Hyalite’s annual road closure begins, canyon remains open to spring recreationists
The Hyalite Canyon recreation corridor closes for spring break-up, annually, starting April 1st through May 15th, reopening to the dam on May 16th. Hyalite is one of the most popular recreation destinations in Montana and receives an overwhelming amount of traffic.
During the spring melt and thaw, the subgrade becomes saturated and is unable to support the repeated motorized traffic, which can increase surface cracking and potholes. The transition from winter to spring is a great opportunity to enjoy Hyalite in a non-motorized way, including walking, running and biking.
This year, please also respect the latest and current guidance for social distancing as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve. Gallatin County Health Department provides the most up-to-date information daily.
The road is anticipated to reopen May 16th, to the dam only. The road above the dam will remain closed through May 31st as road widening and construction beings for the season. The road above the dam is projected to open June 1st, but with frequent delays expected through the summer season. Traffic lights and delays of up to 20 minutes are expected to be reoccurring throughout the summer. Please plan recreation activities accordingly.
“The road widening, resurfacing, straightening and possibly paving will improve public and user safety up Hyalite, enhance recreational facilities, decrease annual maintenance needs and improve water quality, by decreasing the amount of runoff and sedimentation directly going into Bozeman’s municipal water supply,” said Corey Lewellen, Bozeman District Ranger.
Over 20,000 visitors a month explore Hyalite during the winter, and more than of 40,000 a month during the summer given a typical year. Campgrounds, as well as Maxey Cabin and Window Rock Cabin will each remain closed until June 1st this year to allow construction to begin; opening dates are appropriately reflected at recreation.gov. In addition, Hood Creek Campground will reopen July 1st, once construction moves beyond this campground.
Recreationists traveling on West Shore Trail and Lick Creek and hoping to loop back via the Hyalite Road, will need to find another route or do an out and back to respect the construction closure. No uses will be allowed with in the construction area.
For additional information, please contact the Bozeman Ranger District at (406) 522-2520, follow Custer Gallatin National Forest on Facebook or visit www.fs.usda.gov/custergallatin. •