A long climb leads to a fast and furious descent!


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FATMAP difficulty grade



Perched high above south Missoula, Blue Mountain is a popular riding spot, and this is the area's biggest and baddest line! If you want to check out what Blue Mountain has to offer without committing to this route, check out our ["Best of Blue Mountain Trail".](https://fatmap.com/routeid/3392593/Best_of_Blue_Mountain/@46.8381946,-114.1580277,26356.7610016,-89.994354,0,1392.9211266,satellite,summer) There are several ways of doing this ride, but starting and finishing where we've shown here seems like a good compromise of effort vs reward.

If you want to improve that equation, try to secure a drop-off higher up the mountain and then ride down all the way to Missoula! The ascent is long and - frankly - somewhat tedious, but the trees thin and the views improve as you get higher so keep grinding up the lower section of 4x4 track and rest assured that the reward for your efforts will come a little later on.

The incline for the the climb is not steep so the height is gained as easily as it ever can be! Upon arriving on top of Blue Mountain you'll be greeted by the sight of the amazing summit lookout tower.

The tower itself is locked, but there's nothing stopping you from climbing some of the steps which lead to it and enjoying the views that doing so provides.

The vistas towards Lolo Peak and the Bitterroot valley are particularly impressive. When you get back on your bike, the ride is undulating initially, but then it's all downhill for a loooong time! The upper section is very rocky and you'll be living on the brakes, but it gets much smoother lower down and you can begin to let the bike roll a little more as you descend. As you get lower down Blue Mountain keep an eye on FATMAP to ensure that you don't ride past any of the junctions which lead you out leftwards.

It would be possible to accidentally drop into the valley to the south and be left with a much bigger climb out, so pay attention! Once back in the main Blue Mountain trail network, either ride back to the car or, if you managed to get dropped off, carry on down to Missoula.