Trout Creek Canyon to Beartrap Gulch

Consensus:    (details)
  4.4 from 5 votes
blue  Intermediate from 4 votes
Rank: #4 in the Northwestern Montana area
#15 in MT, #904 Overall
Views: 4,089. Last 30 days: 106
Condition Details | Update
Featured Ride in the area near Helena Valley Northeast,
“A great backcountry experience close to Helena.”
Leslie Kehmeier on Aug 5, 2013
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13.621.9 milesKilometers 2,451’747 m Ascent 6,637’2,023 m High 7% Avg Grade (4°)
55% Singletrack -2,447’-746 m Descent 4,373’1,333 m Low 26% Max Grade (15°)
The Trout Creek Canyon to Beartrap Gulch loop is an excellent opportunity to experience Montana backcountry riding. The ride features two scenic and fun trails connected by a moderate doubletrack climb.
Need To Know
Parking is available at the bottom of Beartrap Gulch or the Vigilante campground at the entrance to Trout Creek Canyon. Start the ride at either location.

Trout Creek Canyon is steep and narrow. If a storm is approaching that could produce a lot of rain, it might be best to save the ride for another day.
Start at the bottom of Beartrap Gulch and pedal up York Rd briefly to the bottom of Trout Creek Canyon. Bear left to pedal easily on a wide surfaced trail.

You'll quickly get pulled into the canyon and marvel at the steep walls rising vertically from the canyon floor. The trail corridor narrows quickly and you'll soon be on singletrack.

The route bounces back and forth on each side of the canyon and alternates between lush pockets of green and open scrabbly trail. For the most part the route is in the shade, a welcome respite from the sun on a hot day.

The grade is steadily with a few short punchy climbs every so often. Towards the upper end of trail, the canyon widens and you'll be riding above a small wetland area.

Trout Creek Canyon ends at a gate and the intersection with FS 138. Turn left here and start pedaling the road/doubletrack section of the ride.

Bear left at FS 4119 and drop down a short hill and through a large meadow. From here you'll settle in for the rest of a long climb to a saddle on the ridge and the top of Beartrap Gulch.

Beartrap starts at the top of a ridge where FS 4119 bear right and around a saddle. Look for a large log in the middle of the road - the trail is on the left.

The upper section is a series of carving turns through large pines with occasional long runs of trail through open meadows. THe grade isn't steep, just steady enough to keep you rolling and having a ton of fun.

This section ends when it rolls flat across a short saddle and bears left to break out into the open. You'll find the biggest and best views of the ride here.

The lower section of the trail ducks back into the forest and whips through a series of tighter turns that bring you to bottom of valley. The ride finishes on fast trail through tall grasses.
Land Manager: USFS - Helena National Forest Office
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5.0 (1)
A challenging and rewarding ride along the Continental Divide with a descent ...
near Helena West Side, MT
5.0 (1)
A long backcountry out-n-back on the CDT and Rocky Mountain Front!
near Lincoln, MT

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PHOTOS of Trout Creek Canyon to Beartrap Gulch
  4.6 from 7 votes
Mossy pine trees at the end of Trout Creek Canyon (Helena Valley Northeast, MT)
  4.3 from 3 votes
Long sweeping turns on Beartrap Gulch (Helena Valley Northeast, MT)
  4.3 from 4 votes
Riding below steep limestone walls in Trout Creek Canyon (Helena Valley Northeast, MT)
  4.3 from 4 votes
Slalom through the trees on the upper end of Beartrap Gulch (Helena Valley Northeast, MT)