Looking for a little healthy competition and scenic views of Central Montana? Check out the Montana Island Challenge.

The Montana Island Challenge is held every year in August at the Half Moon Ranch located about an hour from Lewistown. The ranch has camping spots and a few bunkhouses available if you'd rather head up the day before instead of getting up at the crack of dawn the day of the race.

The challenge consists of biking, hiking and running events. The bike challenge is held Friday night and requires the participants to ride as many laps as possible throughout the night.

The running and hiking events take place Saturday morning. You can choose from a half-marathon, 11K or 8K run or opt for the 11K or 8K hike. The hubs and I did the 11K hike this year and it was fantastic.

Each year, the races take different courses but the one constant is Cindy's Hill -- a real butt burner, but totally worth the suffering once you reach the summit.

After conquering the climbs, you enjoy a nice leisurely hike along the ridge-line following a logging road all the way back to the base camp.

The entire 11K course was saturated with trees and views that made for an easy distraction. The challenge offers several water and food stations along the course just in case you need a little pick-me-up.

Once you complete your challenge of choice, you can head over to the pavilion and enjoy a brat hot off the grill, re-hydrate and pick up your award (if you were fast enough).

Aside from the epic location, the best part about the challenge is that the proceeds go to benefit kids in Central Montana -- so, you better go ahead and plan to accept the challenge next year.

Pack List

  • Trail shoes
  • CamelBak (optional, water stations throughout the course)
  • Camping gear if you want to camp on site
  • Extra shoes/clothes as the course can be muddy
  • Snacks if you're not into brats
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RT Distance 7.16 Miles
Elevation Gain 1024 Feet
Activities Cycling, Camping, Photography, Running, Backpacking, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Summer
Trail Type Loop
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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