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Helena, Montana

Explore Refrigerator Canyon

0.5 Miles Total - 100 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Christina Adele Warburg-Hon

The closest thing Montana has to a slot canyon. This beautiful half-mile canyon is the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day.

The Refrigerator Canyon Trail is a scenic trail that leads into the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness. While this trail goes back for up to 16 miles, for this adventure, we will focus on the first half-mile of the trail. 

The first half-mile of Refrigerator Canyon Trail is the most scenic and unique. It passes through a narrow canyon with 200 feet high limestone walls. At the quarter-mile point, the walls will come together, and you will be forced to walk through the stream to continue, reminiscent of Zion's Narrows. There are many limestone caves to discover. 

Refrigerator Canyon is appropriately named, as even in the summer, it can be quite chilly in this canyon, so plan to bring a jacket even if it is hot out.

To get here from Helena:

  1. Head north on I15
  2. Take exit 200 for Lincoln Road
  3. Turn right onto Co Rd 453/E Lincoln Rd drive 5.5 miles
  4. Turn right onto Lake Helena Dr, 2.4 miles
  5. Turn left onto Deal Lane, 2.8 miles
  6. Turn left unto York Rd. 6.8 miles
  7. Turn left onto Nelson Rd 10.1 miles
  8. Continue onto Beaver Creek Rd, 2.3 miles. The destination will be on your left. 

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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Helena’s Adventure Awaits You

Nestled between the Big Belt and Elkhorn Mountains, the Helena Valley offers activities like hiking, biking, climbing, and fishing - just to name a few. Surrounded by three lakes and a blue-ribbon trout fishery, Helena is sure to thrill even the most dedicated of outdoor enthusiasts.

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