McClain Creek Road (FS 1311)

Total Miles


1,434.00 ft



Technical Rating



Best Time

Summer, Fall

Trail Overview

McClain Creek Road is also known as Forest Service Road 1311 and goes from the Bitterroot Valley to Carlton Lake but is gated at the 5-mile mark. The road passes through the former McClay Ranch land that was part of the attempt to build Bitterroot Resort in the early 2000's. The road will cut across several of the ski runs that were cut into the mountain. Road conditions are usually good but could contain ruts during spring run-off. There is a nice view of the canyon at the final gate.

Photos of McClain Creek Road (FS 1311)

McClain Creek Road (FS 1311)
McClain Creek Road (FS 1311)
McClain Creek Road (FS 1311)


This is an easy route that most SUVs or crossover vehicles should be capable of making. The road holds snow late into the spring and the snow will provide an extra challenge.


FS 1311 was the original route to Carlton Lake and was gated at the 5-mile point in the 1990's. Parts of the road were built new as part of the Bitterroot Resort construction but the original parts of FS1311 are still visible but gated at the bottom.

Technical Rating


Status Reports

Ethan Abbott
May 02, 2024
2023 Kawasaki KLR650
I live very close to this trail and the private land on ether side of the road all the way up to the gate has recently changed hands. The new property owner has been working with FWP and the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office to prosecute people abusing the easement road. He want everyone to stay only on the designated road and will be reporting violators to the police. He has the entire road under video surveillance that he monitors from the house. This is still a great road to ride please just do it respectfully or he will have FWP take away the road for everyone with a gate at the bottom.
Kendra Sorensen
Apr 26, 2023

Access Description

Take old HWY 93 and turn onto McClain Creek Rd. There will be a sign soon after turning onto McClain Creek Rd mentioning the gate in 5 miles.

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