Explore the most popular trails in Sluice Boxes State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

You will definitely want your camera handy when you spend a day or a weekend in this remote setting. Remains of mines, a railroad, and historic cabins line Belt Creek as it winds through a beautiful canyon carved in limestone. This rugged area has seen its share of prospectors searching for precious metals, miners, muleskinners, smeltermen and railroaders building bridges. The Barker mines and the Montana Central Railroad are just a part of the rich history of this park. Long before the mines opened, the railroad was built, and white settlers and ranchers came to what now comprises Sluice Boxes State Park, several tribes of Indians that still live in present-day Montana occupied and managed the natural resources of the area. These tribes include the Blackfeet, Salish, Pend d'Oreille, Kootenai, Gros Ventre, Crow, Assiniboine, Chippewa-Cree, and Little Shell Band of Chippewa. A primitive, unmaintained trail provides access to fishing, challenging floats, and wildlife viewing. Steep cliffs, rugged terrain, and cold, swift water may pose risks to visitors. Please use caution while hiking and floatingin the park. A Backcountry Campsite Permit is required to camp in this park. Check with Fish, Wildlife & Parks staff in the Great Falls office when planning your trip.

hiking
bridge out
4 months ago

A nice trail with fun water crossings nicely spaced. It was a good first water hike for my dog. Not very busy and beautiful.

hiking
bridge out
5 months ago

Fun hike. Trestle Bridge is gone but the creek is passable. You can hike from one end to the other. You have to cross the creek 4 times though. Water is cold and up past my knees in some places. We hiked from the second entrance down to the first. The beginning is steep and right on the cliff edge. We saw poison ivy along the trail and a rattlesnake at the abandoned buildings in the middle.

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail. Crossed the first four creek crossings yesterday with no problems. Deepest crossing was just above my knees. Tiger bridge is out about three miles in so we turned around there. Well marked trail, heavily trafficked, with no signs of any snakes. Overall an absolutely great hike!

on Sluice Boxes Trail

hiking
6 months ago

Started hiking from the main entrance to the park, but had to turn around due to high water at the first river crossings. We drove up to the second entrance and hiked down from the cliffs. Spectacular views and fun terrain to navigate. Wish the train trestle was still open!

hiking
bridge out
6 months ago

Absolutely stunning place to hike! Go a mile and a half in for a great place to swim and cliff jump!! Highly recommend to others this time of year.

hiking
6 months ago

The main entrance was fairly crowded, so I parked at the overlook a little south of the main entrance. The hike down from the parking lot was more intense than I expected - a very narrow trail along the edge of the canyon wall. It would make me nervous to take little kids on that trail. The creek itself is beautiful and a great way spend a warm summer afternoon. Trails along the canyon bottom are very over-grown.

hiking
6 months ago

Good hike the first .6 miles for kids

hiking
6 months ago

Fun

hiking
7 months ago

Two words... Poison Ivy. Also some of the other reviewers mention Rattlesnakes. I can't express how angry it makes me that there are no warnings about these types of hazards at trailheads. But of course they spend money to make signage telling you the fees, rules and other regulations.

hiking
7 months ago

Two words.... Poison Ivy

Hiked it all the way through, took most of the day. There are many river crossings (12ish) to see the trail.

wasnt able to do whole trail as had running sneakers and pants and didnt want to cross the creek that seem to be higher then I appected. next time I'll bring shorts and maybe some water shoes to cross the water in.

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

Great trail! A little narrow and close to the edge of the cliff so may not be good for young ones.

hiking
Sun Jan 06 2019

I parked at the upper trail access pull off. It's a little over a mile down Evans-Riceville rd. From that parking area, the trail begins to your right as you are facing the canyon. The trail does narrow and the cliffs get close. I don't recommend for small kids and those scared of heights (mom). Great views of Belt Creek and canyon. There is a abandoned train tunnel and bridge a few miles further down than where this app depicts the trail end. I never crossed the river.

Enjoyed a cool, late fall hike. Trails were very quiet but easy to follow. Hard rating is a bit exaggerated, but there are required river crossings to see the old mining camps, and you will get wet if you want to get there. Also watch for rattlesnakes. We saw several skins and had been warned that several large snakes lived in the canyon.

hiking
Sat Sep 29 2018

Really fantastic. Beautiful area, nice trail, fun creek crossings. Only 45 or so minutes out of Great Falls.

Thu Sep 27 2018

absolutely beautiful! I went to the closed bridge. Definitely an easier hike than the hard rating even the climb to overlook is not that bad. loved it

hiking
Tue Sep 11 2018

Beautiful trail, unique scenery between the river, canyon walls, berries, meadows. Crossed the river three times. Some people returning from hiking ahead of us said that they saw a huge rattle snake though.

on Sluice Boxes Trail

hiking
Wed Aug 01 2018

Did this 7/25/2018 Was good hike jumped in the creek from cliffs.

Loved this trail, it has beautiful views and crossing the creek was fun! The creek can have a little bit of a pull.

we started at the main parking lot, and went until the 4th river crossings and then came back. (maybe 3.5 mi RT?) very level and easy hike. hardest part was thigh-high river crossings with quick current (in mid July). wished I would have worn keens instead of hiking boots! lovely views and easy to access from great falls. now I need to come back another time and do the whole trail!

nature trips
Fri Jul 20 2018

What a beautiful gem in Montana! These aren't the Rocky Mountains but there are some sights that you won't even catch in Rockies! Beautiful valleys, scenic hikes, wild flowers galore! You can swim or even raft on these mountain waters! Awesome!!

hiking
Mon Jul 02 2018

One of the funnest and scenic trails near Great Falls! I wouldn't call this a difficult trail but it might be a little challenging to some people because there's cliffs with narrow pathways, shallow creeks you have to cross or going over old mining bridges that are falling apart. However, there's plenty of caves to explore, rivers banks to swim in and multiple trails that splits off (which is great if you wanna avoid people).

Mon Feb 26 2018

be ready to get your feet wet

hiking
Mon Aug 28 2017

Good hike with absolutely beautiful scenery. The complete trail is 7.5 miles--it starts at the main trailhead at the Riceville bridge and for the most part follows Belt Creek down to Logging Creek Bridge on Logging Creek Rd (unpaved). We parked one car at the end of the trail and one at the beginning. Taking the trail one way took 4.5h which included just a little bit of time to enjoy the scenery. The trail crosses the creek 16 times--need footwear you can cross in. Pick up a trail map at the trailhead to see where to cross. The crossings are numbered and well marked. The first and last thirds of the trail are easy. The middle third is more challenging and consists of some bouldering/steep trekking involving slippery dirt, rickety old bridges with no side rails (part of the old railroad) and some areas of the creek filled with water spiders. Overall a great experience.

Would love to go back and jump from some of the cliffs. Not a difficult hike but must cross belt creek 3x.

hiking
Tue Aug 15 2017

It's an easy trail. Not hard at all. Great cliff jumping into the water. Usually quite a few people.

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