Madison River Canyon in Montana

West Yellowstone Montana
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Madison River Canyon

As one of the most beautiful areas around, make sure to drive through the Madison River Canyon on your way to or from West Yellowtone. Enjoy Quake Lake, stop by the Visitor Center, camp out, or go for a hike.

Why should I drive through Madison River Canyon?

Quake Lake: The most prominent feature of the Madison River Canyon is Quake Lake, formed by a huge earthquake in 1959. Stop by the Quake Lake Visitor Center to watch an interesting film about the earthquake and to check out some photos. Depending on the wind, it's fun to sea kayak through the dead trees that still stand in the lake's waters.

Beaver Creek Campground: A great place to spend the night while enjoying the Madison River Canyon. Reservations and More Info.

Where does the Madison River Canyon begin and end?

Starting in West Yellowstone, drive north out of town on US 191. Turn left at the junction for Hebgen Lake/US 287. The canyon begins after the dam at the west end of Hebgen Lake. It ends on the west end of Quake Lake and junction of ID 87. From this junction, you can either head south to Island Park and back to West Yellowstone or north to Ennis, Montana.

How long does it take to drive?

From West Yellowstone it only takes about 20 minutes to drive to the start of the Madison River Canyon. Once there, the actual Madison River Canyon is only about 10 miles long, if that. The length of the drive really depends on where you are going after you explore the canyon. If you are making a loop drive out of it, plan for about 2 hours (with time for stops) to drive the Raynolds Pass Loop.