For the past two years we have spent late Spring early Fall in the NW then migrate further south to see family for the coldest months. Come October, colder weather was coming so we hitched up the Airstream and began our migration south. Some good friends joined us on this leg of the journey from Coeur d’Alene, ID for a few days of family fun in Bozeman.
Bozeman is an epic outdoor enthusiasts destination! While the main goal of this stop was family fun (museum of the Rocky Mountains, Hot Springs & local parks) I wanted to carve out some time to get out on my bike. After talking with a local Alpaca farmer about ride options given my time constraints he recommended Sypes Canyon. Close to town yet a great taste of what the area has to offer.
With an energetic preschooler and a infant I have to get creative when making time for dad only adventures. A good solution is short early morning sessions while all the family is still sleeping. I scheduled a 5am start to leave our camp spot to begin the long road approach to the trail-head.
Come 5am I realized that sunrise wasn’t until 7:30. Long story short the entire road approach was shrouded in darkness. As cars blasted past I decided it was best to use my only headlight as a tail light to signal cars of my presence.
Once I got to the trailhead my route was lighted with twilight. The trail begins with water breaks through an aspen grove. The terrain quickly steepens and becomes rocky and exposed as it overlooks the canyon. (This portion of the trail is very technical and largely hike-a-bike) After this steep section the trail mellows into winding hard packed single track. There are steep sections and switchbacks but everything is rideable. Beautiful vistas await as you reach the ridge. At the top the trail T’s and single track extends in both directions along the ridge.
I had a narrow 3hr window to explore so I soaked up the views at the top then turned around and enjoyed the fast flowing descent. I couldn’t stop smiling all the way down!
SYPES CANYON TRAIL BETA
Map / Trailhead Location
Distance: 5+ miles of singletrack (lots of extended trail options!)
Difficulty: Very Technical Sections but Mostly Moderate
Route: Out and Back
Lodging: The Super8 Motel has some sweet RV parking with hookups for guests. Our friends rented a room and we camped in the parking lot.
Overall what I rode of Sypes Canyon was a blast! I can’t wait until we pass through Bozeman again next year! If you’re in the area and looking for some first rate single track close to town checkout Sypes.
STRAVA for part of the trail
Idaho – 7 Summits Mountain Bike Ride
Nebraska – Calvin Crest Mountain Bike Ride
South Dakota – Palisades Rock Climbing