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Darby Trails

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Other Names

Bitterroot National Forest, Darby Ranger District, Saphire Mountains, Bitterroot Valley, Rye Creek, Sleeping Child Creek, Ravalli County

Last Known StatusOpen

At one time this land was privately owned by a lumbar company but was recently acquired by the Bitterroot National Forest. With help from Ravalli County Off Road User Association, two long loops were designated for motorized use. Both loops are marked with brown carsonite posts that are labled with directional arrows and vehicle type.

A small staging area is located near the end of Sleeping Child Road but caution is advised for those with trailers/RVs as there is currently no developed parking areas.

Be sure to thank the Ravalli County Off Road User Association and the Bitterroot National Forest for these awesome new trails.

Trail Map... Nearby ATV Trails...


Permit RequiredYesMontana OHV Permit
Dates OpenYear-Round
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 (96 dB)
Whip FlagsNot Required
Maximum Vehicle WidthYes (50 inches)has entrance gate or posts
Allow Dirt Bikes, Trail Bikes and Motorcycles Motorcycles & Dirt BikesPermitted
Allow All Terrain Vehicles / Quads / Four Wheelers ATVsPermitted(maximum width 50 inches)
Allow Utility Terrain Vehicles, Side by Sides (SXS), RZR UTV & SXSPermitted(maximum width 50 inches)
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
Camping / Overnight RV Parking Camping
Campfire Restrictions Campfires
Night RidingUnknownNot Recommended
Trail BlazingProhibitedno trailblazing
Rule Enforcement


AreaMotorized Trails
LandNational Forest




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


Nearest CityDarby, MT
AddressRye Creek Road, Darby, MT 59829
Go Back To Montana List
Trail MapGo To Trail Map
From: Missoula, MT
For Sleeping Child Staging Area:
1) Take Hwy 93 South about 40 miles
2) Turn left (south-east) onto Hwy 38, continue .7 miles
3) Turn right (east) onto Sleeping Child Road, continue about 11 miles
4) Staging area is on the right.
*Note: After parking take FS Road 273/White Stallion Road west about 12 miles to Loop 1.

For North Fork Road Staging Area:
5) Continue south on Hwy 93 about 18 miles
6) Turn left (east) onto Rye Creek Road, continue 5.5 miles
7) Turn left (north) onto North Fork Road, continue 5.3 miles.

For Rye Creek Staging Area:
8) Continue east on Rye Creek Road 2.8 miles
9) Staging area is on the left.
*Note: After parking continue north on Rye Creek Road for about 1 mile to access Loop 2.


Contact InfoBitterroot National Forest - Darby Ranger District
P.O. Box 388
Darby, MT 59829
(406) 821-3913
Contact InfoRavalli County Off Road User Association
P.O. Box 72
Hamilton, MT 59840


Darby Trails Photo

Darby Trails

Photo Submitted 3/16/2019 (Thanks!)

Darby Trails Photo

Darby Trails

Photo Submitted 3/16/2019 (Thanks!)


Submit a Photo!


Approx Size28,800 acres (45 sq mi)
Miles Of Trail44
Climate TypeForest
Elevation5200 to 7000 ft.
Trail MaintenanceMarked, Not Rated, Lightly Maintained
Loose DirtThis trail has little loose dirt.Little
Hard PackThe trail has mostly hard pack terrain.Mostly
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 few steep hills.Few
Water CrossingsThe trail has no water crossings.None
Small JumpsThis trail has no small jumps.None
Large JumpsThis trail has no large jumps.None
BermsThe trail has few berms.Few
Sand/Gravel PitsThis national forest has no sand or gravel pits.None
Single TrackThis national forest has few single track trails.Few
RoadsThis national forest has some roads.Some
ShadeThis national forest has almost all shaded areas.All
HazardsThis trail has few hazards.Few(hazards assumed marked but use caution)
Easy Terrain NoviceThis trail has mostly beginner terrain.Mostly
Moderate Terrain AmateurThis trail has some intermediate level terrain.Some
Difficult Terrain ExpertThis trail has no expert terrain.None


Gasoline Gasoline5-20 Miles (NW)Cenex (406) 821-1940
Diesel Diesel5-20 Miles (NW)Cenex (406) 821-1940
Potable Water WaterDarby, MT
RV Hookups RV Hookup5-20 Miles (W)Travellers Rest Cabins and RV Park (406) 821-3282
RV Dump Station RV Disposal5-20 Miles (W)Travellers Rest Cabins and RV Park (406) 821-3282
Primitive Camping Campground5-20 Miles (W)Hannon Memorial Fishing Access Site and Campground (406) 542-5561 or (406) 375-2611
Convenience Store Conv Store5-20 Miles (NW)Cenex (406) 821-1940
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