Mountain bikes are deemed to be All Terrain Vehicles or ATVs in western Montana. So they are in the same class as motorized vehicles like snow mobiles and four and six wheelers in this area. Consequently, where they can be used has become more and more restricted. They are banned in wilderness areas and Glacier National Park, but there are still numerous local trails open to mountain biking.
Between Missoula, Mt. and the Seeley Lake area there are many good trails for mountain bikers. One of the forty-two trails near Missoula is part way up what we call Evaro hill which is a few miles from downtown Missoula and is easily found by turning left onto U.S. 90 off North Reserve. This trail called the Main Corridor of Rattlesnake, Franklin Bridge and Beyond is considered moderate in difficulty because of its 1500 foot elevation gain. The length of the trail is about thirty miles round trip. It runs up Rattlesnake Creek into the beautiful Mission Mountains. One big plus for this trail is that it is used almost entirely by mountain bikers.
Further up the Seeley Swan in the Seeley Lake area is another trail which is less than twelve miles long and rated as being easy. It is a little north of the community of Seeley Lake. The Seeley Lake trail head is about a mile up the Morrell Creek Road which is a right hand turn at mile post 15 if you’re heading up the Swan toward Bigfork. The trail itself is fairly short but due to the large amount of cross country skiing in the area, a bike rider can intersect with other bike trails that loop into this one. One more plus is that there is a bathroom available at the trailhead.
Continuing up Highway 200 toward Bigfork, Mt. the winding road suddenly comes to a tee and the traveler is in the beautiful Flathead Valley. Looking straight ahead the low hills in the distance are close to another available mountain biking trailhead. To get on the road leading to the Heron Park- Foys Lake trail head, drive through Kalispell and turn left on to U.S. 2 heading toward Libby, Mt. A short distance down this road the highway intersects with Meridian Road. This is a left hand turn. Just follow the signs towards Foys Lake but turn off heading to the Heron Park Visitor Center. If you get to the lake, you’ve missed the turn.
The trail head starts at the Heron Park Visitor Center and covers varying terrain along a ridge above the city of Kalispell. In the distance you can see the Columbia Mountains and possibly pick out where you came into Bigfork if you traveled into the Flathead from the Seeley Swan. The trail is a mixture of flat trail, gravel road, and single track combined with some definite uphill to the halfway point above Foys Lake. Descending the loop takes quite a bit of expertise and reminds me of the commercial where a biker turns toward the camera and says, “I’m only halfway there” as he heads down a very steep trail. This is a beautiful and exciting 7.4 mile bike ride.
Finally, for those who want to do something really different on a mountain bike I must recommend getting to the top of Logan Pass in Glacier National Park around midnight on Summer Solstice and gliding down the Going to the Sun Road to the ‘loop’ or clear down to Avalanche Creek. This is a semi-secret annual event where many bikers get together to enjoy the quiet, peaceful, star-filled late night atmosphere where bears and other big game are, no doubt, quietly watching as you whizz by on your bike.
Source: Personal Experience