Montana's Red Meadow Ramble Gravel
Whether you’re just starting out with gravel touring or you’ve been doing it for some time, the Red Meadow Ramble long-weekend tour is sure to be one to remember. Taking place in Montana’s stunning northwest, we’ll spend time on and off the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, pass by stunning mountain vistas and pristine rivers and lakes, and eat some great grub along the way.
This self-contained long-weekend tour is unique from many of our self-contained tours: we’ll gather and share responsibilities for breakfast and lunch, but we’ll enjoy dinners cooked for us, either by our leaders or at restaurants near our campgrounds. This will allow us to travel a little bit lighter and enjoy some great food along the way!
"It makes me sad I waited so long to do something like this. The bar has been set ridiculously high for future rides!"
Day 1. Whitefish, Montana, 9 miles
We'll meet together today for the first time at the Whitefish Bike Retreat, a mountain biker's paradise just outside of the great mountain town of Whitefish. Together with your leaders, we'll make sure our gear is good to go as we take a shakedown ride on just a handful of the miles and miles of trails right out our back door. We'll get a great night's sleep under the starry sky ready for our long-weekend adventure to begin.
Day 2. Whitefish to Grave Creek, 43 miles
Today's ride will ease us into the trip as we head north to our primitive campground for the evening, riding a mix of dirt and paved roads. Along the way, be sure to stop at the Dickey Lake Picnic Area, a perfect spot for a break and lunch (and maybe a dip on a hot day!). Late in our ride, we'll join the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, a true classic of Adventure Cycling routes.
Day 3. Grave Creek to Polebridge, 43 miles
After breakfast, we'll start the morning with a gradual 14-mile climb up and over the Whitefish Divide, which will reward us with stunning views of nearby Glacier National Park and a beautiful descent into the valley of the North Fork of the Flathead River. We'll camp in the eclectic town of Polebridge, located just outside the western border of Glacier National Park, at the quaint North Fork Hostel & Square Peg Ranch. We'll grab some dinner and talk about how amazing the day was.
Day 4. Polebridge to Whitefish, 51 miles
Make sure to get a huckleberry bear claw at the historic Polebridge Mercantile before getting back on the road, as today is the last (and biggest) day of our trip! We'll start the day with a gentle but long 17-mile climb back into the Whitefish Range and over Red Meadow Pass. At the top of the pass is a perfect spot to have lunch and take in the view of the alpine Red Meadow Lake, the highest point of the trip at 5,500 feet! Then comes our ultimate reward: a big descent either down to Whitefish Lake and into town itself or back to the bike retreat. Celebrations will be in order after an amazing adventure!
Know before you go
Bike Shop Info:
Glacier Cyclery in Whitefish, Montana, can provide a rental bicycle for your tour. RESERVATIONS ARE RECOMMENDED, especially during the peak rental season of July–August. Glacier Cyclery has a wide variety of bikes for rent, including full suspension and hardtail mountain bikes, touring road bikes, and fat bikes. Touring bikes come equipped with a rear rack. If you request it at the time of reservation, Glacier Cyclery can install a rear rack on one of their hardtail mountain bikes.
Contact Glacier Cyclery for more information:
Glacier Cyclery, 406.862.6446, glaciercyclery.com