Madison - 3) Beartrap Canyon: Madison Dam to Route 84

Madison, Montana, US


3) Beartrap Canyon: Madison Dam to Route 84

Usual Difficulty I-IV (for normal flows)
Length 10 Miles

Adam Elliott in Kitchen Sink at 1900cfs.

Adam Elliott in Kitchen Sink at 1900cfs.
Photo by Kevin Colburn taken 07/20/17

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Madison River bl Ennis Lake nr McAllister MT
usgs-06041000 1.00 - 6.00 ft I-IV 01h02m 2.56 ft (running)
Flow range for best boatability uncertain. Please help your fellow boaters with a comment or report.

River Description

Beartrap Canyon is a highly scenic whitewater run through the Lee Metcalf Wilderness with a reasonable road shuttle. The run features some great technical Class II and III rapids leading up to Kitchen Sink, a standout powerful class IV rapid that may be class V at high flows located approximately halfway down the 10 mile run. Below Kitchen sink more fun rapids await before the gradient eases and the takeout is reached.  

The run begins immediately downstream of the dam that forms Ennis Lake. During times of high inflows the section between the dam and the powerhouse contain some great Class III technical rapids, including a double drop rapid in a relatively narrow pinch that might be class IV at high flows. When flows drop the dam is capable of rendering this section too low to paddle. Below the powerhouse flows are more likely to be found, but the dam does pulse flows so be aware that flows may change dramatically.  


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2017-07-20 15:35:11


Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

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July 27 2007 (4194 days ago)
x (1)
new online whitewater guide for montana area paddling - check it out!