Wheeling and Exploring in MT

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Hello all,

My wife and I are originally from the west (WA/ID border for me) and have been living in New England for 5 years. Both of us would like to move closer to "home" but the Coeur d'Alene area seems to have gotten crowded and expensive. This has peaked our interest in MT. We are hoping to plan a trip to visit western MT and see what it is like. One thing I would like to know is what 4 wheeling and exploring opportunities exist out there. From pictures, it seems like there are beautiful places to explore. But it also seems like they may be guarded to protect from overuse... is that the case? When I lived in Colorado, I know that books could be purchased showing trails and even local forest service personnel would tell you where you could explore. Out here in New Hampshire, trails are closely guarded and no one will share trail information with outsiders or those who don't belong to a local club.

Can you guys share your opinions and (if you're willing) some pointers to local trails in the western part of the state? Can you share your impressions of the SW part versus the NW part of the state as well? If this isn't appropriate to ask on the forum, just let me know.

Thanks ,

Justin

 
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There's a book available at a lot of gas stations around here or I think he sells it on the internet.


Willie is a super chill old dude with a JoOp. He's been everywhere and that's where I've found most of my secret spots. Word to the wise, the trails in the book escalate quickly.

In my opinion Bozeman/Gallatin valley is prime location but this is quickly becoming a very popular opinion.
 

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I remember when Willy Worthy used to write for 4 wheeler magazine back in the 1980's then he moved to the Missoula area and was able to do his job remotely, maybe in 1990?
I met him years ago and talked about some of his old tech articles and he remembered them like he just wrote them.

Most any larger area in MT is growing fast, there will be issues with any of the larger markets in the next decade with lack of resources.
Smaller areas would still be good, just depends on what you are looking for.
 
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Thanks for the replies and info, guys. I am hoping to be more remote... but not too remote for the wife. She can handle 30 minutes to the grocery store but not much more. I'm hoping for a mountain type setting. I know priced are crazy out there... hoping to find that sweet spot. I am going to buy that book and keep researching. Sounds like both of you suggest the southwest side of the state... is that right?
 
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Ordered the Montana 4x4 book. About 15 minutes after I ordered, got an email from them asking how I heard about the book. Since I'm in New Hampshire, they were curious about how I got interest in MT and the book itself. The reach-out was pretty cool and made for a fun experience with a small business out there. Thanks for the suggestion. Also, thank again for your input and sharing your thoughts on MT in general. I'll continue to research and might bump this thread up with more questions as I learn more.
 
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There's a book available at a lot of gas stations around here or I think he sells it on the internet.


Willie is a super chill old dude with a JoOp. He's been everywhere and that's where I've found most of my secret spots. Word to the wise, the trails in the book escalate quickly.

In my opinion Bozeman/Gallatin valley is prime location but this is quickly becoming a very popular opinion.

Just got the book in the mail. This looks like a treasure trove of information. Thanks for the lead.
 
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there are 2 maybe 3 total of different sections of the state that he has documented.
Yes, my apologies! I got the western Montana book. I see he has southwestern and south central books as well. Focusing on the west as a possibility for now. I haven't dug into the details but the book seems like it will give me a sense of what the backcountry Iike out there.
 
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I'm not sure how much overlap there will be with the book, but there's a lot of mapped featured trails all over the state on onXoffroad that i have mapped, and a couple other people that have been part of the club have submitted. (disclaimer, I do work at onX, but I also use it heavily so I'm not just shilling on the internet)

Also, you own every car that I dream of and I can't tell you how jealous I am of your evo. Been (sadly) watching the prices skyrocket on them over the last few months :rofl:
 
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I'm not sure how much overlap there will be with the book, but there's a lot of mapped featured trails all over the state on onXoffroad that i have mapped, and a couple other people that have been part of the club have submitted. (disclaimer, I do work at onX, but I also use it heavily so I'm not just shilling on the internet)

Also, you own every car that I dream of and I can't tell you how jealous I am of your evo. Been (sadly) watching the prices skyrocket on them over the last few months :rofl:
I'll have to check out onXoffroad! Yeah, every once in a while, I think about selling the Evo since I only drive it a few miles a year anymore. Then I realize that I will never be able to get another clean one and gang onto it.
 

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