Soap Creek

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3.3/5 (7 reviews)
Ennis, Montana (Madison County)
Last Updated: 12/31/2023
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Trail Information

Highlights

Flatiron Mountain Road is located in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, the largest of the national forests in Montana covering 3.35 million acres. This road is less than an hours drive from Ennis or West Yellowstone, and just under 2 hours from Big Sky Montana. Soap Creek is the last of three trails making a loop back to Standard Creek Road. If choosing to do the loop, check out the Freezeout Creek and Flatiron Mountain trail guides. Soap Creek Road has beautiful views of the mountains to the north from the trailhead which is also the highest portion of this trail at nearly 8,100 feet elevation. The road gradually descends the mountain surrounded by Lodge Pole Pine, Spruce, and Fir trees occasionally giving way to views of the mountain peaks and the valleys below. Soap Creek is a nice road as you loop back to Standard Creek. The suns not in your eyes, the shadows of the tall mountains behind you creep across the valleys as the sun sets. It's all pretty smooth road back down Standard Creek and West Fork Madison Road to the highway. Stop at the West Fork Cabins on the way back to the highway, grab an ice cream and drive over the Madison River on the Historic Hutchins bridge. Make sure you have the windows down, the sound of the river is beautiful, and the squeaking of the bridge as your tires roll over the old wood planks is sure to be something to talk about!

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Trail Reviews

3.3/5 (7)
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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 3/5
Visited: 07/16/2023

This last winter took out a lot of trees. Someone was quite busy getting this trail open this year. The trail itself is unchanged. Be cautious of the trees, especially if it's windy; there are quite a few leaners ready to fall across the road. We saw a buck today too, who took his time to pose for the camera.
Trail Review: Soap Creek - Cory Wooldridge
Trail Review: Soap Creek - Cory Wooldridge
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Official Crew
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39000
Open
Rated 3/5
Visited: 09/03/2022

The trail was in good shape. We waited til late in the year to do this trail because of the depth of some of the mud holes, and the trail was mostly dry today. Our highlight was a couple of sandhill cranes and ripe thimbleberries, an excellent way to end the day!
Trail Review: Soap Creek - Cory Wooldridge
Trail Review: Soap Creek - Cory Wooldridge
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Official Crew
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39000
Open
Rated 3/5
Visited: 09/18/2021

We hit many trails this afternoon looking for critters. We started out crossing the Madison River at Hutchins Bridge, heading up West Fork Madison to Standard Creek, turning left at Soap Creek, and following it through Flatiron Mountain and Freezeout Creek, making the loop back to Standard Creek. The trails were in great shape. Once back at Standard Creek Road, we were amazed to have seen nine deer on this short loop, so we decided to head back down Standard Creek to West Fork Madison, where we saw a doe and two tiny fawns, then up Jackpine Gulch to East Bench. We had to clear a couple of downed trees from East Bench; otherwise, there were no issues with this trail. We saw two more deer on the way in and hiked around the end of the trail for a few. It was a surprise looking through the charred tree at how close we were to Cliff Lake. Headed back out, we took Jackknife out to Cliff Lake Bench and watched the sunset. Driving out in the twilight, we saw a couple of elk and a few more doe and fawn. All in all, on this trip, we saw 19 of these four-legged critters. That's usually pretty close to our tally for an entire summer. For one evening, that was amazing!
Open
Rated 3/5
Visited: 09/22/2020

Soap Creek for me was Part 3 of the 3 trails that made up the loop of trails connecting to and from Standard Creek Trail (the other two being Freezeout Creek and Flatiron Mountain). Of the 3 trails in the loop I only rated Soap Creek a 3 because of the expectation I had coming off Flatiron Mountain, which I rated a 5. I gave Freezeout Creek a 4 as it had some cool offshoots and vistas, I did not see much more than a road lined with trees on either side here on Soap Creek. Again, I stress that I came off an absolutely beautiful trail on Flatiron so for my review I viewed Soap Creek as a necessary road to get to the other (or from the others). I hope that makes sense, ha, but in the end this trail is necessary, it did not have any real obstacles and was well maintained.

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