Author Topic: GDR in Montana  (Read 6085 times)

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Offline Alan-CO

GDR in Montana
« on: May 18, 2014, 11:07:44 am »
I will be driving my daughter to Bozeman on 6/23 and have a week for bikepacking. Prefer dirt sections and would like to use my hammock instead of sleeping on the ground if possible. Any suggestions on were to ride?  If there are good rides other than the GDR route that would be OK. We still have lots of snow above 9000' in Colorado.

Offline jamawani

Re: GDR in Montana
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2014, 02:22:44 pm »
There's even more snow in Montana -
Lot's of high elevation areas have 200% of normal.

Generally, I use a 1000-foot rule for the Rocky Mtn states.
What's 10,000 ft in NM, is 9000 in CO, 8000 in WY, and 7000 in MT.

Here's a link to the latest Snotel data map:
http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/snotelanom/basinswe.html
And data:
http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/snotelanom/snotelbasin

<<<>>>

There are some really sweet rides in the Stillwater Basin - just east of Bozeman.
Base out of Absaroka - combination of county roads and USFS roads and trails.

Offline Alan-CO

Re: GDR in Montana
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2014, 12:43:36 am »
Thanks for the update on conditions in Montana and snow links. I will start checking out the Stillwater Basin area. Hope conditions improve for the Great Divide Race this year

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: GDR in Montana
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2014, 02:15:03 pm »
There's even more snow in Montana -
Lot's of high elevation areas have 200% of normal.

Generally, I use a 1000-foot rule for the Rocky Mtn states.
What's 10,000 ft in NM, is 9000 in CO, 8000 in WY, and 7000 in MT.

Zoinks! I am hoping to ride Gibbons Pass on 6/21. That's just a stone's throw south of 7,000'. Then Skalkaho Pass (7,200'+) on 6/27. Let's hope things have metled enough by then.

Offline BobG

Re: GDR in Montana
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2014, 07:49:31 pm »
indyfabz-

If you're taking your Surly to MT you may want to consider adding cross top brake levers if you haven't already. Gibbons Pass is a gorgeous descent northbound towards Sula. Easy packed dirt north from MT 43, becoming steep and rubbly on the descent, requiring constant braking. Photos are from TransAm, July 2009. I was on my Rock and Road with cross tops with one other rider who rode a mt bike. We had a blast. Two others from the group rode their LHTs with conventional road brake levers and they did not have fun. Too much wrist and neck fatigue from drop bar braking.

I've ridden the TransAm route 4 times now through MT and I still haven't seen Chief Joseph Pass! 3 times over Gibbons and another time included a long side trip through ID over Lemhi and Horse Creek Passes.

descent starts in burn zone...........







then opens up wide..............



road surface.............



« Last Edit: May 20, 2014, 05:44:00 pm by BobG »

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: GDR in Montana
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2014, 08:35:08 pm »
Thanks. Will be heading south to Wisdom. I think I will be o.k. Surface looks a lot like Melrose-Twin Bridges Rd., which I have done with standard levers.

Offline BobG

Re: GDR in Montana
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2014, 08:38:29 pm »
No problem if your headed south. That side is relatively smooth. Hope the snow is gone in time!

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: GDR in Montana
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2014, 06:44:49 am »
Thanks. Wanted to ride it south in '11 but a ranger at Sula told us it was closed so we kept on U.S. 93. About 3 miles later she chased us down in her pickup and told us she had been mistaken. We had gotten a late start waiting for the library in Darby to open so we decided not to give up the 3 miles we had just taken.

Offline BobG

Re: GDR in Montana
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2014, 07:04:03 am »
Alan-

For a loop in that area that does include the GDR you could drive to the Raynold's Pass/Henry's Lake area west of Yellowstone and look for a place to leave your car. (maybe a campground or motel?) Follow the GDR west through Red Rock Lakes NWR to Lima then north to Bannack State Park (bring lots of bug dope for there). After Bannack catch the TransAm back to Yellowstone unless you want to attempt a dirt road route back from Dillon.

Should you do so, keep an eye out for a Moss tent that bounced off my bike 15 years ago just west of Lakeview at Red Rock!

Edit: Red Rock Pass is a bit over 7000' so check conditions first.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2014, 07:10:08 am by BobG »

Offline Alan-CO

Re: GDR in Montana
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2014, 08:32:39 am »
Bob - thanks for the suggestion will pull out the maps and check this route. Probably won't make a final decision until I reach Bozeman.  What color is that tent?

Offline jamawani

Re: GDR in Montana
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2014, 03:10:34 pm »
There is an awesome loop from Red Rock Lakes up Blacktail Deer Creek Rd to Dillon then over to Virginia City either via pavement on the TA or unpaved Sweetwater Rd. A few miles east of VC is the turnoff for the Gravelly Range Rd which is largely on the summit of the ridgeline. Truly awesome - but also truly snow-covered until late. The first two legs should be snow-free throughout - - but you would have to call the nearest forest service office about Gravelly Range Rd. I suspect July 4th at the earliest this year - - but if you are willing to trudge over some snowpack here and there - - you would have it all to yourself.