West Fork Madison

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4/5 (9 reviews)
Cameron, Montana (Madison County)
Last Updated: 12/31/2023
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Trail Information

Highlights

West Fork Madison is located in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, the largest of the national forests in Montana covering 3.35 million acres. This trail is less than an hours drive from Ennis or West Yellowstone, and just under 2 hours from Big Sky Montana. This trail takes you alongside the Madison River until Waypoint 6. The road turns and follows the West Fork Madison River to the end of the trail for the next 8 miles through hills, forest, and surrounding mountain views. If looking for a campsite near the river, this is the trail to check out. The views are stunning. Willows line the river and stream banks, turning yellow and gold before the trees in mid to late August, the first reminder that fall is just around the corner. The river tumble can be heard almost everywhere along this trail. Wild raspberries and strawberries are scattered through the trail and wildflowers are everywhere. The trail is pretty popular, so be ready for the occasional traffic.

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Trail Reviews

4/5 (9)
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Official Crew
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39000
Seasonal Closure
Visited: 12/31/2023

This trail's seasonal closure goes into effect today. See you next year!
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Official Crew
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39000
Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 05/28/2023

We tried last week but got stuck in the ice just past Waypoint 29. All clear today other than a few puddles. The West Fork Madison is running high and muddy and flooded some campsites. Beautiful day though, with green grass, flowers starting to bloom, aspens leafing out, and a lot of snow on the mountaintops in the distance. There was a big rock in the road last week, gone now.
Trail Review: West Fork Madison - Cory Wooldridge
Trail Review: West Fork Madison - Cory Wooldridge
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Official Crew
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39000
Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 06/11/2022

Some parts of the road are certainly more rutted and potholed than last year, but all in all still a fun drive and great scenery. The river is flowing high above its banks and carving new paths through the trees with a lot more downed tress across the water than usual.
Trail Review: West Fork Madison - Cory Wooldridge
Trail Review: West Fork Madison - Cory Wooldridge
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Official Crew
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39000
Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 09/14/2021

Now open after the Goose Fire Closure, we checked out a few of the affected trails. The only notable change on West Fork Madison is the bridge's closure to the restroom and campsite at Waypoint 28. We were around a week to early to see the vibrant fall colors fill the river bed.
Trail Review: West Fork Madison - Cory Wooldridge
Trail Review: West Fork Madison - Cory Wooldridge
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Official Crew
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39000
Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 09/08/2021

The Goose Fire area closure order was rescinded on October 7th, allowing the reopening of the following trails: Cliff Lake Bench Conklin Lake East Bench Elk Lake Jackknife Jackpine Gulch South Bench West Fork Madison past Jackpine Gulch Road The condition of the affected trails is unknown and will be updated soon.

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