SW Montana Offroad Week

Well. A month in Montana was great. I needed to get out of Philly for a little.
Ending a month in MT with a week long offroad dirt bike trip was the best.
Colin led us through a crazy off-road enduro adventure through SouthWest Montana.
Such varied terrain. I can’t think of how to summarize the week. It ruled. Endless epic view and dirt trails and dirt roads in the absolute middle of no where.

Day 1 – Missoula to Sula mountain side

  • leave Missoula and head south on highway
  • camped on the side of a mountain next to a babbling brook
  • Sick first day/night
Bought new boots. Honda Ridgline of boots according to QuinnThis was my approach for having endless drinkable water since in the middle of nowhere. It worked relatively well I guess. But I prefer it as a backup only.Bag all packed up. Very content with my setup. Holds everything and more. Never budged an inch.First campsite was sick. Super warm, but the rain was on way overnight.Not really the route we did, but close enough to give you a loose idea. Between S Missoula and NW Yellowstone the entire time.

Day 2 – Sula mountain to Ajax Lake

  • wake up with light rain
  • Coffee on babbling brook
  • Pack up and head up the mountain 2-track
  • As we continue climbing on dirt roads rain gets worse
  • Turns to snow at 7-8k elevation
  • Prob 2 hours of 2-track in rain/snow
  • Eventually pop out on highway and have freezing 20 min ride into Wisdom MT
  • Go to a restaurant and wait out freezing rain for 2 hours
  • Drink 100 coffee
  • Rain dies and head more off-road 2-track to Ajax Lake
  • Ajax Lake sits up 8k elevation in middle of no where at top of a mountain in Big Hole Valley (BHV)
  • Road towards top got gnarly
  • Super rocky and steep
  • XRs barely could make it up but did
  • GS1200 was too heavy to make it
  • Camped about 30 min hike from the lake
  • Was raining almost all day into night
  • Freezing at night – prob 34 degrees
I knew it was going to rain but Wtf... Snow at 8k feetKLR650 are kinda ugly, but I liked this one.Adam and I were able to make it up the insane rocky primitive road on the XRs. Ajax Lake was pretty mystic looking.The BMW GS1200 is a pigIf the Lake was 9K feet ... we camped at 8K but it rained almost all day into the early night. Hung under trees

Day 3 – Ajax Lake to west side of BHV

  • wake up at Ajax Lake and it’s finally nice weather again
  • Hike 30 mins up steep shit to the lake
  • Coffee at the lake and hang
  • Go back to camp and let shit dry in sun
  • Pack up then head back into mountain 2-track
  • Find a single track to take us up and around the mountain sides
  • Colin said the single track was chill and he’d prob be able to do it no prob on the GS1200
  • He was wrong. The single track was gnarly and intense. Pretty hard on the XR. Almost undoable on the GS
  • Many spots help needed to spot each other
  • I took a semi bad spill uphill on rocks, toppled over
  • Finally got through it all sweating asses off
  • Cool creek crossing at the end
  • Adams boots got wet as shit bummer
  • More 2-track until a sick camp spot on a bending creek – super sick creek spot
These 2 pics dont do this justice. The off-road single track Colin took us on had some steep gnarly difficult terrain.Some fun water crossing after we finally got out of the moutain deadly single track.Got to an awesome campsite on a bending river.

Day 4 – BHV to Centennial Valley

  • great weather now compared to that second full day in rain
  • My RSD jacket zipper took a shit
  • We do more endless super fun 2-track for a couple hours and end up in Dillon MT
  • I buy a Wrangler cowboy cut jean jacket and throw out my RSD jacket
  • Tried to do 100mph on dirt road. Only hit 95
  • Get more beer and get a solid burger
  • Head out of town on more endless dirt fire roads for 50 miles into Centennial Valley.
  • Camping in the open valley with nice mountain views
  • We shoot the gun Colin bought in Dillon.
  • Moon was real good
Adams boots needed to dry out.Best moutain and valley views.CowtownColin bought a gun to take care of Yogi.Epic sunset

Day 5 – Centennial Valley to Ruby River Creek Griz country

  • endless dirt roads
  • I hate my tires. Garbage off road. TKC80 front is bullshit offroad. Pushes and slides too much.
  • Legit in middle of Griz area now
  • Meet cowboy Bill herding ton of cattle
  • Hang for a while eat lunch but get eaten by flies instead
  • More endless dirt roads – insane views can’t describe it
  • Pretty technical riding 2-track
  • Find insane camp site on Rosa Creek
  • Legit swimming hole on creek
  • Colin fishes
  • Sleep in fear of Yogi
Big ButteCowboy Bill - been a cowboy his whole life. Real deal.Griz Creek

Day 6 – Ruby River Creek to Meadow Creek Lake

  • leave Griz spot and head out
  • Really technical but really fun 2-track with even more insane views than before
  • Super warm during day. Sweating on the bike
  • XR is a champ
  • Head into Ennis MT and grab a late lunch and chill
  • Head towards Meadow Creek Lake
  • The lake is similar to Ajax Lake, as it sit at the very top of a mountain primitive road
  • Colin is a nut. The road got insane rocky but he still tried it on the GS. Eventually accepted defeat the trail was insane too steep
  • Headed back down and found a sunken valley style camp spot with a nice mountain look out view
Had to tape em back together, fuck itAnother easy chill ride up to the Lake. Easy.Nope - isn't gonna happen.

Day 7 – Meadow Creek Lake to East Fork Reservoir south of Phillipsburg

  • Head into Sherredon. Grab breakfast
  • Then head back towards mountains for today’s off road route Colin put together
  • Today was fun riding off road trails all through the valley. Felt like the desert
  • Lots of miles today. Dusty
When my RSD jacket took a shit, I bought a Wrangler cowboy-cut jean jacket. Pretty into it.Really fun day riding 2-track through the different valley region.Best pizza in Anaconda Montana. Owner was from NYC area so...Dirt bath

Day 8 – Head back to Missoula

  • Really cold morning.
  • Saw 2 female Moose. Saw a nice Waterfall.
  • Ride some highway and get back to Missoula. Tired now.
Views don't get old. So nice. But cold.Big old bitchWeek trip is over. Back in Missoula at Colin / Gracie's place.

3 responses to “SW Montana Offroad Week”

  1. Nate says:

    The only thing that looks cooler than this trip is that sick new Wrangler jacket! Any chance you have a map of the route?

  2. Will says:

    That turnaround spot for the GS looks insane. I’m sure it was even gnarlier in person. I’m sure all those roads are old cowboy routes, you guys are basically well traveled cowboys now.

  3. Ed says:

    Nate – I added a map under day 1. Not exact but gives you an idea.

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