Sluice Boxes State Park

Rate this Adventure 7.5 miles 100 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Chris Engelsman

Sluice Boxes State Park follows Belt Creek through a limestone canyon with remains of mines, a railroad, and historic cabins.

The soaring limestone cliffs and ledges mark the Belt Creek Canyon. Back in the day, this area in the Little Belt Mountains was a haven for mining. Now, the old railroad bed serves as the main access route of Sluice Boxes State Park.

Sluice Boxes State Park was established in 1970 and consists of the northern most 8-miles of Belt Creek Canyon. In the park, you can find old mines and cabins. Hiking is limited to low-water season if you want to ford the river. Otherwise, it's excellent from spring through fall. Belt Creek is spring-fed, so it's water is always cold. 

The Sluice Boxes Trail is an out-and-back that is approximately a 7.5-mile trail that is rated as moderate and sees quite a bit of usage due to it's spectacular scenery. Since it is an out-and-back trail, you can easily make it shorter if you like. 

The trail begins at the Lower Sluice Boxes State Park Trailhead next to the Riceville Bridge. The terminus of the trail is Logging Creek Bridge. 

Things to note:

  • Alcoholic beverages are not allowed in the park
  • Due to safety concerns, the bridge/railroad trestle used to cross the Tiger Creek drainage has been closed indefinitely. Through hiking the entire distance of the park is no longer possible.
  • Parking area/trailhead is open from sunrise to sunset
  • A Backcountry Campsite Permit is required to camp in this park. Contact FWP headquarters in Great Falls to obtain a permit.
  • Non-resident fee = $8
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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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