An exceptional ride in a beautiful wilderness area


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FATMAP difficulty grade



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.


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.