Madison Mountain Range in Montana

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Madison Range

Part of the Rocky Mountains, the Madison Range stretches through Bozemans beautiful backyard, offering seasonal activites ranging from mountaineering the signature peaks to skiing the majestic slopes.

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  • The highest and arguably the most majestic section of the range is Hilgard Peak, measuring over 11, 300 feet. 
  • Earthquake Lake is a beautiful lake formed as a result of a 1959 earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale.
  • The Madison Range has grizzly and black bears, and at least one pack of wolves.

Overview

Climbing over 11,000 feet high, the Madison Range is especially well known for its hiking and mountaineering activities, attracting a great number of beginner to expert enthusiasts annually.  The Madison Range Montana also makes up part of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness Area which is comprised of four seperate units.  These units include Bear Trap Canyon, Taylor-Hilgard unit, Spanish Peaks unit, and the Monument Mountain unit.

Location/Directions

Located in the wild Rocky Mountains and flanked on either side y the Madison River to the West and the Gallatin River to the East, the Madison Mountan Range travels a breathtaking 80 miles from West Yellowstone to Bozeman, Montana.

Hours/Seasons

Accessible year round, offering an amazing trail system for hiking, camping, and biking in the warmer months as well as spectacular backcountry skiing in the winter.

Activities

The highest and arguably the most majestic section of the range is Hilgard Peak, measuring over 11, 300 feet.  Delighting mountaineers, standard routes start at Class 3, with many more challenging climbs awaiting alpinists.

Bear trap canyon boasts blue ribbon trout streams and thrilling rapids.  For high mountain lakes, hike to the Spanish Peaks or Taylor-Hilgard units.   Earthquake Lake, in the Taylor-Hilgard Unit, is a beautiful lake formed as a result of a 1959 earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale.

Fish the renowned blue ribbon trout streams of the Madison Valley, which are nestled in the foothills of the Spanish Peaks of the Madison Range.

The Madison Range offers some of Montana's finest hiking, with an extensive network of trails looping through lakes, streams, canyons, and open valleys.  Try Bear Trap Canyon Trail, which hugs the eastern shore of the Madison river and winds through the 6,000-acre canyon amidst plummeting rock cliffs.

Highlights

  • This region has grizzly and black bears, and at least one pack of wolves.
  • The Monument Mountain Unit is home to the largest population of grizzly bears in the region.
  • There is great technical rock and ice climbing at Hilgard Peak and Beehive Basin.

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Other Madison Range Resources

Lone Peak

The centerpiece of Big Sky, in the Madison Range.