Located west of Kalispell, in the Flathead National Forest of northwest Montana, Wild Bill-Eagle Mountain is part of a unique trail system, unlike any other trail system you will find in a National Forest. Designated as a National Recreation Trail in 1979, it was not until the 2000's that members from two local 4-wheel drive clubs were given the "OK" to create numerous manmade "challenge features" along several forest roads that now make up the three legs of the Blacktail-Wild Bill ORV Trail system. Obstacles range from natural rock ledges and deep mud holes to huge tractor tires and giant logs. Wild Bill-Eagle Mountain is the perfect place to take groups of both beginners and hard-core wheelers.
Jeep owners from across the country might visit this area mainly in summer, but don't be fooled. Even during the winter, this area is an off-roader's playground. This trail system is the northernmost Jeep Badge of Honor (BOH) trail, and by far the most unique trail system Jeep has recognized.
Trail Difficulty and Assessment
2WD Vehicle with High Clearance
All obstacles along this route are optional and have complete bypasses, resulting in the low-end rating. The high-end rating is not based on a specific obstacle, as each obstacle is unique in its design, difficulty, and the type of vehicle best suited for the obstacle. Some obstacles are deep mud holes or giant logs waiting to grab your undercarriage, while others are steep rock climbs or treacherous tire piles. Waypoint 16 offers the most difficult and risky obstacle along the trail but is still completely optional.
The hardest part of the trail that you
cannot bypass - you have to drive it.
The hardest part of the trail that is
purely optional - you can bypass it.
Dirt and/or rocky road. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 8" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 9" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 12" inches. Good tire placement likely. Can be steep but with good traction. Read More about our Rating System
Wild Bill-Eagle Mountain starts at the northernmost trailhead for the Blacktail-Wild Bill ORV trail system. This straight-through route follows Forest Service Road 919 for 6.4 miles to the Eagle Mountain Junction, intersecting with Upper Dayton Creek. When dry, the main trail is an easy, bumpy dirt road that can be completed by any high clearance 2WD vehicle. However, the route offers more than a dozen optional obstacles on the sides of the trail that can entertain any vehicle and any driver's experience level. Most obstacles are manmade with some natural help and are called "Challenge Features." This northern leg is the longest of the three legs of the ORV trail system and also offers the most difficult challenge features of the three legs. Challenge features along this leg utilize deep holes, large logs, concrete blocks, and massive tractor tires. The most noteworthy features along this trail are the playground at Waypoint 10 and the tire graveyard at Waypoint 12. Combine this trail with Upper Dayton Creek and Blacktail OHV to complete the entire Jeep Badge of Honor.
1. Wild Bill Trailhead (0
The Wild Bill Trailhead is a large parking lot good for trailer parking and group staging. There is a pit toilet here, a kiosk with signage, and the parking lot is often used for camping while running the trail system. The trail officially begins just north of the outhouse, marked by a very small sign.
2. Mud Hole Obstacle (0.21
The first obstacles along the trail are a series of deep holes that can hold mud all year long. Be cautious of a couple of rogue boulders that might be hiding under any deep water. Bypass to the left.
3. Rocky Logs Obstacle (0.24
Here you'll find a small series of holes with large boulders and a couple of buried logs reinforcing the exit paths. Byp[ass to the left.
4. Big Logs (0.3
On the east side of the trail are 4, extremely large logs, partially buried in the ground. The holes are deep on the downhill side of these logs and awkwardly spaced. This obstacle favors big tires and short-wheelbase vehicles. But with a good spotter and some rock sliders, a moderate build can find a favorable line over the logs. The trail eases up with no obstacles for the next mile. Bypass these logs to the right.
5. Stump Holes (1.6
Down off the main trail to the left is a few different-sized holes next to an old tree stump. This obstacle has several different lines where a wide variety of vehicles can test suspension flex.
6. North Ridgeline Connector - Stay Right (1.68
In a sweeping right turn, the trail intersects with the Wild Bill-Truman Creek trail at a junction known as North Ridgeline Connector. Follow the trail to the right and remain on 919. The inside of this turn offers a deep ditch obstacle with one large boulder and a tree stump to maneuver around.
7. 920C - Stay Straight (1.89
920C splits off to the left and is a short spur that connects to the Wild Bill-Truman Creek trail, just north of the playground. Continue straight.
8. Concrete Block Obstacle (1.96
This large hole is reinforced on both ends by large concrete blocks. The wrong wheelbase here could easily wedge between both sets of blocks and be a tricky recovery. Pick your line wisely.
