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!
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.
The Devil’s Glen trail runs mostly through national forest land. There are no fees to park at the trailhead or use the trail.
Hiking the Devil’s Glen Trail
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.
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!
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.
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: There are some great spots for a snack or packed lunch along this trail! Please pack out all your trash.
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.