Every summer Simon and I decide to go on a little side adventure. Something out of the norm of our normal routine (Yellowstone, Jasper, Waterton, etc). Last year it was Hyder, Alaksa. This year, we decided that a long (extra) drive was not in the cards, so we chose to travel to Ennis, Montana after we were given a tip of where to locate an active fox den.
Following highway 287, we came upon a crazy site 24 miles out from the west entrance of Yellowstone National Park en route to Ennis. A huge lake with a forest of drown trees spattered across the water. It was hauntingly beautiful. And unexpected. We had to stop!
There we discovered a very neat visitor center for Quake Lake. It was like finding a hidden gem (especially for me, the geography teacher). It was a well designed, interactive and an informative stop.
On August 17, 1959 an earthquake in the Madison Canyon River Area, near West Yellowstone, formed Quake Lake. The earthquake created a massive landslide of about 80 million tons of rock, which stopped the flow of the Madison River in the Madison River Canyon gorge. The landslide caused 28 deaths, flooding and about $11 million in damage to the forests and highways in the area.
The lake measures five miles long, one-third of a mile wide, and 190 feet deep. Today many fishermen enjoy fishing by boat or along the shores of the lake. The shoreline is accessible from Highway 287 and a boat ramp can also be found. Cutthroat and brown trout are stocked yearly. Float tube fishing is not the best way to fish because of the many timbers below the surface and the occasional high winds. However, those timbers create great places for the fish to live, making dry fly fishing great.
The Earthquake Lake Visitor Center displays a Memorial Boulder from the earthquake with a plaque of the names of the 28 people who died and the events of the earthquake. The visitor’s center is open 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week from Memorial Day through mid-September.
The visitor’s center phone number:
Summer – 406-682-7620
Winter – 406-823-6961
SEASON AND HOURS OF OPERATION:
Season: Memorial Day – Labor Day
Hours: 7 days a week: 8:30am – 6:00pm
Rocks are so cool! (is that just me?)
Definitely a must stop, and more to come about Ennis, Montana soon on the blog!