Devil’s Glen: Hiking Along the Dearborn River

Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front is full of amazing trails offering stunning mountain views and access to various rivers and waterfalls. Devil’s Glen (Dearborn River Trail #206) is a trail tucked just in the Rocky Mountain Front that we love to hike in both the summer and winter because of its beauty in all seasons. Furthermore, whether you’re looking for a longer mountain hike, or just want a shorter walk to a beautiful spot by the Dearborn River, this is a great option!

The beautiful, rugged Rocky Mountains
The beautiful, rugged Rocky Mountains

Getting to the Devil’s Glen Trailhead

The Devil’s Glen Trailhead lies about 30 minutes outside of Augusta. From town, head south on road 435. This road becomes well-graded dirt. Continue along it until you see Bean Lake and turn right onto Dearborn Canyon Road. This is also a pretty well-maintained road, but there are some washboards and it can get a bit snowy and icy in the winter.

Eventually, you’ll reach a wilderness bible camp. Keep left to reach the trailhead parking area. There is a large dirt lot with informational signs and a toilet. Don’t park in the bible camp lots or continue down the private road; there is ample parking at the trailhead that we’ve never seen fill up.

Fees

The Devil’s Glen trail runs mostly through national forest land. There are no fees to park at the trailhead or use the trail.

Walking the trail near the upper end of Devil's Glen
Walking the trail near the upper end of Devil’s Glen

Hiking the Devil’s Glen Trail

Hike Overview

Hike Type: Moderate out-and-back trail

Distance: 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) one way – but you can continue further beyond where the trail merges with the Continental Divide Trail

Duration: 4.5 – 6 hours roundtrip

Regulations: Stay on trail when walking through private property. Proper food storage to deter bears is mandatory.

Overlooking the Dearborn River
Overlooking the Dearborn River

The Hike

We will admit that the start of the trail to Devil’s Glen isn’t the most thrilling of those in the Rocky Mountain Front. For about a mile, the trail winds through the woods along a road and by some private cabins. Please respect private property as you walk this section of the trail. While this portion of the hike isn’t anything too special, it is worth it after reaching the river.

Once you cross the bridge over the Dearborn River, the trail climbs a bit and you’ll soon be rewarded with some beautiful Rocky Mountain views. About two and a half miles in is an open field with some camp spots and river access. There are some great places at the lower end of Devil’s Glen to hang out on the boulders near the water and take a dip. Many choose to end the hike here – we sometimes do too!

Summer at Devil's Glen
Summer at Devil’s Glen
Winter near the same pools at the lower end of Devil's Glen
Winter near the same pools at the lower end of Devil’s Glen

The trail continues to follow the river, sometimes meeting the shores and sometimes climbing a ways above it. Overall, the incline isn’t anything too strenuous. After scaling the face of a steep, rocky hillside, the trail descends back towards the river and trees.

We walked down to the river just under 4.5 miles in to find the upper end of Devil’s Glen. This section has a small waterfall flowing between rocks that have been smoothed by the continuous flow. In the winter, unique ice formations cling to the rocks. In the summer, the clear water flows more heavily, forming larger blue pools in the canyon.

As mentioned above, you can continue down the trail to meet the CDT or turn back to return the way you came.

Taking in the icy views at the upper section of Devil's Glen
Taking in the icy views at the upper section of Devil’s Glen

What to Bring to Hike to Devil’s Glen

Water: A hiking essential. Alternatively, bring a purification method.

Sturdy Shoes: The trail is rocky in spots and can be muddy and icy, so wear shoes with good tread.

Mini First Aid Kit: An item we always like to have just in case.

Camera: To capture the stunning views or wildlife you may see.

Food: If you bring trail snacks, be aware that there are bears in the area and clean up after yourself as to not attract them to the trail.

Bear Spray: There are many bears in the Rocky Mountain Front, so bring along your bear spray and know how to use it.

Extra Gear: You may need extra gear, such as snowshoes or spikes if you visit in the winter, or hiking poles if you enjoy using them.

Layers: Even in the summer it can be chilly. We recommend bringing light layers and/or a rain jacket. Outside of summer, heavier jackets, gloves, etc. may be necessary.

Sun Protection: Some portions of the trail have no shade, so bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

Swimsuit & Towel: There are some really nice spots to take a dip in the river.

Sunny summer days near the Dearborn River
Sunny summer days near the Dearborn River

Like this Post? Pin it!

Devil's Glen Pin

Leave a Reply