Bozeman, MT: Dry Creek Road 

A good route for beginners adverse to traffic and/or hills, or for hammerheads to seriously crank up the RPM's on Montana's favorite time trial course.


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Author: Jason Karp
Date: 24 Sep 2008 5:51:36 PM
Activity: Bicycling
State: Montana (MT)
Distance: Total: 31.5 mi
Active: 31.49 mi
  (Change units)
Calories: 2012
Average Speed: Overall: 13.1 mph - 0:04:34/mi
Active: 13.8 mph - 0:04:21/mi
Duration: Total: 2:23:57
Active: 2:17:16
Resting: 0:06:41
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 428 ft
Total Loss: 428 ft
Net Change: 0 ft
Difficulty: 5 / 10
Tags: Belgrade, Bozeman, Dry Creek, Gallatin Valley, Manhattan, Montana
Rating: Unrated   Rate it

Many Bozeman area cyclists make the short drive to nearby Belgrade to ride on Dry Creek Road.  Though not completely flat, the route has no major climbs or descents and is therefore a favored route for the State time trial.  The route is also an option for those wanting a shorter ride during the Gallatin Valley Bicycle Club's annual Three Rivers Century held in late August.  The road wanders through the quiet farm country north of Belgrade before finding it's way back towards the town of Manhattan.  Along the way you'll cross the East Gallatin River and the larger West Gallatin River multiple times, as well as many smaller creeks and streams.  Whitetailed deer are thick as mice out here, and in the spring bald eagles are commonly sited pearched on trees and telephone poles as they migrate through the area.  The road is in open country, so if it's a windy day be prepared for a workout.  Dry Creek is one of those routes where the wind seems to blow out of every direction at the same time-don't expect a reciprocal tailwind after fighting a headwind.  The route starts and finishes at Belgrade's Lewis and Clark Park-just off Main Street next to the fire hall.

Position Format: Datum:
Tracks

Distance: 31.50 mi Points: 821 Calories: 2012
Total Time: 2:23:57 Speed: 13.1 mph Pace: 4:34 / mi
Active Time: 2:17:16 Speed: 13.8 mph Pace: 4:21 / mi
# Distance Instruction Distance to next
1 0.00 mi Start - Davis Street Then go 0.02 mi
2 0.02 mi Turn Left - Central Avenue Then go 0.07 mi
3 0.09 mi Turn Right - Kennedy Street Then go 0.44 mi
4 0.54 mi Turn Left - Cameron Avenue Then go 0.06 mi
5 0.60 mi Turn Right - Dry Creek Road (aka Broadway in the City) Then go 5.42 mi
6 6.02 mi Bear Left - Dry Creek Road Then go 2.42 mi
7 8.43 mi Straight - Becomes West Dry Creek Road Then go 6.95 mi
8 15.39 mi Bear Left - W. Dry Creek becomes N. 5th Street Then go 0.32 mi
9 15.71 mi U-Turn - Reverse Route to Belgrade Then go 0.43 mi
10 16.14 mi Bear Right - Becomes West Dry Creek Road (parallel path for two miles) Then go 6.97 mi
11 23.11 mi Straight - Road becomes Dry Creek Road Then go 2.38 mi
12 25.49 mi Bear Right - Dry Creek Road Then go 5.39 mi
13 30.88 mi Turn Left - Cameron Avenue Then go 0.06 mi
14 30.95 mi Turn Right - Kennedy Street Then go 0.45 mi
15 31.40 mi Turn Left - Central Avenue Then go 0.06 mi
16 31.46 mi Turn Right - Davis Street Then go 0.04 mi
17 31.50 mi Stop - Lewis and Clark Park

Points of Interest

Belgrade, MT

Location: 45.776264, -111.177263
Situated 10 miles west of Bozeman, Belgrade is Gallatin County's second largest City and for the past two decades has been one of fastest growing areas in Montana. The town was named after the capital of Serbia in honor of Serbian investors who helped finance the Northern Pacific Railroad. The railroad, now operated by Montana Rail Link sends numerous trains through the City everyday.