9. Rock Wall (2.46
Back in the trees to the west is one of the few natural obstacles along the trail. This rock wall is 6' tall at its tallest point in the center and slowly decreases in size to each side. The right side of the obstacle is the easiest, the left is more intermediate, and straight up the center is the most difficult line.
10. Playground (2.6
The Playground is a large open hill with several different obstacles to attempt. There are deep holes, concrete blocks, logs, and tractor tires. There are lines from easy to extreme, and plenty of opportunity to entertain any type of vehicle. Follow the road to the right and continue on 919 to reach further obstacles.
11. Hill Climb Connector - Stay Right (3.28
Hillclimb Connector is an extremely short spur road connecting to Wild Bill-Truman Creek to the east. This is a narrow spur with tight trees. Continue straight to stay on 919.
12. Tire Graveyard (3.74
Just north of Mud Hole Junction is a large area riddled with close to 2 dozen massive tractor tires with many different optional obstacles. Obstacles to both sides of the main road exist, providing options for just about any vehicle type. The option to the west side of the trail has the most challenging tire pile with large holes and a few logs mixed in with the loose, rocky soil.
13. Mud Hole Junction - Stay Left (3.79
Come to a T-intersection with a trail map kiosk and a fire pit. The intersection is known as Mud Hole Junction and is a large, open gathering spot with flat ground. Besides the trailhead, this is the only location along the trail where dispersed camping is allowed. Turn left, heading east to continue on 919 to Eagle Junction. Turning right and heading west will take you to Wild Bill Creek Road, where you can return to the trailhead.
14. Brush Connector - Stay Straight (4.42
Stay straight, passing the Brush Connector. Brush Connector is a short spur that weaves its way through the trees, connecting to Wild Bill-Truman Creek. There are a few hole obstacles along the spur.
15. Hill Climb (5
This hill climb obstacle has several different lines and offers the most challenging, natural obstacle along the trail. To the far left is the easiest line up the hill as you climb sharply up the loose rock with a small ledge halfway up. To the right of that is a 7' tall ledge that will challenge even the most built rigs. The rock is chunky, loose, and covered in dirt, providing little traction. The risk of rollover is high on this line. A little farther right is a moderate line up the hill, with multiple rock outcroppings to negotiate at the top. Bypass to the far right.
16. Packrat Junction - Stay Straight (5.45
At the edge of a logging cut, continue straight passing Packrat Junction. This spur road leads back to Wild Bill Creek Road and is often used to return to the trailhead for those not looking to tackle the other trails within the Blacktail Wild Bill System.
17. Trail Ends - Eagle Junction (5.65
919 comes to an end at the top of Eagle Mountain, where it merges with Upper Dayton Creek. Head west to get to the Upper Dayton Creek Trailhead or the Wild Bill Trailhead. Head east to reach the Truman Saddle and the Blacktail Trailhead.
The majority of this trail does not allow dispersed camping. Dispersed camping is allowed per the MVUM at the trailhead, Waypoint 1, and at Mudhole Junction, Waypoint 13.
Additional dispersed camping is available along Wild Bill Creek Road, Upper Dayton Creek Trailhead, and Cramer Creek.
Kalispell is the nearest town with accommodations.
From the intersection of Highway 2 and Kila Hill Road in Kila, head east for .2 miles and turn right on Kila Road. Follow Kila Road for .9 miles and turn left on Smith Lake Road. Follow this for .3 miles and turn right on Browns Meadow Road. Follow that for 1 mile, then turn left on Truman Creek Road. Follow that for 2.3 miles and turn right on Wild Bill Creek Road. Follow that for 2.7 miles to the trailhead parking lot.
What a great trail! Best trail in the network in my opinion. The obstacles here can definitely challenge any vehicle. If planning to do all three legs of this trail system, I would definitely do this one last as doing any other one last will leave you disappointed.
From the Community
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Mapping Crew - Colorado
Hi, I'm Ryan!
I am a Colorado native and I've been wheeling since I was 16 years old. I grew up with a relentless passion for all things Jeep and off road related, and that passion has never died out. I am a member of the Mile-Hi Jeep Club, and currently own a customized '05 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (LJ) with a 5.7 Hemi swap.
I am a huge supporter of Stay the Trail and Tread Lightly, and have participated and even been in charge of many trail restoration projects. I have been a trail leader several times for events such as All-4-Fun, ColoradoFest, Set Them Free, 14er Fest, and others. I am also the creator of the Unlimited LJ Adventure.
My rig is built for extreme offroading, but I love to get my tires dirty on any kind of trail whether it's rock crawling or just scenic high Alpine drives. I've wheeled all over the country and love a great adventure, especially if I get to share those adventures with others.
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