Length: 6.7 miles
Closest Town: Helena, MT
Directions: Directions from Helena, MT: To Ten Mile Picnic Area, head west on US-12 W/Euclid Ave for 9.2 miles. Turn left on Rimini Rd and continue for 3.5 miles until you reach the picnic area. To MacDonald Pass, take US-12 W/Euclid Ave from Helena and continue for 15.2 miles. Turn left onto Vista View and you will find parking and the CDT trailhead. While parking is limited, there is room for trucks and trailers.
USGS 7.5 quadrangles: MacDonald Pass and Black Mountain; CDTC Map Set: Maps 369 and 370, Sections MT 19 and MT20.
For More Information:
Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, Helena Ranger District: (406)-449-5201. Moose Creek Campground:(406)-449-5490.
For trail shuttles: Helena’s Trail Rider program picks up at the Moose Creek Cabin and drops off at MacDonald Pass on Sundays: helenamt.com/bikehelena. Call Vigilante Shuttles Thursday through Sunday to schedule a ride from MacDonald Pass: (406)-475-2704.
From MacDonald Pass, follow the CDT south for about 3.2 miles as it meanders along the ridgeline until you reach the junction with the Switchback Ridge Trail (#348). Turn left (east) and continue down Switchback Ridge Trail for 3.5 miles until you reach Rimini Rd and the Tenmile Picnic Area. The trail follows Tenmile Creek down the open ridge and continues through sections of loose rocks and switchbacks. Moose Creek Campsite, just down the road from the picnic area offers a great spot to spend the night and explore more trails in the area. This is a popular mountain biking trail, so if you’re hiking, be aware that bikers may come fast down the trail. If you go at the right time of year, the wildflowers on this hike are amazing.
Photo by Kurt Valiton