Author Topic: CDT Ride - Anaconda MT area (2-3 day)  (Read 101 times)

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Offline finster

CDT Ride - Anaconda MT area (2-3 day)
« on: September 16, 2014, 02:16:36 pm »
Hello all,

My first post to the forums so pardon any etiquette violations. I will be in the Anaconda, MT (Georgetown Lake) area for the month of October and would like to sample the CDT with an overnight ride (2 -3 day). Scenery (off the road as much as possible) and a taste of the challenging terrain is most important. My intention is to do the whole route next year. I will most likely be solo and so I am planning that I will have to return to start on my own (or maybe I can bike to/from start/finish from Anaconda?). Looking at the ACA map the section between Butte and Wise River caught my eye. I will be riding a fat bike. I am an endurance junkie, do well at altitude and seasoned in extreme cold winter camping but I am interested to know if things will be passable in Oct, if hunting season is a concern and any other logistical tips from the locals/experienced would be helpful.

I did search the forum but did not find much related so if there are similar posts that I missed please let me know.

Thanks in advance!

Offline indyfabz

Re: CDT Ride - Anaconda MT area (2-3 day)
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2014, 05:19:03 pm »
I don't have my map handy, but IIRC, that section includes the famed Fleecer Ridge, which is quite a steep slope down heading south.

The Wise River Club is a neat place with good food and adult beverages. There is also a small mercantile in town. This summer I did a road tour through there after crossing the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway south to north. Saw a bunch of participants in the Great Divide MTB Race while I was there. There is no established tent camping in town that I know of, but I recall reading a journal on Crazy Guy where the rider got permission from the club's owner to camp out back. If you head south on the Byway for a while, there are some U.S.F.S. Campgrounds, but that would take you out of your way.

I know there is a paved option from Wise River back to Anaconda that I believe crosses the CD. You head west on MT 43 then make a right onto MT 569/Deep Creek Rd. That will take you back to MT 1 just outside the center of Anaconda.

Offline CMajernik

Re: CDT Ride - Anaconda MT area (2-3 day)
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2014, 10:27:28 am »
I agree with what indyfabz suggests. MT 569 has minimal traffic, great scenery, and is a good way to get back to Anaconda. Definitely go clockwise from Anaconda. Just so you know, bikes are allowed on the interstates in MT so you can ride them to reach the route. Another option would be to go into Butte and ride the loop north of town.

Unless we have an early storm this area will be free of snow in October, though cold at night. Usually in October we have beautiful indian summer weather. Bow hunting season has already begun and rifle season starts around the 4th weekend in October. To be safe wear bright clothing.

If you wanted, from Wise River, you could ride south to reach camping. That road also has good scenery and very little traffic.
Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x218, 406/721-8754 fax

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline indyfabz

Re: CDT Ride - Anaconda MT area (2-3 day)
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2014, 02:46:30 pm »
The closest established U.S.F.S. campground south on the Byway from Wise River (4th of July Campground) is 11.5 miles. If you head east on MT 43 towards I-15 about 9 miles, there is a BLM campground on the right just before MT 43 crosses the river. You have to take the gravel road past the day use area to reach the campground. The ride from Wise River through the canyon is also scenic. You could then ride the frontage roads and/or I-15 back to Butte.

You can get from Butte to MT 1 near Anaconda without riding on I-90 at all. Follow the frontage roads on the south side of I-90 and then cross under I-90 via Bossard Rd., which looks like a drainage tunnel. Continue along the north side of the highway until the interchange. Cross back over to the south side of I-90 and bear right at the first road (unsigned), which is Crackerville Rd. (not the road to the hot springs resort) This will take you straight to MT 1. Turn left onto MT 1 and you will be in the center of Anaconda in a few miles.

Offline finster

Re: CDT Ride - Anaconda MT area (2-3 day)
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2014, 11:36:33 pm »
Hey thanks for the great info! Good to know that I can ride on the Interstate although this sounds like it could be a bigger risk than being in bear country! :) I like the sound of the route back to Anaconda as well. Fleecer Ridge is calling me. I can't get this kind of view in MN. Cold is totally ok as well as passable snow. Also sounds like local establishments are accommodating to bikers which is awesome. I will take a peek at the loop north of Butte as well. Perhaps I will have enough time to do both. Looking forward to my visit. I hope to stop in to ACA as well.


Offline indyfabz

Re: CDT Ride - Anaconda MT area (2-3 day)
« Reply #5 on: Today at 10:32:02 am »
Many of the Interstates in that area are not that bad. I have ridden along I-15 south of the BLM camground I mentioned and crossed under I-15 in Melrose. From what I could see, the traffic was very light. There are frontage roads along I-15 heading north from Divide towards Butte, but I don't think they go all the way through, so you have to eventually get on the highway for a stretch. Check it out on Goggle Maps. Even the three miles of I-90 I rode between an interchange west of Butte and the exit for MT 1 were tolerable.

Will you be staying up by the lake on in Anaconda proper? If the former, note that from Anaconda up to Gerorgetown Lake is about a 10 mile climb. It starts our gradual and gets progressively steeper until you approach Silver Lake, which is a few miles east of Georgetown Lake. However, the climb never gets overly steep for any significant distance, and it's scenic. Both times I rode it, the wind out of the west was the real factor.

Finally, if you find yourself in Butte needing a place to stay, the motor lodge portion of the Hotel Finlen is a good value. It's located in the Uptown section of the city, which has some interesting old buildings.