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Mt. Ascension Roundtrip

Average Rating:    (5 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 2

Up the single track. At the first fork take the right, up the switchbacks. Once you top out take a left for a few yards, then left again. After about 50 yards take the jeep road south. You'll see the single track to your left. Up the switchbacks. When topping out head straight and take the first single track to your left. Through the woods you go up the side of the mountain. When the trail tops out on the ridge, ride up the ridge. Up on the first summit take a left down and up the jeep road until you head right to the second summit. Up take the jeep road south until a single trail forks off to the right. Take that one and follow it for a while. At the next fork head right downhill. Steep and fun! Follow the trail. After a while a trail goes off to the right at a sharp angle. Follow that trail past the archery range and sidehill Mt. Ascension. Stay on the main trail until you hit a Jep road. Cross that and head downhill. You'll come out at the top of the first switchbacks...

A fun on the uphill challenging trail! If you can make it to the top of the first summit of Ascension without stopping you are pretty good!
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Trail Directions
Through the gate on the south end of Beattie Street
Trail Length
about 6
Trail Level
Trail Type
Singletrack & Fire Roads
Zip/Postal Code
Web Address

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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

Review Date
December 1, 2008

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

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Reviewed by: rideharder ,  Cross Country Rider

This is some of the best all-around, in-town riding in the entire West. Helena's extensive network of trails -- so close to town -- is like no other city in Montana. The vast combination of buff and rocky trails on Mount Ascension has quickly overshadowed even Ridge Trail, one of the best one-ways in the state. If you're ever in Helena, or Montana for that matter, you need to ride in Helena. Stop by Great Divide Cyclery and pick up one of the great trail system maps, or have a local lead the way. And don't forget to stop at the Blackfoot Brewery when you're done for some incredible microwbrews and good times.

Recommended Route:
With the work that the Prickly Pear Land Trust (the local open space management and trail building group) has done recently on Mount Ascension, this is now one of the premier in-town singletrack trail riding opportunities in the West. There's a new climb to the summit of Mount Ascension called the 2006 Trail, and an even newer climb via the back side of the mountain that is accessible from the brand-new Eddye McClure trail (an awesome new trail). This route takes approximately two to two and a half hours, depending on your shape, and rides through some of the best Helena has to offer. Start out by riding from downtown to the Beattie Street trailhead. Climb up and over Hunchback on the Prickly Pear Trail, then veer straight/left at the saddle after a short, steep and rocky pitch. After a flat, large-chain-ring section of double-wide, you'll climb up the end of Prickly Pear Trail. Definitely take the Rocky Road Loop, which at .83 miles doesn't add a lot of distance, but adds some great technical rock gardens. It loops back to Prickly Pear Trail, which switchbacks down to Lime Kiln Road. Go right up the road, and just after the intersection with South Hills Road, look for the covert trailhead straight ahead. Take it, which is Eddye McClure Trail. This climbs hard with more than a dozen switchbacks up the ridge line, then plateaus out with some tight trails heading down. There are a few whoop-de-dos and a number of switchbacks. It spits you out on Martinez Gulch Road. Go right on the gravel road, climbing a couple miles until it meets with Arrowroot Road. Veer onto Arrowroot, then look for a spur road to the left. At the end of the spur road is a new singletrack trail, with some good forested climbing and a couple rock drops. It leads to the saddle just below the summit of Mount Ascension. Go left on Entertainment Trail, and climb just a few hundred yards to a scenic, rocky overlook of town. Then BOMB down Entertainment Trail -- so very aptly named. Turn right on Archery Range Trail, a fast and rolling trail with a couple fast whoops. The best final descent from here for you full sussers is the Little Moab Trail, which the Archery Range Trail kind of turns into. The trail basically goes through -- you guessed it -- some incredible rock formations with drops and technical turns. Take the road back into town.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Dump Gulch to Show Me the Horse (on Mount Helena).
Rodney Ridge
Wakina Sky Trail to Stairway to Heaven Trail.
A combination of them all for some real epic riding.

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Review Date
March 12, 2007

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

Rate this review?

Reviewed by: boisebomber ,  Cross Country Rider

you can take trail from downtown and land back in downtown where several beer joints await. suggest getting trail map locally as above description leaves out part of trail arriving back in downtown. although its not hard to figure out!

from downtown take paved, gravel and dirt roads to S-T switchbacks which evetually arrive at Helena town overlook. you can ride right back to where you started in downtown from overllok.

great ride, great climbs, fun switchback, ride thru trees, glades, creek, overlooks, vistas, challenging but not extremely technical. some bears tooo.

i loved it.

boisebomber (03/19/2007)
my fault....this review is for Mt. Helena Ridge Trail.

5 miles fro DT up Grizzly Gulch(ride or drive) to Park City TH of Helena NF.

ST and jeep trials lead back to Mt. Helena City Park Trails.

12 miles Loop
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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)