May 29, 2020 – Bozeman, MT – On June 1, the Upper Hyalite road, above the dam and reservoir will be opening for summer season use. Users traveling to the upper stretches of Hyalite should use caution, expect narrow detours and slower, bumpier conditions related to the construction work; with expectations for 20-30 min delays possible throughout the summer as road constructions continues. Road construction will improve overall public safety and user experience, while also decreasing sedimentation into Bozeman’s municipal water supply and maintenance needs over all four seasons. Construction includes road reconstruction, alignment, and potential paving from the dam at Hyalite Reservoir continuing 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.
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.”
The upper stretches of Hyalite Road will open on June 1, with traffic lights, detours and delays of 20-30 minutes expected throughout the summer. All recreation activities should be planned with these delays in mind. Loops into the construction zone including wild horse, hood creek trail and west shore looping back on the road are advised as out and back options during this timeframe, avoiding construction congestion. Users should expect late winter/early spring conditions in the higher elevations, including Grotto Falls or Palisade Falls/East Fork Hyalite. Snow is coming off quickly, but keep in mind weather can change rapidly in the mountains and be prepared. As the summer season 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.