Deerlodge National Forest is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with its vast landscapes, tranquil lakes, and rugged terrain. One of the most rewarding activities within this pristine wilderness is horseback riding. The forest offers a plethora of well-maintained horse trails that cater to riders of all skill levels. From breathtaking panoramic views to serene forested areas, here are some of the best horse trails at Deerlodge National Forest.
1. Mill Creek Trail:
Mill Creek Trail is a fantastic option for those seeking a moderate yet exhilarating horseback riding experience. Stretching for approximately 15 miles, this trail takes riders through lush woodlands, crossing babbling brooks and trickling streams. The trail offers breathtaking views of the surrounding scenic beauty while providing an opportunity for spotting wildlife, such as elk and deer. Riders will experience a real sense of peace and tranquility as they meander through this diverse landscape.
2. Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness:
For the more experienced riders, the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness offers a challenging but highly rewarding horseback riding adventure. This trail system covers over 160 miles of scenic beauty, with opportunities to explore high alpine meadows, dense forests, and crystal-clear lakes. Expect steep ascents and descents along the way, adding a sense of thrill to the ride. Riders will relish in the breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountain ranges, making this trail a must-try for avid horse enthusiasts.
3. Blackfoot River Valley:
The Blackfoot River Valley trail is perfect for riders who prefer a milder excursion while still enjoying the beauty of Deerlodge National Forest. This trail follows the picturesque Blackfoot River, offering awe-inspiring views along the way. As riders journey through the valley, they will be greeted by vibrant wildflowers, towering cottonwood trees, and, if lucky, a glimpse of the diverse wildlife that calls this area home. The gentle terrain makes this trail suitable for riders of all levels, including beginners.
4. East Fork of the Rock Creek Trail:
For those who crave solitude and a touch of adventure, the East Fork of the Rock Creek Trail provides an ideal horseback riding experience. Stretching for about 18 miles, this trail enables riders to soak in the pristine wilderness of the forest. The ride takes you through majestic stands of spruce and fir trees, along with enchanting meadows adorned with vibrant wildflowers. The trail offers numerous campsites along its length, allowing riders to indulge in an overnight adventure while enjoying the tranquility of nature.
5. Transcontinental CDT Hiker/Biker/Horse Trail:
For the explorers looking to immerse themselves in a truly unique horseback riding experience, the Transcontinental CDT (Continental Divide Trail) Hiker/Biker/Horse Trail is a must-try. This segment of the Continental Divide Trail provides riders with an opportunity to traverse the backbone of North America. As riders journey along this approximately 8-mile trail, they will be rewarded with stunning vistas of sweeping valleys, towering mountains, and pristine forests. The trail runs along the Continental Divide and offers a sense of accomplishment and awe.
Deerlodge National Forest is a hidden gem for horseback riding enthusiasts, offering a diverse range of trails to suit all riders' preferences. Whether you seek a thrilling adventure or a peaceful escape in nature, the forest has something to offer. So, saddle up, explore the beauty of the forest, and create memories that will last a lifetime.