Beartrap Canyon - Madison Dam To Route 84


Bear trap is a beautiful wilderness canyon with lots of a scenic miles and a few rapids. Most put in for the mostly dewatered double drop rapid. After a 1/4 mile water enters the river from a power station on river right and things get a little more padded. There are some II's, one with a nasty seive on river left. Whitehorse is the first named rapid and is the longest and most sustained of the rapids. Two holes wait at the top. The scouting trail is on the left but most will opt to read and run. When cliffs meet river level on the left scout/portage Kitchen sink on the right. Kitchen sink is a IV at typical flows and V at high flows (3000ish +). Finally green wave ends the major rapids with sneak down the right or a massive pourover boof off the green wave. Watch out for snakes. The bird watching in this canyon can be pretty good. Bald and Golden Eagles, osprey, mallards, wood ducks, pelicans etc.

Suggested river levels for paddling this section of the Madison River are between a bare minimum of 1,200cfs and a high of 3,000cfs. River conditions sourced from USGS 06038800, the Madison River At Kirby Ranch Nr Cameron Mt Remember only watercraft are permitted at Beartrap Canyon - Madison Dam to Route 84.

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Area Hydrology

Gauge Streamflow Stage
Red Rock Cr Ab Lakes Nr Lakeview Mt
USGS 06006000
17 cfs 2.6 ft
Madison River Ab Powerplant Nr Mcallister Mt
USGS 06040800
1,200 cfs 5.9 ft
Madison River Near West Yellowstone Mt
USGS 06037500
349 cfs 1.7 ft
Ruby River Bl Reservoir Nr Alder Mt
USGS 06020600
43 cfs 2.3 ft
East Gallatin R Bl Bridger C Nr Bozeman Mt
USGS 06048700
74 cfs ft
Willow Creek Near Harrison Mt
USGS 06035000
20 cfs 1.3 ft
Ruby River Ab Reservoir Nr Alder Mt
USGS 06019500
106 cfs 2.9 ft
Henrys Fork Nr Lake Id
USGS 13039500
2 cfs 4.3 ft
Gallatin River At Logan Mt
USGS 06052500
673 cfs 4.7 ft
Gallatin River Near Gallatin Gateway Mt
USGS 06043500
317 cfs 1.3 ft
Snotel Site Snowpack 24hr Change
Short Creek
SNOTEL 753
1" -1"
Rocker Peak
SNOTEL 722
7" 1"
Lakeview Ridge
SNOTEL 568
2" 0"
Madison Plateau
SNOTEL 609
12" 0"
Boulder Mountain
SNOTEL 360
9" 2"
Tizer Basin
SNOTEL 893
2" 0"
Frohner Meadow
SNOTEL 487
2" 1"
Albro Lake
SNOTEL 916
18" 0"
Crab Creek
SNOTEL 424
6" -1"
Island Park
SNOTEL 546
5" -1"
West Yellowstone
SNOTEL 924
2" 0"
Lone Mountain
SNOTEL 590
10" -1"
Tepee Creek
SNOTEL 813
9" 2"
Clover Meadow
SNOTEL 403
17" -1"
Whiskey Creek
SNOTEL 858
6" 0"
Divide
SNOTEL 448
7" 0"
Carrot Basin
SNOTEL 385
30" 2"
White Elephant
SNOTEL 860
12" -1"
Lower Twin
SNOTEL 603
11" 0"
Beaver Creek
SNOTEL 328
11" 0"
Black Bear
SNOTEL 347
28" -1"