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Trout Creek Canyon to Beartrap Gulch

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.6 (15) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A great backcountry experience close to Helena.


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Map Key

13.6

Miles

21.9

KM

55%

Singletrack

6,637' 2,023 m

High

4,373' 1,333 m

Low

2,451' 747 m

Up

2,447' 746 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

26%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Overview

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.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Leslie Kehmeier

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 15 votes

#739

Overall
  4.6 from 15 votes
5 Star
60%
4 Star
40%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#4

in Montana

#739

Overall
74 Views Last Month
9,005 Since Aug 5, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
36%
9%
55%
0%

Photos

Mossy pine trees at the end of Trout Creek Canyon
Aug 5, 2013 near Helena…, MT
Long sweeping turns on Beartrap Gulch
Aug 6, 2013 near Helena…, MT
Slalom through the trees on the upper end of Beartrap Gulch
Aug 6, 2013 near Helena…, MT
Riding below steep limestone walls in Trout Creek Canyon
Aug 5, 2013 near Helena…, MT
Trout Creek Canyon awesomeness
Oct 25, 2017 near Helena…, MT

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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Check-Ins

Jul 31, 2019
Franco B
trail is in great shape, last 4 miles in beartrap gulch awesome, mt lion sighting on the gulch section
Jun 23, 2019
Christopher Robin
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
13.6mi
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