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black Bridger Foothills Trail

  5.0 ( 2 ) Favorite

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Trail

19.9 mile 32.0 kilometer point to point
Singletrack
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 4,993' 1,522 m
Descent: -8,508' -2,593 m
High: 8,980' 2,737 m
Low: 5,465' 1,666 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 13% (7°)
Max Grade: 43% (23°)

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Trail shared by samh Haraldson

An often overlooked trail in the shadow of the Bridger Ridge.

samh Haraldson

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

Access to this trail is best from the east side at Fairy Lake, but it can also be accessed from the west (with more elevation gain necessary) from the Corbly Gulch trailhead.

Description

An alternate to the must-do Bridger Ridge Traverse is the Bridger Foothills Trail. This National Recreation Trail traverses nearly the entire length of the Bridger Mountain Range and offers hikers long views of the Gallatin Valley, The Tobacco Root Mountains, the Madison Range, the Gallatin Range, and the towns of Bozeman and Belgrade.

The Foothills Trail is not for the faint of heart nor for a hiker fearing massive elevation gain and loss. The trail follows the myriad of coulees that make up the west side of the Bridger Mountains and the trail goes up and down into each and every single one of them. The trail dips into a little draw only to immediately take you back up and out of it giving you a glimpse just a bit farther down valley.

The long traversing nature of the trail means that it crosses many other trails and most hikers will find its primary use is to simply connect two of these together. A popular mountain bike route is to connect the Sypes Canyon Trail with the College M Trail via the Foothills Trail. Other options are Corbly Gulch and Middle Cottonwood as well.

Prepare for a many hour jaunt should you wish to hike it in its entirety. Bring plenty of water as the trail is located high enough up that it only touches the tops of a few of the seasonal streams and creeks that run down the west side of the range.

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Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 2 votes

#715

Overall
  5.0 from 2 votes
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Rankings

#16

in Montana

#715

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6,013 Since Apr 23, 2015
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Ricky Jones
Bozeman, MT
Ricky Jones   Bozeman, MT
Just hiked from Corbly Gulch to the M. There was a lot of snow after the meadow area in Corbly Gulch that continued until Ross Pass. Highly recommend gaiters if you're taking the Corbly Gulch approach. Snow will likely remain in that area for a couple more weeks. Hiked on June 10th 2017. Jun 12, 2017

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