Closure issued for Monture Creek Trail #27 due to slide
August 12, 2021
SEELEY LAKE - On Aug. 2, an intense rain shower event occurred in the Monture area, on the Seeley Lake Ranger District just north of Ovando, Montana. The combination of intense rain, very steep slopes, geology and 2017 post-burn conditions resulted in debris flows within the tributaries of Spread, Falls, Bill and Yellowjacket Creeks. Debris flows impacted the Monture Campground, Monture Outfitter and Guide camp and Monture Creek Trail (#27) at Spread and Bill Creeks. No people were injured in the debris flow.
For public safety, the Forest Service is issuing an emergency closure of the Monture Creek Trail #27 from the Falls Creek junction to Limestone Pass. The Limestone Pass Trail has already been closed due to the proximity of the Dry Cabin Fire in a recent closure. For more information on the Limestone Pass closure please visit: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7660/.
Due to this weather event, Monture Creek is extremely muddy/lacking clarity and producing discoloration down into the Blackfoot River. This muddy water is expected to last several days and will begin to clear when the debris flow and channels stabilize. As rain showers develop over the summer months, these discoloration events are expected to reoccur and movement of debris and water within the Rice Ridge burned area is common. The public is reminded to exercise caution when recreating in this area.
Forest Service personnel will be flying over the drainage to survey and assess the extent of the debris flow and its impacts. A closure order will be forthcoming. Until the area is assessed and the trail is cleared, the trail will remain closed for public safety.
For more information please call the Seeley Lake Ranger Station at 406-677-2233 or follow the Lolo National Forest on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lolonationalforest.