BEAR CREEK BUNKHOUSE

Overview

The Bear Creek Bunkhouse allows visitors to experience southwestern Montana’s vast wilderness areas, including wide open fields and a variety of nearby mountain ranges. Situated on the Trail Fork of Bear Creek, the cabin offers a scenic location to enjoy nature. A larger cabin is located about 100 feet to the west and is also on the rental progarm.

The bunkhouse is used as an administrative site in the summer and fall months, but is open to the public between December and April. During the winter months, visitors can enjoy cross country skiing and snowshoeing, as well as hiking and horseback riding on nearby trails.

The site can be accessed by vehicle, however, a portion of the road may be muddy or snow-covered, as it is not always plowed. Visitors are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and must bring several of their own amenities, including water.

Recreation

In addition, there are a variety of hiking and horseback riding trails in the area. The trails are popular among visitors for cross country skiing and snowshoeing during the winter months.

The nearby wilderness areas do not allow motorized vehicles or bicycles. Camping and fishing in the backcountry is allowed, with the proper permits. The Bear Creek Wildlife Management Area immediately to the north of the cabin is closed to all off-trail access, including foot traffic, between Dec. 2 and May 15.

Facilities

You must call the Madison Ranger District at 406-682-4253 Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm for the cabin combination. The office is NOT open on Federal Holidays.

This one room cabin has electricity and lights as well as two single beds with foam pads, which can accommodate up to two people. In addition to the beds, there is a table with chairs, refrigerator, stove, oven, basic cooking equipment and cleaning supplies.

The cabin has a wood stove for heat and firewood is provided and stacked to the east of the cabin. An outhouse, with vault toilets, is located 150 feet east of the bunkhouse, near the larger cabin. Additional toilets are available at the adjacent campground.

Visitors need to bring their own water; the creek is the only source of water and may be difficult to access during the winter. Sleeping bags and extra blankets are not supplied, and users will need to bring their own food, toilet paper and garbage bags. Garbage and cleaning services are not provided.

Renters must clean the facility prior to departure, as well as replenish the supply of split wood and kindling.

Natural Features

The facility is located at the edge of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness, at the foot of the Madison Range. The bunkhouse is situated at an elevation of 6,250 feet, amid open meadows that are surrounded by mature aspen and Douglas fir trees.

Bear Creek runs near the bunkhouse and nearby cabin, and the Bear Creek Wildlife Management Area lies immediately to the north. The area is home to a variety of wildlife, including elk, mule deer, black bears and grizzly bears, mountain grouse, and other species (learn more about bear safety).

Nearby Attractions

Bear Creek is approximately 60 miles north of Old Faithful Geyser.From Ennis, take Highway 287 south for 11 miles, to Cameron, Montana. From Cameron, turn east on Bear Creek Loop and continue approximately 6 miles to the cabin. The last several miles is gravel or dirt, which may be muddy or snow-covered and may not always be plowed. Maps may be purchased by calling the Madison Ranger District.406-682-4253N