Bear Trap Canyon is a swell early or late season hike: it warms up early in the spring, and stays warm longer in the fall than hikes up in the mountains. The hike follows the Madison River through the Lee Metcalf Wilderness, and it’s always been one of my favorites.
But a wildfire tore through the canyon this summer, burning at least 5,000 acres, and I was worried that the beautiful fall scenery that I’d remembered would be just that – a memory.
On a recent Sunday we headed south to check it out, and were relieved to find that while the fire did some pretty heavy damage at the mouth of the canyon, the wilderness area of the hike was untouched. It was as lovely as ever. We saw a couple of other hikers, and a few fishermen, but other than that we had the canyon to ourselves.