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Spring Ride on the Cowboy Trail

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Montana rider from Helena on 11/6/2022 12:45:15 PM:
I'm planning to ride the Cowboy Trail from Valentine to Norfolk in the spring of 2023 as part of a three trail trip: Katy, Cowboy, and Mickelson. What's the earliest I can expect decent temperatures and riding conditions on the Cowboy trail?

Alex from Lincoln on 11/7/2022 12:08:08 PM:
Greetings! If you are ok with colder weather it is doable as early as late March. Depending on our precipitation during the winter, there may still be snow drifts in spots. I typically think that mid - late April is about when we get into decent weather, 40's overnight and low 60's during the day. That all being said I've been on the trail in early May and encountered snow storms so YMMV. Best bet is to watch forecast and gear up appropriately as the weather can be unpredictable at times.

opedaler from NE Nebraska on 11/8/2022 10:13:07 AM:
It appears that if following your order of rides you will start with the Katy, move on to the Cowboy, and finish it off with the Mickelson. The Katy will certainly be warmer, and the Mickelson will certainly be colder. I'm older so cold weather doesn't interest me as much as it did when I was younger. For me PERSONALLY I'd wait until at least until May if I could. There's also the potential for soggy riding from melted snow much earlier than that imo. Since you've picked all limestone trails I'm assuming you're aware of what it takes to ride these kinds of trails.....the good things....and the bad. My wife and I did a three-trail ride to your north a few years ago (Centennial, Coeur d'Alene, and the Hiawatha). We've also done the Katy, Cowboy, and Mickelson. I've enjoyed them all, but found timing pretty important on all of them. I've seen too much smoke up north late in the year, and too much rain south at times. Imo if you have to nail down a timeline, you'll just have to take a little risk, but the later you can wait to make your decision the better imo.