Indian Creek Road

Total Miles
9.9

Elevation

1752.63 ft

Duration

Hours

Technical Rating

2

Easy

Best Time

Spring, Summer, Fall

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Trail Overview

This 10-mile trail takes you from Highway 287 near Townsend into the Helena National Forest. You go through a beautiful canyon, gain 3500 feet in elevation, and experience the majesty of Montana. The scenery is spectacular, the forest is healthy and well-maintained, and the wildlife includes deer, elk, moose, and bears. You drive along Indian Creek. All private property crossings are allowed if you stay on the trail. There are old mining sites, old settlers' cabins, and camping sites to explore.

Difficulty

Easy

History

This section of the Helena National Forest is 115K acres. The many settlers' cabins that still stand in this area are a testament to the sturdy, resilient people who came west in the 1800s. Canyon Ferry Lake is a man-made reservoir, built to generate electricity, provide irrigation, and help control flooding. It is Montana's third-largest body of water. The original ferry hauled the stagecoach and residents across the river. The toll was 25 cents for a horse, and 50 cents for a team. The ferry was anchored by cables that were strung across the Missouri River. A dam was built in 1896 by the Missouri River Power Company, which made the river below the dam too rough for the ferry, so it was abandoned. Canyon Ferry residents then had to cross the river upstream in rowboats until the first county bridge was built in 1899.

Technical Rating

2

Access Description

From Highway 287/12 between Townsend and Winston, right by the bridge that goes over the Missouri River, you will find the start of this trail.