Bozeman, MT: Hollowtop 200 

A beautiful and challenging ride in Southwest Montana along beautiful rivers and snowcapped mountain peaks.

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Author: Jason Karp
Date: 18 Apr 2009 9:10:55 AM
Activity: Bicycling
State: Montana (MT)
Distance: 126.19 mi  (Change units)
Calories: 8117
Average Speed: Overall: 14.1 mph - 0:04:16/mi
Active: 14.1 mph - 0:04:16/mi
Duration: Total: 8:58:39
Active: 8:58:38
Unaccounted: 0:00:01
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 3095 ft
Total Loss: 3090 ft
Net Change: 5 ft
Difficulty: 7 / 10
Tags: Belgrade, Montana, Montana, Belgrade, Bozeman, Whitehall, Harrison
Rating:   1 rating(s) Rate it

Hollowtop Mountain (elevation 10,604 ft.) in the Tobacco Root Range stands guard over this scenic 200 kilometer loop in Montana's Gallatin, Jefferson, and Madison Counties.  Hollowtop is easily identified by the dish shaped formation at it's apex.  Another 10,000 foot peak, Mt. Jefferson, is adjacent to the south.

The ride leaves Belgrade's Lewis and Clark Park and takes  the "Old Road" to Whitehall (the route travelers used before I-90 was built).  After a nice warm up on the downhill grade to Three Forks, the route rolls until you cross into Jefferson Canyon.  You'll barely notice the uphill grade as you travel right along the Jefferson River at the bottom of a scenic and interesting canyon.

After Whitehall the ride takes you over low traffic, scenic, and rolling roads to the small towns of Harrison and Norris. 

The final stretch passes over a fun, twisty, curvey road along the Madison River before some more rollers as you cross back into the Gallatin Valley heading towards Belgrade.

There are no extreme mountain passes on this ride, but other than the first 20 miles and the last 10 miles, the route is seldom flat and has a few significant ups and downs.  Wind may also be a factor-primarily blowing out of the west (whether it be a southwest or northwest wind is always the question).  Traffic can be a little busy on certain sections.  Be especially cautious of trucks on the 10 mile long shoulderless stretches on MT Hwy 2/US Hwy 287 between Three Forks and Sappington Junction, and on MT Hwy 84 after Norris (a rear view mirror is helpful).  The rest of the route has light traffic and/or decent shoulders.

This route is Randonneurs USA (RUSA) Permanent No. 441. RUSA members may ride this route to earn credit towards various awards. For more information about permanents and randonnuering in general-click on the RUSA Website. For specific information about this permanent, including organizer contact information, cue sheet, and entry form click here.

TO TRAILHEAD: Town Pump C-Store, 305 East Main Street, Belgrade, MT.

Position Format: Datum:

Distance: 126.19 mi Points: 3152 Calories: 8117
Total Time: 8:58:39 Speed: 14.1 mph Pace: 4:16 / mi
Active Time: 8:58:38 Speed: 14.1 mph Pace: 4:16 / mi
# Distance Instruction Distance to next
1 0.00 mi Start - Town Pump, 305 E. Main, Belgrade. Checkpoint #1. Obtain proof of passage Then go 0.03 mi
2 0.03 mi Turn Right - Main Street bc SR 205/Frontage Road bc MT 2/Main Street in Three Forks Then go 21.56 mi
3 21.59 mi Bear Right - MT 2 in Three Forks. Follow MT 2/US 287 sign Then go 2.88 mi
4 24.47 mi Turn Left - MT 2/US 287 Then go 9.88 mi
5 34.35 mi Turn Right - MT 2 (follow signs toward Butte) Then go 5.00 mi
6 39.35 mi Stop - Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park. Checkpoint #2. Information Control. Answer question on brevet card then continue on MT 2 to Whitehall. Then go 7.40 mi
7 46.75 mi Turn Right - MT Hwy 2 (follow signs to Whitehall) Then go 7.47 mi
8 54.22 mi U-Turn - Whitehall (reverse route back to Cardwell). Checkpoint #3. Open Control. Obtain proof of passage from an establishment in Whitehall. Store and restaurants in town center and near the I-90 interchange. Then go 7.47 mi
9 61.70 mi Straight - becomes SR 359 Then go 14.64 mi
10 76.34 mi Turn Right - US 287 Then go 11.76 mi
11 88.10 mi Stop - Norris Sinclair c-store. Checkpoint #4. Obtain proof of passage, then take MT 84 toward Bozeman. Then go 27.73 mi
12 115.83 mi Turn Left - River Road-by the golf course. If you cross the Gallatin River you missed the turn. Then go 5.27 mi
13 121.10 mi Turn Right - W. Cameron Bridge Road Then go 1.42 mi
14 122.52 mi Turn Left - Thorpe Road (easy to miss-first paved road after crossing the Gallatin River) Then go 1.02 mi
15 123.54 mi Turn Right - Frank Road (EASY TO MISS) Then go 1.00 mi
16 124.53 mi Turn Left - Jackrabbit Lane (MT 85) Then go 0.94 mi
17 125.47 mi Turn Right - Jefferson Avenue (at McDonalds) Then go 0.50 mi
18 125.97 mi Turn Left - Oregon Street Then go 0.22 mi
19 126.19 mi Stop - Town Pump, 305 E. Main, Belgrade. Checkpoint #5. Obtain proof of passage

Points of Interest

Hollowtop Mountain. Elevation 10,604 ft.

Location: 45.614998, -112.006989
Hollowtop Mountain on the right, Mount Jefferson on the left. These peaks in the Tobacco Root Mountains are visible from most of the route-including the start/finish in Belgrade.

Belgrade, MT

Location: 45.774625, -111.172618
RUSA Checkpoints No. 1 and 5 (start/finsh). Obtain proof of passage from the Town Pump C-Store at 305 East Main Street.

Lewis and Clark Caverns

Location: 45.823058, -111.851807
The view of Jefferson Canyon from the Lewis and Clark Caverns turn-out.

Cardwell Cattle Drive

Location: 45.869931, -111.942444
Not an uncommon occurance in Montana. The cows will go around you-then you have to try and go around the manure on the road.

Whitehall, MT

Location: 45.870828, -112.100930
RUSA Checkpoint No. 3 (Open Control) Obtain proof of passage from any establishment in Whitehall.

The Tobacco Roots

Location: 45.747402, -111.844940
Hollowtop and the Tobacco Roots from Highway 359.

Norris C-Store

Location: 45.570794, -111.689758
The folks are always friendly here. This is the last opportunity for services on the route until the finish in Belgrade. Stock up-you have 38 hilly miles to go!

Norris, MT

Location: 45.570013, -111.691217
RUSA Checkpoint No.4. Obtain proof of passage at the Sinclair C-Store.

Lewis and Clark Caverns

Location: 45.822639, -111.853523
RUSA Checkpoint No. 2. Information control-answer the question on your brevet card.

Belgrade, MT

Location: 45.769439, -111.185074
A roof top view of Belgrade from the I-90 overpass. The ride is almost done when you get here!

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