July 16, 2007

Madison River; Beartrap Canyon; Montana (IV)

Kitchen Sink

1 comment:

Sparky said...

The Beartrap Canyon section of the Madison River is another great stretch within an hour of Bozeman. This is a classic Montana run that flows through a wilderness section with vehicle access at both the put-in and the takeout. There is spectacular scenery the whole way with abundant wildlife and some great whitewater.

Kayakers can take advantage of the upper run just below the dam to get in a technical, boulder-dodging warmup before the raft put-in at the powerhouse about 3/4 mile downriver. Double Drop, the most difficult rapid in the upper section, is probably worth taking a look at if you haven't run it before. The highlight of the run is Kitchen Sink, pictured above, about halfway into the stretch at the base of a huge ridge that comes down on the river left side. This is a stomping Class IV rapid that has a great scouting trail on river right. One of the great things about the Beartrap is that it runs all year and you can get a great day in when almost everything else around has long been dry. My favorite time to do the Beartrap is in the fall when the foliage begins to change color.

Beartrap logistics: Class IV (Kitchen Sink is V at high flows)
To get to the put in, take U.S. Highway 287 south towards Ennis until you see North Ennis Lake Road turn to the left (at the north end of Ennis Lake). Follow this road all the way around the north side of the lake and down the outlet channel to the dam. Put-in either at the base of the dam or down the road at the power house if your boat won't fit. The takeout is located on Montana Highway 84 just east of Norris (the first Madison River access point east of Norris). Don't forget to soak in Norris Hot Springs after your run, about three miles away!