Hanging Valley

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Trail Distance: 6 miles
Time Estimate: 3 hr 50 min+
Elevation Gain: 2281 feet
Leash Rule: On & Off Leash
Difficulty: Hard
Parking: Unknown
Route Type: Out-and-back
Restroom: Yes
Description

If your pup is up for a serious adventure, then lace up your boots, grab the back pack, and head over to the Hanging Valley Trail. This trail is action packed with plenty of inclines and gorgeous views that are typical of the rugged Montana wilderness.

The trailhead is located just outside the little town of York in the Vigilante Campground. Make no mistake; this trail starts out with a bang. Gaining 1,840 feet in elevation within the first three or so miles, it will leave your legs burning. As you’re trucking up the hill, don’t forget to look out at the views. When the sky is clear, you can see all the way to Bozeman.

Once at the top of the ridge, paws for a water break and let your pup catch their breath. Now that you have finished the climb, it’s time to….head back down. The trail descends 1,000 feet as it completes 10 switchbacks into a narrow limestone canyon. This is where things get interesting. The trail passes through a tight opening between massive cliffs and finally drops down to an overlook with epic views. A chain linked fence is the only thing separating you and your pup from a couple hundred foot drop into Trout Canyon. Before starting your return journey, snap a photo or two with your four legged hiking buddy.

Water and restrooms are available at Vigilante Campground. It is critical that you don’t skimp on water for this hike. Bring more than enough H2O for both you and your pooch. The trail is dry and the elevation gain is going to leave both of you desperate for water. It’s also a good idea to bring some snacks for you and biscuits for your doggo, so you can refuel your energy. Your pup will agree, this trail is one for the ages!

Trail Features
Forest, Mountains, Steep Inclines, Rocky
Scenic
Cautions & Considerations
Parking at the trailhead is limited. The Forest Service asks that you don't block the turn around. The short canyon toward the end of the trail can be a bit chilly, so throw a jacket into your pack.
Address
Vigilante Campground York Rd
Helena, MT 59601
Hours
Mon Open 24 Hours
Tue Open 24 Hours
Wed Open 24 Hours
Thu Open 24 Hours
Fri Open 24 Hours
Sat Open 24 Hours
Sun Open 24 Hours
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Address
Vigilante Campground York Rd
Helena, MT 59601
Hours
Mon Open 24 Hours
Tue Open 24 Hours
Wed Open 24 Hours
Thu Open 24 Hours
Fri Open 24 Hours
Sat Open 24 Hours
Sun Open 24 Hours