Makoshika State Park
Diane Gabriel Trail

Bridge along the trail

The Diane Gabriel trail is a fun short hike with an amazing amount of scenery.

There is an excavation where a fossilized Hadrosaur was found, a wild climb to a bench perched high on a ridge, and a short walk through a pretty grassland.
This is an enjoyable quick hike, well worth doing as you explore the rest of Makoshika State Park.

From the intersection of W. Towne St. and Merrill Ave. in Makoshika Montana, head southwest on Merrill 0.3 miles (4 blocks) then veer left onto Douglas Ave. and head down through a railroad underpass.
Douglas Ave. will turn into E. Barry St. Follow Barry southeast for 0.3 miles (4 blocks) to S. Taylor Ave.
Turn right on Taylor and head southwest for 0.4 miles (6 blocks) to Snyder St.
Turn left on Snyder St. and follow it 1.3 miles into Makoshika Start Park to the Diane Gabriel trailhead parking lot on your left.
At the entrance to the park, you will find an entrance station where you will need to pay an entrance fee.
Coordinates for the hike: 47.0764910,-104.6951790
Parking / Trailhead amenities
The parking lot is paved and level and has plenty of room. There are picnic shelters and a pit toilet adjacent to the parking lot.
Trail observations
The trail exits directly off the parking lot. After a very short walk, the trail descends steeply to a bridge over a wash, then branches to form a loop. Follow the loop right. The trail will cross some barren badlands, then begin to ascend to a side trail which you can climb to a Hadrosaur fossil excavation and a high bench overlooking the park.
After enjoying the view, descend and resume following the loop back to the bridge, then retrace your steps back to the parking lot.
Trail statistics
The trail is 0.98 miles long. The sum of all the uphill climbs is 59 feet.
Trail waypoints
0.01 miParkingParking Lot
0.02 miTrailheadTrailhead
0.10 miGo rightJunction - go right up the steps
0.16 miStone lined trailStay between the rocks
0.19 miStay leftBranch - stay left
0.33 miJunction - go rightHadrosaur Jct sign - climb to the overlook, then return here
0.39 miSiteCheck out Hadrosaur site, then continue to the bench
0.47 miOverlook benchBench - scenic overlook
0.62 miStreambedCrossing a rocky streambed
0.75 miGrasslandTrail through the grassland
0.76 miBenchBench
0.83 miCutDescending through a cut
0.98 miEnd of trailEnd of trail
Trail map - Diane Gabriel Trail
Altitude chart - Diane Gabriel Trail Parking Trailhead Go right Stay left Junction - go right Site Overlook bench Streambed End of trail
Difficulty: Easy
Difficulty: Moderate
Terrain: Badlands
Terrain: Hilly
Trail surface: Dirt
Trail surface: Grassy
Type: Lollipop
View: Open
View: Overlooks
County: Dawson
State: Montana
Country: United States of America
Wikipedia article - brief but informative
Montana Fish and Wildlife site
Excellent source of information
Montana Office of Tourism twitter page. Good source for specific answers to questions about Montana.
Printable trail map in PDF format (22 Mb download)
Printable trail map in PNG format (3 Mb download)
Waypoints in CSV format
Waypoints in KML format
Instructions on using a trail description page
Instructions on using a trail map printout
Trails in the surrounding area
Trailheads for Montana (No additional trails)
Trailheads for Montana and North Dakota (1 additional trail)
Trailheads for Montana and North Dakota (No additional trails)
Trailheads for Montana and Wyoming (No additional trails)
Trailheads for Montana North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming (No additional trails)