By Ciara Wolfe BSCO EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Hang on for the ride of your life on this 6-mile downhill mountain bike flow trail. The Mountain to Meadow trail is designed for fast, smooth corners as it weaves through forest, meadows and across familiar ski runs from Big Sky Resort all the way down to Town Center.
This increasingly popular mountain bike trail is one of the trails putting Big Sky on the map for a world-class mountain biking experience. The trail, rated an advanced difficulty level, is definitely not for a novice biker, but is designed to afford all-levels of mountain bikers the experience of a true downhill trail.
Starting at the Big Sky Resort base area, near Ramcharger, follow signs for the Upper South Fork biking trail. The Upper South Fork trail begins with a gradual climb on an old roadbed turning to single track for approximately 2 miles. During this portion of the ride be aware of downhill bikers coming off of the new Snake Charmer trail that Big Sky Resort put in last summer. This trail can be lift-accessed off of Ramcharger and extend the Mountain to Meadow experience by two additional downhill bike trail miles.
During the climb you will cross under the poma lift at Big Sky Resort and across the well-known ski run, War Dance. Once reaching the top of the 2-mile climb you will see a sign designating that you are leaving Big Sky Resort property and the downhill Mountain to Meadow Trail experience begins.
Hold on for the ride and enjoy the smooth, clean berms as you cruise back and forth through the forest for 4 miles, at the end of which you will reach a private dirt road. Following the signs, take a right on the dirt road until you reach paved Autumn Trail. Ride on Autumn Trail for one-third of a mile before turning right onto Andesite Road. Follow Andesite for approximately 1.5 miles until you reach Lone Mountain Trail (Highway 64).
Lone Mountain Trail will take you directly into Town Center, where you can catch the Skyline bus for a shuttle back up to your vehicle or another lap (summer schedule can be found at skylinebus.com) or stay in Town Center to grab a bite or hit one of your favorite watering holes for a post-bike ride brew.
Please respect signage throughout the trail and stay on designated trails. Your respect of private property will support the Big Sky Community Organization’s efforts to secure trail easements on private land helping to connect this trail into our community trail system.
Distance Round trip: 6 miles one-way
Elevation: 7,538 feet at Base Area and 6,500 feet in Town Center
Uses: Mountain Bike
Directions: Turning off of Highway 191 onto Lone Mountain Trail, follow the signs 9 miles to Big Sky Resort. Turn left into the resort and follow the road up the hill staying left until you end at a free parking area located at the base of the Mountain Mall.
You can also park in Town Center off of Ousel Falls Road (3 miles west on Lone Mountain Trail from the Highway 191 intersection and traffic light) and catch a free shuttle on the Skyline bus. The bus stop is located in Fire Pit Park on the right-hand side after turning onto Ousel Falls Road off of Lone Mountain Trail. Bike shuttles fill up fast, so plan to be there plenty of time in advance.
For more information about Big Sky’s Parks, Trails and Recreation Programs visit bscomt.org. The Big Sky Community Organization is a local nonprofit that connects people to recreational opportunities by acquiring, promoting and preserving sustainable places and programs for all.