Good morning. Today I head out for an adventure into the Rattlesnake Wilderness. I will bike into the wilderness and then hike up to my destination. I am trying something new today. I bought a water purifier so I don’t have to carry so much water. Last night I enjoyed a summer picnic at Carla’s house. I have a feeling we will be good friends because she likes to hike and bike. Her friends do as well and that should be good.
If not for the long winters, the northern Rockies timber town of Missoula (population 57,000) would certainly keep company with Moab and Crested Butte as one of America’s fat-tire epicenters. But the rolling and steep terrain, bisected by well-maintained singletrack and logging roads, is ridable only from June to October, a short enough season that obsessives don’t live here and itinerant bikers haven’t caught wind of it. The result is blissfully empty paths — in spades. “If you include logging roads, there are thousands of miles of trails,” says local rider Sam Schultz. “There’s a lot of variety, a lot of really fast, hard-packed, and smooth rides.” The 18-year-old Schultz, who is the youngest member of the U.S Under-23 National Mountain Bike Team, divulged his list of the best trails in Missoula.
For a warm-up Schultz suggests an easy spin up the main drag of the Rattlesnake Wilderness and National Recreation Area, a gravel road along Rattlesnake Creek that turns into a rough doubletrack. By the time you’ve pedaled to Franklin Bridge you’ll have covered eight miles. From there you’ve got multiple extension trails to choose from, including Woods Gulch Trail, an epic ride with a 2,500-foot elevation gain in 22 miles. “It’s the longest climb in Missoula, a good four-hour ride with three hours of uphills,” Schultz says. Heading northeast from the trailhead, located on the east side of the Rattlesnake road, you’ll slog up toward 7,650-foot Sheep Mountain. Snowbowl Overlook Trail starts at the main Rattlesnake trailhead, 4.5 miles from downtown, with a seven-mile climb up steep but ridable singletrack to a ledge above the Snowbowl ski resort and views of the slopes. After that? “A superfun descent from slow, steep, technical, and rooty to really fast with gradual turns.Sam Shultz in a article I cant remember