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  19 September 2017  |  Vol: 4 facebooktwitterrss  
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Bangtail Divide Trail
Hyalite Creek / East Fork of Hyalite Creek trails
Garnet Mountain Loop
Biking - moderate-advanced

Avoid if the conditions are wet. Period. Otherwise, the long climb from Storm Castle Trailhead that follows an increasing challenging road almost all the way to the top of Garnet Mountain, is diverse and breathtaking… And don’t feel bad if you end up pushing a little. The two-track is truly breathtaking, at times.

The downhill is plentygood for hooting and hollering, but there’s a few exposed areas and a sheer-wall hairpin or two, so watch the speed until you have all the curves memorized. This DH is so long that those of us without hydraulic brakes anticipate some soreness after all the squeezing.

If you’re looking for... Gosh, I don’t know what Garnet doesn’t offer, unless you seek the big ramps and trickery of designated DH routes and the lift-serviced goods.

Distance:  12 miles

Elevation gain:  2,500 feet

Seasons:  Mid-June through September

Trails used:  Storm Castle Creek Rd, FS road 3112, trails 416 and 85.

Map of trailhead:

View Garnet Mountain Trailhead, MT in a larger map


For an insider's perspective on Bozeman'

Date: 30-Sep-2012 Time: 23:15
Hiked Garnet Mountain trail to the lookout tower (old fire lookout - now cabin rental). spectacular 360 degree view from top. forest floor on way up was glowing reds!

Date: 01-Jul-2012 Time: 12:00
Finally got out there! Cursed responsibilities... Parked at the Storm Castle TH, which was full on the north side of the road. Took my time getting up the road that parallels Storm Castle Creek. Not too hot, but I didn't want to overheat the motor early. Took a break at that campground near the fork to Rat Lake, then a few small water breaks all the way up to the meadow, and another big break where the singletrack splits left from the 4WD trail up to the lookout. From there, you're peering into Swan Creek, which had a confirmed grizzly presence last year. Hence, the bear spray in my pocket, telling a friend where I was heading, and all the hooting on the DH. (Well, some of the hooting was multi-purpose.) Oh, and I did not see one single person on the entire trail.

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