South Bench

Cameron, Montana (Madison County)

Last Updated: 09/14/2021
2 / 5 ( 3 reviews )
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Typically Open: 04/01 - 12/31
Length: 0.53 miles
Highest Elevation: 7779 feet
Duration: About 10 minutes
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Cameron
Nearest Town w/ Services: Ennis
Official Road Name: 8385
Management Agency: Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
District: Ennis Field Office


Highlight: South Bench
South Bench 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 is a short trail that leads to a very secluded private campsite. The road is a little overgrown and offers a couple of glimpses through the trees of the towering mountains off in the distance. There is tall green grass in the clearings with wildflowers and butterflies through August. Just a relatively flat half-mile hike from Waypoint 2 is a cliff overlooking Hidden, Goose, and Otter Lakes. South Bench trail is for anyone looking for a secluded campsite surrounded by tall, dense trees, offering an excellent windbreak as the wind in the trees whispers everyone to sleep.


Route Information

Technical Rating

( EASY )

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1. Trailhead 8385 South Bench (0 mi)
This trail starts at Waypoint 11 of Jackpine Gulch. This trail is not for tall or wide vehicles, it is quite overgrown and feels similar to a tunnel in some spots.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Ennis, Montana

Head south on Highway 287 for 33 miles to the Lyons Bridge and West Fork rest area and turn right/south. Continue on West Fork Madison for 6.4 miles and turn left on Jackpine Gulch. Continue on Jackpine Gulch for 7 miles to Waypoint 11, the trail starts here.



Trail Reviews (5)

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Writer Information

Cory W

Mapping Crew - Arizona and Montana

Cory grew up traveling the logging roads outside Durango, CO with his dad for his woodcutting business and fell in love with everything about the outdoors. He's moved around a lot since then, from several rural areas of Southern California to Montana, Wyoming to Arizona, even living on a commercial gold mine in Nevada in for several years. In all these areas he has explored several thousand miles of old dirt roads and trails, as well as many old mines and ghost towns. Located in the Mohave Desert of AZ in the winter and the Madison River Valley of MT in the summer.
For individual use only, not to be shared.