Bear Trap Trail In Montana

Here is everything you need to know about the Bear Trap Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Montana
  • Length: 9 miles.
  • Type: Hiking
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Managed By: U.S. Forest Service
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website: Info not available.

The Bear Trap Trail holds a significant place in the history of the American West. Located in the rugged terrain of the Rocky Mountains, this trail was originally established in the mid-19th century during the height of the fur trade era. Trappers and traders utilized this route to access the abundant wildlife and fur-bearing animals that inhabited the region.

The trail derived its name from the numerous bear traps that were strategically placed along its path. These traps were set by trappers to capture bears for their valuable fur. The Bear Trap Trail became notorious for its treacherous conditions, with steep inclines, narrow passages, and dense forests making it a challenging route to navigate. Trappers had to be skilled and resourceful to survive the harsh wilderness and successfully trap animals.

As the fur trade declined in the late 1800s, the Bear Trap Trail gradually fell into disuse. However, it gained renewed significance during the gold rush era of the late 19th century. Prospectors seeking their fortunes in the Rocky Mountains utilized this trail to access remote mining sites. The trail became a lifeline for these miners, providing them with a means to transport supplies and equipment to their remote camps.

Over time, the Bear Trap Trail evolved into a popular route for adventurous hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Today, it serves as a reminder of the rich history of the American West, showcasing the challenges faced by early trappers and miners in their quest for survival and prosperity in the untamed wilderness.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Bear Trap Trailhead: This is the main access point for the Bear Trap Trail. It is located at the beginning of the trail and provides parking facilities and information boards.

2. Bear Trap Meadow: This is a scenic spot along the trail where hikers can take a break and enjoy the beautiful meadow views. It is a popular resting point for many hikers.

3. Bear Trap Creek Crossing: This is a point where the trail crosses Bear Trap Creek. It is a picturesque spot with a small wooden bridge, offering a great opportunity for hikers to take photos and enjoy the sound of the flowing water.

4. Bear Trap Summit: This is the highest point along the trail, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. It is a challenging section of the trail but rewards hikers with breathtaking vistas.

5. Bear Trap Lake: This is a pristine alpine lake located near the end of the trail. It is a popular destination for hikers to relax, have a picnic, or even go for a swim during the summer months.

6. Bear Trap Trailhead (Alternate): This is an alternate access point for the Bear Trap Trail, located at the end of the trail. It provides parking facilities and is a convenient starting point for those who prefer to hike the trail in reverse.

Note: The specific access points and trailheads may vary depending on the region or specific trail map you are referring to. It is always recommended to consult a reliable trail guide or local authorities for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Transportation Available

1. Bear Trap Trail Shuttle – Shuttle service specifically for Bear Trap Trail hikers.
2. Local Taxi – Taxi service available for transportation in the area.
3. Ride-Share – Ride-sharing service offering convenient transportation options.
4. Bike Rental – Rental service providing bicycles for exploring the Bear Trap Trail and surrounding areas.
5. Public Bus – Local bus service with stops near the Bear Trap Trail for easy transportation.
6. Car Rental – Rental service offering cars for independent travel in the vicinity of Bear Trap Trail.
7. Airport Shuttle – Shuttle service to and from the nearest airport for travelers visiting Bear Trap Trail.
8. Train Station – Nearby train station providing transportation options for those accessing Bear Trap Trail by rail.


The amenities available at the Bear Trap Trail may vary depending on the specific location and management. However, here are some common amenities that you may find at the Bear Trap Trail or similar hiking trails:

1. Restrooms: Some trails may have restroom facilities available at the trailhead or along the trail. These can be basic pit toilets or more developed restroom buildings.

2. Parking: Most trails have designated parking areas where visitors can park their vehicles. These parking lots may be free or require a parking fee or permit.

3. Camping Sites: Some trails, especially those in national parks or designated camping areas, may have camping sites available. These sites can range from primitive backcountry campsites to developed campgrounds with amenities like fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water.

4. Picnic Areas: Many trails have designated picnic areas where hikers can take a break, enjoy a meal, or have a picnic. These areas often have picnic tables, benches, and sometimes even grills or fire pits.

5. Water Sources: Depending on the trail’s location, there may be natural water sources such as rivers, streams, or lakes where hikers can access water. However, it’s important to check if the water is safe for drinking or if it needs to be treated.

6. Trail Markers and Signage: Trails usually have markers or signs along the way to help hikers navigate and stay on the designated path. These can include trailhead signs, directional signs, distance markers, and interpretive signs providing information about the trail and its surroundings.

