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Bitter Creek Trail System

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Other Names

Virginia Peak, Gallatin National Forest, Yellowstone District, Crazy Mountains, Bear Mountain, Scab Rock Mountain, Goat Mountain, Davey Butte, Shields River Campground, Lodgepole Creek, Smith Creek, Honey Run Trail, Bitter Honey Trail, Lodgepole Trail, Target Rock

Last Known StatusClosed For Season

This trail system has around 25 miles of single track motorcycle trails that offer views of the surrounding mountains and open meadows. The trails have a short season and are usually open for riding around mid June through October, but call first before heading out as the entrance roads can get very muddy and rough during inclement weather.

Free primitive camping can be found at Shields River Campground. A log cabin is also available and is located across from the campground. Reservations are required which can be made online.

Trail Map... Nearby ATV Trails...


Permit RequiredYesMontana OHV Permit
Dates OpenJune 16 - October 14
Other ATV Stickers AcceptedNoA non-resident temporary registration sticker is required. (As of March 2020, Montana no longer honors stickers from any other states.)
Spark ArrestorYesA spark arresting exhaust silencer or end cap is required for all vehicles.
Noise LimitYes
Whip FlagsNot Required
Maximum Vehicle Width
Allow Dirt Bikes, Trail Bikes and Motorcycles Motorcycles & Dirt BikesPermitted
Allow All Terrain Vehicles / Quads / Four Wheelers ATVsProhibited
Allow Utility Terrain Vehicles, Side by Sides (SXS), RZR UTV & SXSProhibited
Allow 4x4 Jeeps, SUVs and 4 x 4 Trucks with License Plates 4x4 & Jeeps (registered)Prohibited
Dune Buggy & Sand Rail
4x4 (unregistered)
2 Stroke EnginesNo Restriction
MX Helmet RequiredYouth Onlyrequired for persons under 18 by state law
(RiderPlanet strongly recommends helmets for all riders.)
Camping / Overnight RV Parking CampingSome Areas(camp in developed sites only)
Campfire Restrictions Campfires
Night RidingUnknown
Trail BlazingProhibitedvehicles must stay on trail
Rule Enforcement


AreaMotorized Trails
LandNational Forest


CommentCrandall Creek Cabin - $35/night


Our RatingRatingGood
Recommended StayFull Day
Comments(Scroll Down For Rider Reviews & Comments)


Nearest CityWilsall, MT
AddressSmith Creek Road, Wilsall, MT 59086
Go Back To Montana List
Trail MapGo To Trail Map
From: Livingston, MT
1) Take I-90 East to Exit 340
2) Turn left (north) off the exit ramp onto US-89, continue about 30 miles
3) Turn right (north-east) onto Shields River Road, continue about 16 miles
4) Turn left (notth) onto Smith Creek Road, continue about 4 miles
5) Veer left at the fork, continue about another mile. Trailhead is on the right.


Contact InfoGallatin National Forest - Yellowstone Ranger District
5242 Highway 89 South
Livingston, MT 59047
(406) 222-1892
Contact InfoMontana Fish, Wildlife And Parks
1420 East 6th Avenue
Helena, MT 59620-0701
(406) 444-2950
CommentMontana OHV Permit Info



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Miles Of Trail25
Climate TypeForest
Elevation6200 to 7500 ft.
Trail MaintenanceMarked, Not Rated, Lightly Maintained
Loose DirtThis trail has mostly loose dirt.Mostly
Hard PackThe trail has some hard pack terrain.Some
SandThis trail has no sandy areas.None
MudThe trail has some mud after it rains.Some
DustThe trail has little dust on typical days.Little
RocksThis trail has some rocks.Some
TreesThe trail has almost all trees.All
Steep HillsThis trail has some steep hills.Some
Single TrackThis national forest has many single track trails.Many
HazardsThis trail has few hazards.Few(hazards assumed marked but use caution)
Easy Terrain NoviceThis trail has little beginner terrain.Little
Moderate Terrain AmateurThis trail has mostly intermediate level terrain.Mostly
Difficult Terrain ExpertThis trail has some expert terrain.Some


Gasoline GasolineWilsall, MT
Diesel DieselWilsall, MT
Potable Water WaterWilsall, MT
RV Hookups RV HookupWilsall, MT
RV Dump Station RV DisposalWilsall, MT
Primitive Camping CampgroundWilsall, MT
Convenience Store Conv StoreWilsall, MT
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