Is it possible to do a thru-ride of the Montana Trail 406 on horseback?
As the newest ultra long trail, the MT406 is still being developed. It is mostly unmarked, receives light use, and may not have been recently maintained in some remote areas.
At this stage of development, many portions of the MT406 are not currently maintained for equestrian access. Many long rides along the trail are possible in places like the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Hikers are able to maintain continuous routes along the entire trail route by bushwhacking or scrambling through undeveloped or unmaintained sections. Hikers are required to link established trail segments by walking along the shoulders of open roads, these options may be impractical or infeasible for riders.
Rugged Trail Conditions: In high elevation areas, the trail maintenance season for the MT406 does not typically begin until July when the snowpack has melted out. Logout for some areas may not take place until late summer. In some areas snags can fall regularly and land managers recommend packing a saw so that riders can cut their way out. Always check current conditions before you go.
Impassable Routes: In some locations, such as the Crazy Mountains, the current route of the MT406 requires bushwhacking through dense forest and following climber’s scrambling routes because no connecting trail has been built. These routes are currently impassable to stock.
Motorized Routes: About 10 percent of the MT406 currently follows roads or motorized routes. These include low-speed gravel forest roads and others are blacktop highways. In these areas, transporting stock by trailer may be required.
Missouri River Section: Because there is no trail along the 149-miles of the Wild and Scenic River section, which runs through private, as well as public lands, it’s not possible to follow the route on horseback.