Mann Gulch

Helena, Montana 59602

Mann Gulch

Mann Gulch Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This is a scenic and historical hike near the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness to the site of a tragic forest fire accident. After arriving at Meriwether Picnic Area by boat, walk up the gulch for several hundred yards to the Vista Point turnoff.Turn left (north) for Vista Point. Mann Gulch Trail starts 100 feet before the metal railings that mark Vista Point. Turn right, uphill, and northeast.

A mile of switchbacks now lies between you and Mann Gulch.These trails are well worn and easy to follow,but stay on the designated route instead of cutting the switchbacks. Several points during the climb offer excellent views of the canyon below. Once you reach the top, the trail fades away, but the view does not.Willow Peak is east up the ridge, and Beartooth Mountain is across the river. Burned and fallen trees lie parallel on the opposite slope. Rockslides and thick grasses cover the steep slope of Mann Gulch."

Mann Gulch Trip Reports

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This is a wonderful hike from a beginning forest covered trail to wide-open mountain face traverses that lead you up to incredible views of the Bozeman Valley and the Crazies in the distance toward Livingston and Big Timber. It is a nice vertical climb and I would rate it moderate-difficult but not quite strenuous. There was still a good chunk of snow at the base of the mountain in which you do have to hike over in a few spots but nothing too big. People were actually hiking up to ski down small portions of the mountain that still had enough snow to do a run. Once you get to the saddle or t-stop you go left for Sacajawea or right for Hardscrabble, both are right there and convenient to climb. There are a few trails that continue on below the mountain tops as well, but I am not sure as to where they go. Gorgeous wildflowers were out in abundance and a few mountain goats could be seen Southwest of the peak hanging around another mountain top. This trail really has some unique sites from thick forests, to rugged rocky traverses, wildflowers, incredible rock layers and colors, and of course immaculate views all around you at the top. We had to scurry off quickly though as lighting and rain rolled up rapidly and began to boom all around us. Never want to be on a mountain top when that comes a knockin! It is a popular trail, so you will deal with a fair amount of folks hiking in tennis shoes and no camelback...not too smart. We took our dog and she did real well but the last push up the mountain is very, very scree-filled and it did a number on her paw pads...cut them up quite a bit, so you may want to bring booties for the furry buddy. I would do this trail once a year to "warm-up" for the hiking season and the incredible views it offers...really a top-notch trail. A recommendation, if you want to get away from people once you hit the saddle, go right to Hardscrabble Peak, hardly anyone climbs that one, so you may very well have it to yourself!
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The trail was beautiful and well marked. It is a great place for back country in the early winter time. If you want to make it to the top in the fall, bring cramp ons. Also, definitely visit nearby fairy lake - only 1/2 mile from the sacajewea trailhead. It is gorgeous.

Mann Gulch Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
July through September
Helena National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS Upper Holter Lake and Beartooth Mountain
Local Maps

Trail Log