7. Information Boards: Some trails may have information boards at the trailhead or along the trail, providing details about the trail’s difficulty, length, rules, safety tips, and any specific regulations or closures.

8. Benches or Seating Areas: Along the trail, you may find benches or seating areas where hikers can rest, take in the views, or simply enjoy the surroundings.

9. Waste Disposal: Many trails have trash cans or waste disposal stations at the trailhead or along the trail to encourage proper waste management. It’s important to pack out any trash and leave no trace.

10. Interpretive Displays: Some trails may have interpretive displays or educational signs along the way, providing information about the local flora, fauna, geology, or history of the area.

Remember to check with local authorities or trail management for specific amenities available at the Bear Trap Trail or any other trail you plan to visit, as amenities can vary.

Nearby Services

1. Bear Trap Lodge – Cozy lodging option near Bear Trap Trail.
2. Mountain View Inn – Convenient accommodation with stunning mountain views.
3. Trailside B&B – Charming bed and breakfast located right by the trail.
4. Bear Trap Campground – Campsite offering a rustic outdoor experience.
5. The Hungry Hiker – Casual restaurant serving delicious meals for hungry hikers.
6. Trailside Café – Quaint café offering quick bites and refreshing drinks.
7. Bear Trap Diner – Local diner serving hearty meals for trail-goers.
8. Bear Trap General Store – Convenient store for trail essentials and snacks.
9. Bear Trap Medical Center – Nearby medical facility for emergency services.
10. Bear Trap Fire Department – Local fire department providing emergency assistance.

Bear Trap Trail Difficulty Notes

The Bear Trap Trail is known for its challenging difficulty level, making it a thrilling adventure for experienced hikers. With steep inclines, rocky terrain, and narrow pathways, this trail demands physical endurance and mental focus. Hikers must navigate through dense forests, cross streams, and overcome obstacles along the way. The trail’s difficulty is further intensified by its length, which spans several miles, requiring hikers to be well-prepared with proper gear and supplies. Despite its challenges, the Bear Trap Trail offers breathtaking views and a sense of accomplishment for those who conquer its demanding nature.

Features And Attractions

The Bear Trap Trail is a popular hiking trail located in the United States. While I don’t have specific information about this trail, I can provide you with a general list of scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks that you might encounter on similar trails. Here are some possibilities:

1. Scenic Views:
– Overlook points with panoramic views of valleys, mountains, or bodies of water.
– Vantage points offering breathtaking sunrises or sunsets.
– Lookouts with views of nearby landmarks or geological formations.

2. Historical Sites:
– Abandoned settlements or ghost towns.
– Ruins of old buildings, mines, or mills.
– Historical markers or plaques indicating significant events or landmarks.
– Native American or indigenous cultural sites.

3. Natural Landmarks:
– Waterfalls, cascades, or rapids.
– Unique rock formations, such as arches or hoodoos.
– Caves or caverns.
– Ancient trees or groves.
– Wildlife habitats or sanctuaries.

Remember that the specific attractions along the Bear Trap Trail may vary, so it’s always a good idea to research the trail or consult local resources for accurate and up-to-date information.

Usage Guidelines

– Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
– Clean up after your pets and dispose of waste properly.
– Bicycles are allowed on designated trails only.
– No motorized vehicles are permitted on the trail.
– Camping or overnight stays are not allowed.
– Fires and open flames are prohibited.
– Hunting or trapping is strictly prohibited.
– No littering; please carry out all trash.
– Respect wildlife and do not feed or disturb them.
– Stay on designated trails and do not trespass onto private property.
– Follow all posted signs and regulations.
– Be aware of seasonal restrictions, such as closures during hunting seasons.
– Use caution during inclement weather or hazardous conditions.
– Visitors are responsible for their own safety and should be prepared with appropriate gear and supplies.

Seasonal Information

The Bear Trap Trail is a popular hiking destination located in the beautiful Bear Trap Canyon Wilderness in Montana. This trail offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, lush forests, and the sparkling waters of the Madison River. While the trail is accessible year-round, there are certain times of the year that are considered the best for visiting.

One of the best times to visit the Bear Trap Trail is during the summer months, from June to August. During this time, the weather is generally warm and pleasant, making it ideal for hiking. The trail is also at its most vibrant, with wildflowers in full bloom and the surrounding landscape lush and green. The summer months also offer longer daylight hours, allowing hikers to spend more time exploring the trail and taking in the breathtaking scenery.