Manhattan, MT

Location: 45.855646, -111.333818
A nice quiet farming community located 20 miles west of Bozeman. The town was named for the Manhattan Malting Company which recruited Dutch immigrant farmers to the area to raise malting barley.

Gallatin Field

Location: 45.785643, -111.169871
A Frontier Airlines Q400 taxis to the end of the runway preparing to take off for Denver. Dry Creek Road makes a big sweeping bend to get around the end of Gallatin Field's runway. If you fly into the Bozeman area, you'll land at Gallatin Field which is immediately adjacent to Belgrade's city limits.

East Gallatin River

Location: 45.838143, -111.159518
A tributary of the Gallatin River, the East Gallatin winds it's way north of Bozeman and Belgrade. Don't smile when you're crossing the many bridges on this ride-you'll get bugs in your teeth. Consequently, fly fisherman abound out here.

Theisen Road

Location: 45.852657, -111.159797
Want to get in a little climbing? Theisen Road takes you on a steady 3 mile climb to Antelope Ridge Subdivision. The view from the end of the pavement is awesome.

Turkey Red line

Location: 45.858575, -111.169024
The raised area in the center of the photo is the former right-of-way for the Mikwaukee Railroad spur line known as the Turkey Red line. Before there were roads out here, the rail line linked the area to Bozeman. Once a week a train with freight and passenger cars brought out supplies and brought people into Bozeman. The need for the rail line diminshed as roads were built, passenger cars were perfected, and trucks could do the job of box cars. The line turned north near Dry Creek Church and ended in the village of Menard-now nothing more than an old grain elevator and a house or two. The tracks were taken up in the 1970's.

Dry Creek Bible Church

Location: 45.874981, -111.196768
The Church parking lot serves as the final rest stop for the <a href="http://gallatinvalleybicycleclub.org">Gallatin Valley Bicycle Club's</a> three route options in their annaul Three Rivers Century ride held in late August-including a 100 mile standard century, a 62 mile metric century, and a 32 mile ride (this exact route). If you're on your own and it's a particularly hot day-there's a water spigot next to the building that will help you cool off.

Another crossing of the East Gallatin

Location: 45.873741, -111.232731
The fall colors are just starting to emerge by this bridge crossing the East Gallatin River.

Northern Pacific Low Line

Location: 45.860787, -111.273458
Yet another abandoned rail line. The Northern Pacific <a href="http://home.netcom.com/~whstlpnk/lowline.html">"Low Line"</a> made a circuitous route from Logan to Bozeman in search of the most gentle grade possible. The route was used by east bound freight trains that struggled with the steeper grade of the main line that still exists parallel to I-90. With the advent of diesel locomotives, the Low Line was no longer needed and the tracks were taken up in the 1950's. If only they had rails-to-trails programs back then-the Low Line would have made for an awesome bike trail. Viewers of the satellite map can easily track the route as the old right-of-way is still visible in many places throughout the Gallatin Valley.

Manhattan to Gallatin River trail

Location: 45.860159, -111.301782
This paved path goes for about two miles from the edge of Manhattan to the fishing access by the Gallatin River. The path is lined with benches and interpretive signs. Most roadies leave the path to dog walkers, baby buggys, and little kids on bikes, but if you're not in a hurry it's fun to ride along and read the signs.

Interpretive sign

Location: 45.860100, -111.308906
One of several informational signs along the Manhattan-Gallatin Trail. This one tells about the Bridger Moutains to the east.

Manhattan Post Office

Location: 45.856692, -111.330321
The Three Rivers Century's 1/3 century route turns around at the post office.

Downtown Manhattan

Location: 45.856408, -111.333003
If you're on your own, treat yourself to a stop in Manhattan. The L&F grocery store is a good place to stock up if you need to. The world famous Sir Scott's Oasis Steak House is just west of the 4-way stop on Main.

Madison River Brewery

Location: 45.770996, -111.167393
Micro-brewery afficianodos will want to drop by the <a href="http://www.madisonriverbrewing.com/">Madison River Brewery Tap Room</a>. Check it out after taking a spin on Dry Creek Road.


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