5 Places to Off-Road Before Winter Hits
Sometimes, I just hop into my 1995 Toyota pick-up and hit the nearest trail to blow off steam.
And other times, it's a day-long adventure that I put a little bit of planning into. For example, this month I drove through a creepy, abandoned railroad tunnel in Jefferson County near Wickes. It’s dark, wet, eerie, and unkempt but totally worth the effort to find it.
I can explore new places with confidence because I know no matter what happens, the guys at Mike's Off Road have my back. They've installed a Warn winch and mud tires on my Toyota, and they handle everything from oil changes and lift kits to bumper upgrades. In fact, their ICI bumpers, which offer added protection if you happen to hit a deer, are 15 percent off through the end of the year.
If you're looking for one last adventure before the snow hits or are saving ideas for next year, here are my top 5 places to go off-roading. (As always, I encourage you to be respectful of your surroundings and not cause unnecessary damage while off-roading):
1) The afore-mentioned Wickes Tunnel. To get there, Take I-15 to the Jefferson City exit. From there, follow Corbin Road to Wickes Road. Drive through the houses in Wickes and follow the forest service road until you get to the tunnel.
2) Axtell Anceny Road. Axtell Anceny Road just west of Bozeman off of the Norris Highway is a great place for mudding. (This guy captured some great video of it.)
3) Flathead Pass in the Bridgers. When you get a few miles in, you'll hit steep, twisting inclines without many opportunities for larger vehicles to turn around. There's a great description on OutsideBozeman.com.
4) The Crazy Mountains. Situated about 7,000 feet above the Yellowstone River Valley, the Crazy Mountains in Montana are "a maze of nearly vertical peaks and sawtooth ridges," according to Bozemannet.com. Click here for more details.
5) Gravelly Range. You can drive a gravel road at elevations ranging from from 7,400 to 9,500 feet. Details and driving directions are available from the USDA Forest Service here.