April 23, 2020 – Bozeman, MT – Starting later this week, with the annual spring break-up closure still in effect, Hyalite Canyon Road will start to see surveying, maintenance and construction begin as part of a project to improve overall public safety, user experience, and watershed health. Reconstruction, alignment and potential paving work will start at the unpaved portion from the dam at Hyalite Reservoir and continue to the “Y” where the road splits and leads to Grotto Falls Trailhead or Palisade Falls/East Fork Hyalite. The project which started last October is taking place in one of the state’s most popular National Forest recreation corridors and will directly decrease runoff and sedimentation into Bozeman’s municipal water supply. The project will also provide for an increase in public safety, enhance user experiences and maintenance needs throughout all seasons.
Surveys over recent years from Friends of Hyalite, a non-profit organization, partnering with the Forest Service and dedicated to the stewardship and support of Hyalite Canyon, estimates on average approximately 50,000 people/month visit Hyalite during the summer and approximately 20,000 people/month during the winter, with those numbers only expected to increase.
“This project recognizes the use and importance of Hyalite to Montana as a top recreation area,” said Corey Lewellen, Bozeman District Ranger. “First and foremost, we want to provide for public safety which for this project includes widening portions of the road, adding guardrails and turnouts and paving the road to decrease maintenance demands over the long-run. The project also decreases the amount of sedimentation entering our municipal watershed and will benefit a variety of recreational uses over all seasons.”
Hyalite Road will remain closed seasonally until May 15, but non-motorized users should expect maintenance vehicles and surveying crews along the road and use caution. On May 16, the road will reopen to the dam only, the road above the dam will remain closed until June 1 as road widening and construction take place. On June 1 the road above the dam is projected to open, but with traffic lights, detours and delays of up to 20 minutes expected throughout the summer. Please plan all recreation activities accordingly. As spring and summer progresses, updates will occur regularly on the Custer Gallatin National Forest’s facebook page, on partner pages and accompanying releases when needed. For additional information please contact the Bozeman Ranger District at 406-522-2520.