Lion Mountain to Spencer? Trip Report

One of the things I love most about the Whitefish Trail is its connectivity.  The seemingly endless options for stacked loops and different routes make the trail system constantly stimulating, even for the most seasoned locals.  This week, my friend and I wanted to get out to Spencer Mountain, but we did not want to drive.  I mentioned that in a couple of years the bike path will be completed all the way to Twin Bridges road, allowing safe access from town via a paved bike path. He said, “Yes, but we’re mountain biking. I don’t want to ride on the pavement if I can avoid it. What if we took Lion Mountain to Skyles then connected to Spencer that way?!”

I could hear the excitement in his voice.  With storms threatening, we grabbed the bikes and started climbing to the overlook. The entire ride was great…seeing and discovering the trail in a new light was a breath of fresh air.  For those of you getting stuck in the routine of Lion Mountain or the South Beaver Loop, I encourage you to look at the map (available at all of our Corporate Sponsor locations) to see if you can create a new experience. Try a loop at Dollar Lake counter clockwise, instead of clockwise, or try connecting South Spencer to North Spencer via the new East/West connector trail. The possibilities are endless.

As thunder clapped over head and huge rain drops started falling, we dropped into Otter Pop for some sweet banked turns back down to the highway (THANK YOU Flathead Fat Tires!).  We headed to the Skyles Trailhead and then got into granny gear for the cliff band ascent back to Lion Mountain.  The whole trip took just over an hour and made for an interesting itinerary within the Whitefish Trail System.

The trail continues to be in great condition, despite recent rains.  We are blessed with great inorganic soils and well designed trails that drain water effectively.  In addition, all of our Adopt-A-Trail crews have been busy at work clearing drains, removing brush, and repairing damage.  If you see trail crews out working, give them high fives and say thanks!