Getting out there and exploring Montana’s dirt bike trail network is exciting, with some areas near Billings and Missoula.
Life isn’t meant to be lived on YouTube. Get out there and explore the state with the numerous trails on offer.
Best Montana Dirt Bike Trails
We created this list since when we started riding dirt bikes, we just didn’t know where we could actually go riding. Some places are legal and other areas are illegal with a strong police presence. We wanted to do the right thing as you can imagine.
With this guide, we’ve not included MX tracks as it’s likely that you’re looking for enduro and open country in which you can explore on your dirt bike or dual-sport. These are Montana’s most popular dirt bike tracks:
1. Glendive Short Pine OHV Area
Glendive Short Pine is well known as a popular dirt bike riding area in Montana with its mixed terrain and being completely free to ride. And yes, this is public land. Not only can you ride its many trainls but you can also camp overnight and the main staging area has toilets but no showers. RV’s more than welcome here though the road in is a little bumpy.
2. 7R Guest Ranch
With 1,500 private acres in which to explore across almost 40 miles, you’ll be more than satisfied. The terrain is hilly with some really loose sections but there is something for everyone. The hosts are opening up new tracks all the time and they have a campsite which welcomes RV’s and large toy haulers or if that’s too primitive, you can upgrade to a private cabin.
3. Shepherd Ah Nei Recreation Area
This spot has around 50 miles of trails which are pretty well flat. The surface is also hardpacked and teh elevation doesn’t really change much. If you’re into seeing triple digits on the tacho then this riding area is for you. Dirt bike riders aren’t allowed in the upper portion and the area is well signed. To get a permit, contact the BLM trail hotline.
4. Castle Mountains
For the single track enthusiasts, Castle Mountains is the place to be. The trails are interconnecting loops and there are certain spots for ATVs as well. While you can do a day-trip here (arrive around 8am), it’s best to stay overnight at either Grasshooper Campground (paid) or choose the free Richardson Campground though there are just 3 sites here. Both campgrounds have toilets but no showers unfortunately.
5. Koocanusa Sand Dunes and Trail System
Do you like sand riding and testing your skills? Prefer to crash on the soft stuff? Then Koocanusa is for you and this is by the Kootenai National Forest. These are sand dunes which range between 5 feet to almost 50 feet tall paired with some ordinary trails for those that don’t want to run the revs up high.
6. Pipestone OHV Area
Pipestone is one of those rare areas in Montana which are actually open year-round provided the snow isn’t thick. You’ll be rewarded with almost 80 miles of trails to explore which are smooth and fast. You might even see 5th gear on occasions! Aim for Pipestone Trailhead for day-tripping though for overnight stays with your dirt bike, Four Corners Trailhead is much better with loading ramps provided and restrooms.
7. Highwood Mountain Motorcycle Trails
Head into both the Clark and Lewis National Forest systems and you’ll find around 20 miles of single track trails which are designated for dirt bike use. They are smooth on the surface yet are quite twisty so you’ll be moving from 2nd to 3rd gear and back again quite often. This place is good for a day-trip though if you want to stay overnight then we can recommend Thain Creek Campground.
8. Pryor Mountains
You can go riding dirt bikes in the Custer Gallatin National Forest where the Pryor Mountains are. There are numerous trails here which are open to all offroad vehicle types (apart from trucks) and the best place to camp overnight is Sage Creek Campground. Unfortunately, there isn’t any direct trail access and most people head here for day-trips. Aim to get here by 8am before the crowds come.
9. South Hills Motorcycle Area
Uniquely, South Hills is for dirt bikes only. This spot features a lot of single track and you can ride here during the day and into the evening. The Terrain is quite hilly and somewhat challenging, and with no trees, you’ll certainly feel the heat on a hot day. Not for beginners!
Kicking Into Gear
Just when you thought there wasn’t *that* many areas to ride, you now realize that you can really get out there. Rope some buddies together and make a multi-day adventure with camping gear and a few cases of beer.
Make the most of it! We only live once, and life is best lived behind the handlebars.