area which (being an official Wilderness Area) can only be accessed by non-motorised forms of transport. Fortunately for us, the boundary of the Wilderness Area doesn't quite extend to cover this ride, so riders can get a feel for the Rattlesnake's wonders but still be on 2 wheels instead of on foot.


N.B. Be conscious that bears pay no attention to boundaries and are just as common around the bike trails as they are in the Wilderness Area itself. Be "bear aware" and heed the numerous warning signs explaining how prevalent bear sightings are in this area.

Having parked up at the large Rattlesnake parking lot, follow the beautifully sculpted and easy-feeling uptrack which climbs through dense forests towards where the descent trail begins. The ascent on this route is one of the best examples of sensible trail building, and proves how easy going up can be if the track is well built! There aren't many views on the way up so just enjoy the forests and long grasses all around you.

Once riding down the trail is just mile after mile of wonderful, smooth track. There are occasional rocks and roots but nothing truly technical to think about. Enjoy the long and always-fun ride as it winds down through forests, meadows and - finally - an almost-flat trail back to the parking lot.



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.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between May and October


  • Flow
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • In the forest
  • Roots

Guidebooks in this area