How many people use the Montana Trail 406 each year?
Some popular destinations along the route, such as Glacier National Park draw millions of visitors each year. However, the majority of the trail sections are far more remote and may be visited by only a few adventurers each year.
The popularity of long-distance hiking and thru-hiking—hiking the entire trail in a season—and mountain bike packing has grown rapidly in recent years. Many more people visit the MT406 for shorter trips, either as “section hikers/bikers” who intend to complete all 1,700 miles over multiple years, or as day or overnight hikers on a shorter portion of the trail.
Is the Montana Trail 406 open to horses and stock?
Accessibility for equestrian use is at the discretion of local land managers. In some places where the route of the MT406 is not open or passable to stock, alternate equestrian trails may exist.
At this stage of development, portions of the Montana Trail are not currently maintained for equestrian access. Hikers are able to maintain continuous routes along the MT406 by bushwhacking or scrambling through undeveloped or unmaintained sections. This also may require linking established trail segments by walking along the shoulders of open roads, these options may be impractical or infeasible for riders.
In high elevation areas the trail maintenance season for the MT406 does not typically begin until July when the snowpack has melted out. Melt out for some areas may not take place until late summer. In areas along the Continental Divide snags regularly fall and land managers recommend packing a saw so that riders can cut their way out. Always check current conditions before you go.