5 - 6
FATMAP difficulty grade
The Bridger Ridge Traverse is a renowned trail running challenge that draws runners from around the world.
You can run the ridge during the [Bridger Ridge Run](https://winddrinkers.org/trailhead/races/ridge-run/) race or attempt it on your own time. "In 2012, Runner’s World Magazine named the Ridge Run one of its top 31 trail races in the country, giving it the title of 'Most Raw Exposure,'" according to [WindDrinkers.org](https://winddrinkers.org/trailhead/races/ridge-run/).
"In 2013, Outside Online named the Ridge Run one of its Top 10 Bucket List trail runs in the WORLD." Despite Bridger Ridge's renown, the challenge is incredibly demanding.
The route as mapped covers 18 miles while climbing over 6,000 vertical feet and descending 8,800.
The official race route measures 19.9 miles long. In addition to the distance and the vert, you'll have to prepare yourself to deal with "unstable footing, unpredictable weather," and dramatic exposure in many places along the ridge, according to WindDrinkers. The route begins with a stiff climb to the top of Sacagawea Peak, the high point of the Bridger Range.
From there, the trail traverses to Naya Nuki Peak, then drops down below the spine of the ridge as it loops around the flanks of Ross Peak.
After Ross Peak, the trail regains the top of the ridge, traversing above Bridger Bowl ski resort, over Saddle Peak and Baldy Mountain, and eventually running all the way to the classic "M" hike at the very southern end of the Bridger Range.
Sources: https://winddrinkers.org/trailhead/races/ridge-run/ https://bigskywalker.com/2017/08/28/bridger-ridge-trail-one-of-the-great-bozeman-area-hikes/ https://www.summitpost.org/bridger-ridge-traverse/435212