This is part one of our road trip to three different locations; Lincoln, MT, Seeley Lake, MT, and Island Park, ID.
In our quest for the most exciting backcountry mountain riding, we descended upon a spot well off the beaten path in Lincoln, MT. Surrounded by the Bob Marshall Wilderness to the north and the Scapegoat Wilderness to the south, the mountain exploring doesn’t get much wilder than this…
In a much anticipated effort to miss as little work as possible while maximizing our time in the backcountry of Lincoln, Montana, we loaded up in the wee hours of the morning. We were able make great time on a relaxed ride through some beautiful country along the Rocky Mountain Range.
Arriving fairly early in the day, we met up with a local group of riders who know the area extremely well and can flat out ride! First up, Huckleberry Pass.
Directions to the Trail-head: From Lincoln, you’ll head west for a little over a mile before turning right (north) onto Beaver Creek Road. Stay on Beaver Creek for another 1.5 miles until it forks with Stone Lane. The trail is actually on Beaver Creek Road as you take off. Many years, you can ride your sled anywhere in town, including to the gas pump. There is a trail on the shoulder of the highway out both sides of town.
Here are the distances between some notable locations in the area.
Lincoln to trail-head: ~2.7 mi
Seeley Lake to Lincoln: 54 mi
Missoula to Lincoln: 77 mi
Dillon to Lincoln: 163 mi
Helena to Lincoln: 60 mi
Great Falls to Lincoln: 90 mi
Terrain/Ride Details: Most of the riding in this area can be found just off the main trail that you start on. The cool thing is that within 15 feet after leaving the trail you feel like you are miles away from anything. There are trees everywhere! It is a tree riders dream. There are play areas all along the way up this trail. Drop/climb into any of them and you’ll find hours of riding. We bolted off to the right into some trees at some point…never saw the trail again until the ride out. We spent the day following tree trails into various play areas. Some of the areas were natural, some from past burns, and some from log clearing operations.
Full disclosure here, the snow conditions for our trip were terrible. It was super warm and tons of snow had melted. This is part of the reason we didn’t GoPro our riding on this day. We were able to find some soft, deep snow to play in, but had to search and be careful not to hit lurking bombs. This is not typical for the area. Just bad luck!
Bad snow luck or not, we still had a blast spending time together and hanging out with the locals. Talk about solitude, we didn’t see another sled all day. This is an area that you’ll need to be very careful to know where you’ve been and where you are. It wouldn’t be difficult to get lost in this area, and with the extremely limited amount of traffic, you may not be found for a long time!
Nearest Snotel: Copper Camp, click here to view. If you are new to Snotel, simply select Daily or Hourly in the “Time Series” box toward the bottom and then choose last 30 days, last 7 days, or last 24 hours in the yellow box. Now, click on the “View Current” button. Enjoy the joys of modern weather technology!
Snowmobile Registration: From the Montana state website, “Nonresidents who plan to ride their snowmobiles and motorized snow bikes in Montana must purchase a Snowmobile Nonresident Temporary Use Permit for $25 per machine.”
Fuel: There is one gas station in Lincoln, the Mountain View Co-Op. Lucky for us sledders, they sell 91 octane ethanol free! It is pretty large as gas stations go and sells plenty of food and snacks. There is also only one grocery store in Lincoln. You can’t miss it, right in the middle of town.
There is ethanol-free fuel all over in Missoula, Helena, Seeley Lake, and Great Falls. Click here to see a full list of ethanol free stations in Montana.
Hotel/Accommodations: We were lucky enough to stay in a friend’s family ranchhouse, but there are more accommodations here than you’d suspect.
The Hotel Lincoln, Three Bears Motel, and Leeper’s Motel are the three main places to stay. All three are right on main street. We’ve heard good things, especially for small town accommodations. I stayed in the Leeper’s Motel one time. Good/warm/simple room, but very small.
There is one option for cabins that we’re aware of, click here to check it out.
Nearby Snowmobile Shops: There is nothing of note in Lincoln. Your best bet is to head to Seeley Lake, Helena, Missoula, or Great Falls…all of which are not close. Good idea to come with spare parts and a mechanic friend :).
Kurt’s Polaris–3181 MT-83, Seeley Lake, MT, Hours: 9a-6p (Tu-F), 9a-5p (Sat), closed Sun/Mon.
One Way Marine/Motorsports–3186 US-12, Helena, MT, Hours: 8a-6p (M-F), 9a-4p (Sat), closed Sunday.
Kurt’s Polaris–2904 West Broadway Ave, Missoula, MT, Hours: 9a-6p (Tu-F), 9a-5p (Sat), closed Sun/Mon.
Missoula Arctic Cat–5106 East Harrier Missoula, MT, Hours: 9a-6p (M-Sat), closed Sunday.
More Area Information: For more information about sledding in this area click here.
Local Club Info, click here. Though the Facebook page, Pondersa Snow Warriors, is the best way to see what they’re up to.
Final Review of Lincoln, Montana: This is not an area I would recommend to a beginning group of riders or trail riders. While there are trails, within a few miles, you are truly in the backcountry. As a tree rider, I couldn’t be more satisfied with this place. You can ride trees until your arms fall off…or until you rip your A-arms off, which every happens first. The town is very small, but snowmobile friendly, and overall an awesome place hidden in the mountains. I love that you can’t find a ton of information about this area online. I love that it is not super “touristy.” I hope it stays that way for a long time…at least long enough for me to take my two little boys up before it changes too much.
If you’ve been here, share your experience in a comment below! We have had some great insight added in other posts from our loyal readers. Share the knowledge!
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