Hanging Valley National Recreation Trail

Hanging Valley National Recreation Trail

Helena, MT

Phone: 406-449-5490

Additional Information:
  • Bird Watching
  • Hiking
  • Nature Area
  • Sightseeing
  • Walking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Trail

Located in the Big Belt Mountains, this National Scenic Trail is recommended for hikers who want a challenge. Hikers will want to take plenty of water on this hike. There is an elevation gain of approximately 1400 feet in elevation in the first 3 miles to trail junction #348. Then an additional 440 feet before the trail starts its descent to the scenic overlook.Stop to enjoy the distant views from the ridge. The ten switchbacks will take you down 1,000 feet to a moist valley of giant Douglas fir trees, between towering limestone cliffs. As you continue down, the valley narrows and there is a short spur trail to a lookout through a narrow crack in the cliffs. The main trail is soon between cliff walls less than ten feet apart and drops steeply. Climb under a low natural bridge and down two ladders to a small ledge. Here cliffs rise hundreds of feet on 3 sides of you and drop several hundred feet in front of you, with a truly spectacular view of a valley of lime stone cliffs and spires.Hanging Valley formed when the main river cut a lower bed or channel faster than a side stream leaving the side steam hanging' high above it. There are different types of vegetation in this moist valley, including lichen, and the cliffs and spires as the valley widens. The views are even better as you return on the same trail.For a shorter by steeper trip, start this hike from Magpie Gulch. This will be approximately 10 miles round-trip. The trail starts higher up, so you will gain only 330 feet to the junction with Hanging Valley.Length: 12 miles (round-trip)Trail Begins: Vigilante Campground, Township 12N; Range 1E; Section 30 Quad(s): Hogback Mountain, Snedaker BasinArea Map: Helena National Forest Map

In the area

Places to Stay
See and Do
Events
Use ctrl + scroll to zoom the map
Use two fingers to move the map
  1. Comfort Suites Airport
    Comfort Suites Airport
    Helena, MT
    More Info
  2. Quality Inn
    Quality Inn
    Helena, MT
    More Info
  3. Wingate
    Wingate
    Helena, MT
    More Info
  4. Motel 6
    Motel 6
    Helena, MT
    More Info
  5. Baymont Inn & Suites by Wyndham
    Baymont Inn & Suites by Wyndham
    Helena, MT
    More Info
  6. Shilo Inn and Suites
    Shilo Inn and Suites
    Helena, MT
    More Info
  7. La Quinta Inn & Suites
    La Quinta Inn & Suites
    Helena, MT
    More Info
  8. Days Inn
    Days Inn
    Helena, MT
    More Info
  9. Ramada By Wyndham Helena
    Ramada By Wyndham Helena
    Helena, MT
    More Info
  10. Super 8
    Super 8
    Helena, MT
    More Info
  11. Fairfield Inn & Suites
    Fairfield Inn & Suites
    Helena, MT
    More Info
  12. Delta Hotels Helena Colonial
    Delta Hotels Helena Colonial
    Helena, MT
    More Info
  13. Howard Johnson Inn
    Howard Johnson Inn
    Helena, MT
    More Info
  14. Holiday Inn Express & Suites
    Holiday Inn Express & Suites
    Helena, MT
    More Info
  15. Montana Inn
    Montana Inn
    Helena, MT
    More Info
  16. Hampton Inn
    Hampton Inn
    Helena, MT
    More Info
  17. Rose Granite House
    Rose Granite House
    Helena, MT
    More Info
  18. Residence Inn
    Residence Inn
    Helena, MT
    More Info
  19. Artsy House
    Artsy House
    Helena, MT
    More Info
  20. Sleepy Senator Tourist House
    Sleepy Senator Tourist House
    Helena, MT
    More Info