However, it’s important to note that the Bear Trap Trail is subject to seasonal closures. The trail is closed during the winter months, typically from November to April, due to heavy snowfall and dangerous conditions. It is advisable to check with local authorities or the Bear Trap Canyon Wilderness website for the most up-to-date information on trail closures and conditions before planning your visit. Additionally, it’s recommended to bring appropriate gear and be prepared for changing weather conditions, as the trail can be prone to sudden temperature drops and storms even during the summer months.

In conclusion, the best times to visit the Bear Trap Trail are during the summer months when the weather is pleasant and the trail is at its most vibrant. However, it’s important to be aware of seasonal closures during the winter months and to check for any updates on trail conditions before planning your visit. Regardless of the time of year, the Bear Trap Trail promises a memorable hiking experience with its stunning scenery and abundant wildlife.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces close to the trail entrance for easy access.
2. Paved Pathways: Smooth and level pathways throughout the trail suitable for wheelchair users.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Restroom facilities equipped with accessible features such as grab bars and wider doorways.
4. Wheelchair Accessible Viewing Areas: Designated areas along the trail with ramps or level ground for wheelchair users to enjoy the scenery.
5. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic spots with accessible tables and seating options for individuals with mobility challenges.
6. Signage with Braille: Trail signs featuring Braille text to assist visually impaired individuals.
7. Accessible Trailhead: An accessible entrance to the trail with ramps or level ground for wheelchair users.
8. Handrails and Guardrails: Along steep sections of the trail, handrails and guardrails are installed for added safety and support.
9. Accessible Trail Maps: Trail maps available in accessible formats, such as large print or digital versions.
10. Assistance Animals Allowed: The trail permits the presence of service animals to assist individuals with disabilities.

Safety Information

1. Trail Difficulty: The Bear Trap Trail is rated as a moderate to difficult trail, suitable for experienced hikers due to its steep and rugged terrain.
2. Proper Footwear: Wear sturdy hiking boots with good traction to navigate the rocky and uneven surfaces along the trail.
3. Weather Awareness: Check the weather forecast before starting the hike and be prepared for sudden changes in weather conditions, including rain, wind, or extreme temperatures.
4. Trail Markings: Pay attention to trail markers and signs to stay on the designated path and avoid getting lost.
5. Carry a Map and Compass: Bring a detailed map and compass to navigate the trail, especially in areas with limited cell phone reception.
6. Water and Snacks: Carry an ample supply of water and energy-rich snacks to stay hydrated and fueled throughout the hike.
7. First Aid Kit: Pack a basic first aid kit with essentials like bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers in case of minor injuries.
8. Wildlife Awareness: Be aware of the potential presence of wildlife, including bears, and know how to react if encountered (e.g., make noise, back away slowly).
9. Hiking in Groups: It is recommended to hike with a partner or in a group for safety and assistance in case of emergencies.
10. Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles by packing out all trash, minimizing impact on the environment, and respecting wildlife and vegetation.
11. Emergency Contacts: Carry a list of emergency contacts, including local authorities and park rangers, in case of emergencies or accidents.
12. Physical Fitness: Ensure you are in good physical condition before attempting the Bear Trap Trail, as it requires endurance and strength to navigate the challenging terrain.
13. Time Management: Plan your hike according to daylight hours, allowing enough time to complete the trail before sunset.
14. Notify Others: Inform a trusted person about your hiking plans, including the trail you’ll be on and your estimated return time.
15. Cell Phone Reception: Be aware that cell phone reception may be limited or unavailable along certain sections of the trail, so do not solely rely on your phone for navigation or emergencies.

Conservation Notes

The Bear Trap Trail is currently designated as a conservation area due to its unique ecological features and the need to protect its natural resources. This trail is recognized for its diverse wildlife habitat and serves as an important corridor for various species. The conservation status of the Bear Trap Trail ensures the preservation of its delicate ecosystems, including forests, wetlands, and meadows.

Efforts are being made to maintain the trail’s conservation status by implementing measures to minimize human impact and preserve the natural balance. This includes strict regulations on activities such as camping, hunting, and off-road vehicle use to prevent disturbance to the wildlife and their habitats. Additionally, the trail is regularly monitored to identify any potential threats or invasive species that could harm the local flora and fauna.

Conservation organizations and local authorities collaborate to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the Bear Trap Trail. Educational programs and initiatives are conducted to promote responsible outdoor practices and encourage visitors to respect the trail’s conservation status. By preserving the Bear Trap Trail, we can ensure the long-term sustainability of its ecosystems and maintain the biodiversity that thrives within this unique natural area.

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