The Skyles Lake Loop is part of the Whitefish Trail system. This particular loop offers a short and fun ride that is close to town with spectacular views of Skyles Lake from the overlook bearing the same name. Note that the sections can be ridden as an out and back, however the following directions eliminate any of that in favor of a loop.
From the trailhead begin your ride heading into the woods. After 0.1 miles the trail splits. At the intersection turn left. (Adaptive level 5) At the 0.3 mile mark the trail intersects with a two track, turn left here, following the road (Adaptive level 4) to the 0.8 mile mark where it passes by the Whitefish Trail Learning Pavilion.
At the pavilion the trail returns to single track (Adaptive level 5), climbing through open woodlands to the 1.1 mile mark where it intersects with the return loop. Continue straight here, following signs for the overlook. At the 1.3 mile mark you reach the Skyles Lake overlook with views of the valley and Skyles lake far below. From here you get your first real dose of downhill riding through some flowy bike trail that returns you to the previous intersection at the 1.7 mile mark, continue straight here. The next mile of riding contains some moderate climbs and an equal amount of downhill fun. Be careful on some of the climbs as a few off-camber sections have the possibility of throwing a rider if you aren’t being careful (Adaptive level 6).
At the 2.8 mile mark the trail again crosses the two-track to rejoin the original single track. Bear left when the single track splits to complete the full loop of 2.9 miles.
For video of the trail click here, Skyles Lake Overlook Loop
Trail Name: Skyles Lake Overlook Loop
Location: Whitefish, Montana |
Type: Narrow trail (< 30"), Wide trail (≥ 30″), Start and end at the same point (Loop)
Rating: Adaptive Level 6
Steepest Section: Moderate – between 10-30º
Most Off-Camber Section: Moderate – between 10-30º
Terrain: Mostly hardpack, minimal loose sections
Obstacles: Root exposure, Brush and/or other growth, Baby heads and/or rock gardens
Help Needed? Nope
Even more info: Whitefish Legacy Partners
Directions to Trailhead
From the town of Whitefish head west on US-93 approximately 2 miles to Mountainside Drive and turn right. The sign for the trailhead will be seen shortly afterwards on the left.
For GPS directions search ‘Lion Mountain Trailhead’