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Trout Creek Canyon to Beartrap Gulch

 4.6 (14)
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Map Key

13.6 Miles 21.9 Kilometers



2,451' 747 m


-2,447' -746 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (15°)

6,637' 2,023 m


4,373' 1,333 m


Shared By Leslie Kehmeier



Getting forecast...

A great backcountry experience close to Helena.

Leslie Kehmeier

Dogs Unknown

Features -none-


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.


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Your Check-Ins


Sep 13, 2018
Evan Stenger
The climb was a grind but the downhill made it all worth the effort. The downhill was super smooth, windy, scenic, and super flowy.
Jul 9, 2018
Wyatt Warkenthien
Jun 10, 2017
Mike Hayes
The turn off to Beartrap Gulch can be a little tricky to find if you haven't ridden it before. From the 4119 trail continue grinding your way up th... 14mi
May 29, 2017
Chris Leo
Oct 8, 2016
Sean Sweeney
Sep 28, 2016
Nicholas Ryan
Sep 14, 2016
Nicholas Ryan
Oct 3, 2014
Reuben Stratford
It was a bear of a climb, but the beauty of Trout Creek Canyon and the smooth descent down beartrap was more than worth it.

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 14 votes


  4.6 from 14 votes
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7,052 Since Aug 5, 2013
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This was an awesome ride...the map and info about the ride was well done and helped a Utah boy take full advantage of the stellar Big Sky mt. biking...I highly recommend this trail~ Jun 1, 2014

So glad you found a good trail. I'm sure there are many more to explore!! Jun 1, 2014

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