Gallatin, South Fork West Fork - Ousel Falls to .75 miles downstream

Gallatin, South Fork West Fork, Montana, US


Ousel Falls to .75 miles downstream

Usual Difficulty IV-V(V+) (for normal flows)
Length 0.75 Miles
Avg. Gradient 85 fpm

Ouzel Falls First Known Descent

Ouzel Falls First Known Descent
Photo of David Schroeder by Nelle Thompson taken 06/15/03 @ good

River Description

This is a fun blast of creeking in an area lacking good creeks. It can and should be combined with a run on the Gallatin, which is always running strong when this stretch is floatable. You can put-in above or below Ousel Falls. Ousel Falls is a cascading 35-foot falls with a very tight landing zone which is extremely shallow. If you decide to run it, be warned: it is shallower and more dangerous than you think. Be careful.
The standard putin is at the base of the main falls, allowing a peelout into a fun ten-footer just above the start of the action. Below this there are some low-angle slides and a few great boofs before you arrive at the big ol' logjam that marks your takeout. Give each other some space in here as the eddies can be scarce. Hike up the steeps on river left and back to your car.
The trailhead to Ousel can be found by taking a left onto Ousel Falls Road off of the main road heading to Big Sky (Lone Peak). About a mile up on your left is the parking lot. Hike in, Hike out.
Best guidebook for the area: Montana Surf, but it's out of print.

Lat/longitude coordinates (especially of the takeout) are an estimate from online maps.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2010-11-06 17:49:38


Rapid Descriptions

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User Comments

Users can submit comments.
May 24 2014 (1703 days ago)
Matt Larson (152903)
Update: There is new wood in the section between the hiking bridges. Make sure to scout. It is
currently possible to run. An obvious right channel at the first tree, then left side of a
pour-over out of a new pool created by a down tree and mudslide. There are still branches on the
tree - thus left at the pour-over to minimize branches. Below the second walking bridge is about
1.5 miles of class 3 boogy water with an occasional slide in the first quarter mile. A great
alternative to hiking out however there is no clear place to leave your vehicle at the takeout road
bridge. This entire section had been cleaned of wood until spring melt of 2011. There are now 3 log
jams that must be portaged. This section has a super remote feel- beware of moose. Also a nice
alternative to hiking out.
April 6 2012 (2481 days ago)
x (1)
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