This is a jeep trail that goes from the top of the Beartooth mountain range down to the valley below if you go all the way. The trail drops drastically at 8 miles from the trailhead. This is the point of no return. You can turn and go back to the parking lot or continue down the mountain. If you go down, you will not come back up. The climb is brutal, long and hard. You will push your bike most of the way. If you go down, be sure to shuttle cars. You can park at the bar in Adelweis, Wy., which is about 10 miles into Wyoming from the Montana border (going through Belfry).
The ride starts somewhere between 8500 and 9000 feet in elevation and crosses 10,000 feet. There are a couple very technical and rocky climbs and a handful of grinders that are long and straight but this is where you cross the 10,000 foot mark so the oxygen is limited.
When you get to the Sawtooth Meadow sign (appr 4 miles from trail head), you will have just crossed a stream. Before the stream crossing, you can also follow the trail back for an alternate route. It is marked with a Forest Service trail post. It doesn't add/subtract any distance but does add more technical descending/climbing. There is a beautiful lake view and waterfall on this route. When you get past the lake, stay on the trail that looks like a jeep trail. There is a fork and one trail looks like hiker single-track. I have no idea what is down that trail. Follow the fork to the right to get back to the parking area. You will have to ride on the highway for about a mile to reach the parking area if you follow the alternate route.
Full suspension is best for this ride because there are areas where the rocks make for very rough riding but I have done it on a hardtail with a Rock Shox seat post and made it just fine.
It is 16 miles out and back and appr. and 25 point to point.
I don't recommend doing this trail alone unless you are fairly fit and experienced as this trail can eat equipment and people if you aren't careful in areas (not to mention, you can't get cell phone reception in case of emergency).
The views the trail have to offer make it well worth the trip. Moose, bear (both black and grizzly), mountain goats and bobcats inhabit the area. I've only seen moose but have seen signs of the others.
It's a challenging ride because of the combination of altitude and terrain. It is not for the timid or people in poor condition.
Vehicles are allowed on the trail. You will most likely see off-road jeeps, atv-s and motorcycles. In most spots though, a bicycle will go faster than the jeeps and atv-s.
From Red Lodge, travel south on Hwy 212 appr. 40 miles. You'll go up the Beartooth Hwy switchbacks and cross the Wyoming border. Once you cross the border, you have about 10 miles (give or take). Once you come down the Wyoming switchbacks, the road will straighten out. There is a lake to the right and a road to the trailhead on the left. If you go past the Top of The World Bar, you've gone too far. From the parking lot, follow the jeep trail.
Summary: I rode this 'mean' trail starting at the Clarks Fork Canyon(Shoshone forest boundary)it is straight up from there...you can ride about the first tenth of a mile then it gets too steep, rocky and loose. Once on top it is a lot of fun!!! Riding back down to the Clarks Fork river is very hair raising and technical(very experienced riders only)...it has very steep switchbacks and loose rock(if you screw up, you could fall hundreds of feet)! Then riding back out of the Clarks Fork canyon is a bonus! Beautiful area...make sure and take a whole day to do this...and take a friend for support and safety!