Bear Trap Canyon

Big Sky + Gallatin River Valley, Montana

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Bear Trap Canyon


  • The Bear Trap Canyon Trailhead.- Bear Trap Canyon
  • The Madison River is a popular spot for flyfishing.- Bear Trap Canyon
  • Enjoy hiking below beautiful rocky canyon walls. Watch out for the rattlesnakes in warmer months!- Bear Trap Canyon
  • The route provides a little bit of elevation gain a mile in, but it is mostly flat overall.- Bear Trap Canyon
  • A narrow section of the canyon.- Bear Trap Canyon
  • Great canyon views!- Bear Trap Canyon
  • The canyon makes for a great early season hiking.- Bear Trap Canyon
  • River levels can rise suddenly due to releases from the Ennis dam roughly 6 miles upriver from Bear Trap Creek.- Bear Trap Canyon
  • The return journey of this out-and-back is equally enjoyable!- Bear Trap Canyon
  • - Bear Trap Canyon
Overview + Weather
Early season hiking. Fishing. Mostly flat.
Big Sky + Gallatin River Valley, MT
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
50.00 ft (15.24 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
7.00 mi (11.27 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
4,517.00 ft (1,376.78 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

The Madison River flows below the stunning rock cliffs of Bear Trap Canyon. Yellowstone’s Firehole and Gibbon rivers feed into the Madison River, which eventually merges with the Jefferson and Gallatin rivers in Missouri Headwaters State Park. Bear Trap Canyon is popular with fly fishermen hoping to snag big trout from its Blue Ribbon waters.

The Bear Trap Canyon Trail winds along the east side of the river through a stunning rocky landscape that is also popular with rattlesnakes in the warmer months. Over 3.5 miles in the trail approaches the mouth of Bear Trap Creek. There are a few evident campsites in this area.

Past Bear Trap Creek the trail winds through forest and later becomes a road en route to Ennis Lake. The lake formed back in 1906 when a hydroelectric dam was built on the Madison River.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(11 within a 30 mile radius)

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Adventure Community

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3 Members
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90 Adventures Explored
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