South Bench

2/5 (6 reviews)
Cameron, Montana (Madison County)
Last Updated: 09/18/2022
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Trail Information

Highlights

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.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

2/5 (6 reviews)
Cory W
Official Crew
26500
Status: Open
Rated 2/5
Visited: 06/19/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Last years fire thinned the understory, expanding the views of this secluded seldom used campsite. There are some precariously burnt trees leaning towards the road waiting for a good windstorm to block the only access.
Trail Review: South Bench - Cory W
Trail Review: South Bench - Cory W
Cory W
Official Crew
26500
Status: Open
Rated 2/5
Visited: 09/14/2021

With the Goose Fire closure lifted, we checked out some of the affected trails. The areas along South Bench Road were partially burned, with no effect on traveling the trail. This is still a very secluded, great get-away from it all campsite!
Trail Review: South Bench - Cory W
Trail Review: South Bench - Cory W
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Cory W
Official Crew
26500
Status: Open
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The Goose Fire area closure order was rescinded on October 7th, allowing the reopening of the following trails: Cliff Lake Bench Conklin Lake East Bench Elk Lake Jackknife Jackpine Gulch South Bench The condition of the affected trails is unknown and will be updated soon.
Cory W
Official Crew
26500
Status: Temporary Closure
Visited: 07/11/2021

Due to the Goose Fire, the following trails have been temporarily closed: Conklin Lake Elk Lake Road beyond Elk Lake to Hidden Lake is closed Jackpine Gulch Jackknife Cliff Lake Bench South Bench East Bench Currently, the West Fork Madison River is the edge of the closure area. More info on the closure can be found here: Goose Fire Closure Order
Trail Review: South Bench - Cory W
Cory W
Official Crew
26500
Status: Open
Rated 2/5
Visited: 05/30/2020

Although it's a short trail, it's one that's often overlooked and has one of the most secluded campsites in the area.
Trail Review: South Bench - Cory W
Trail Review: South Bench - Cory W
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