Sluice Boxes State Park

Rate this Adventure 7.5 miles 100 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Chris Engelsman

Sluice Boxes State Park follows Belt Creek through a limestone canyon with remains of mines, a railroad, and historic cabins.

The soaring limestone cliffs and ledges mark the Belt Creek Canyon. Back in the day, this area in the Little Belt Mountains was a haven for mining. Now, the old railroad bed serves as the main access route of Sluice Boxes State Park.

Sluice Boxes State Park was established in 1970 and consists of the northern most 8-miles of Belt Creek Canyon. In the park, you can find old mines and cabins. Hiking is limited to low-water season if you want to ford the river. Otherwise, it's excellent from spring through fall. Belt Creek is spring-fed, so it's water is always cold. 

The Sluice Boxes Trail is an out-and-back that is approximately a 7.5-mile trail that is rated as moderate and sees quite a bit of usage due to it's spectacular scenery. Since it is an out-and-back trail, you can easily make it shorter if you like. 

The trail begins at the Lower Sluice Boxes State Park Trailhead next to the Riceville Bridge. The terminus of the trail is Logging Creek Bridge. 

Things to note:

  • Alcoholic beverages are not allowed in the park
  • Due to safety concerns, the bridge/railroad trestle used to cross the Tiger Creek drainage has been closed indefinitely. Through hiking the entire distance of the park is no longer possible.
  • Parking area/trailhead is open from sunrise to sunset
  • A Backcountry Campsite Permit is required to camp in this park. Contact FWP headquarters in Great Falls to obtain a permit.
  • Non-resident fee = $8
Read More


Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly


Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Stay Nearby

Meagher County, Montana

Monument Peak Lookout

Overview Monument Peak Lookout offers guests an impressive yet rustic room with a view. The lookout, built in 1936 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, is perched atop Monument Peak, boasting specta...

Great Falls, Montana

Great Falls Koa

Stanford, Montana

Dry Wolf Cabin

Overview Dry Wolf Cabin is located about 20 miles southwest of Stanford, Montana, in the Little Belt Mountains. The rustic cabin is conveniently located along Dry Wolf Creek, providing a pleasant s...

White Sulphur Springs, Montana

Calf Creek Cabin

Overview Calf Creek Cabin sits in the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. The cabin offers a prime location for fishing, hiking and horseback riding and OHVing. Running water is not included,...

Nearby Adventures

  • Ski or Snowboard at Showdown Resort

    An easy day trip from Helena, Great Falls, and Bozeman, Showdown Resort is a great place to bring the family for a fun day crushing turns on the mountain. With 1400 vertical feet to ski down, this mountain may be small compared to other well-known...

  • Hike or Bike the South Shore River's Edge Trail

    The South Shore River's Edge Trail runs along the Missouri River. The trail is rated as moderate and is perfect for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking. It's an out-and-back, so you can go as far as you like. To start, park at the South Sho...

    10 miles 975 ft gain

  • Hike Sulphur Springs Trail

    You can find the Sulphur Springs trailhead near the Morony Dam and Reservoir. There's a graveled parking lot, an outhouse and an informative story board to quell your curiosity. For your convenience, I'll give you a Reader's Digest version of the ...

    3.32 miles 278 ft gain

  • North Shore Rivers Edge Trail East

    The North Shore Rivers Edge Trail East is a moderate trail that has been created mostly by the local biking associations. The trail follows the bluffs on the edge of the river with plenty of twists and turns to keep it interesting.  To access the ...

    6.9 miles 700 ft gain