Sluice Boxes State Park
Sluice Boxes State Park was created in 1974 and included significant historic structures and remnants of the abandoned towns of Riceville and Albright that once existed for the purpose of mining limestone in the canyon.
Belt Creek which formed the canyon that is the centerpiece of the park, has long been popular for outdoor recreation. Citizens of nearby Great Falls began visiting the area for fishing, camping, hunting and other activities as early as 1889 when the railroad connecting silver mines in the Barker and Hughesville mining districts to smelters in Great Falls was completed.
Things to do:
The park is now popular with local visitors, history enthusiasts, fishermen, hikers, and others. The rugged landscape creates dramatic scenery as it contrasts distinctly with the rolling hills and rounded mountains of this part of central Montana.
A walk down the old railroad grade trail will bring you to fishing access, floating, swimming and wildlife viewing. Be aware: steep cliffs, rugged terrain and cold, swift water can pose a risk to visitors, so be sure to take caution!
If you’re looking to camp, you’ll need a Backcountry Campsite Permit. You can contact Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks headquarters in Great Falls to do so.
The Barker Mines and the Montana Central Railroad are part of the history of Sluice Boxes State Park.
Carved by Belt Creek as it comes down from the Little Belt Mountains, the large limestone cliffs and steep ledges are the signatures of Belt Creek Canyon.
By September of 1890, the Central Montana Railroad dropped off fisherman at various locations along Belt Creek in what is now Sluice Boxes State Park. When Belt Creek was named a blue ribbon trout stream in the 1920s, the railroad ran special “fishing trains” on Sundays.
This area was once home to prospectors searching for precious metals, miners, muleskinners, smelter men and railroaders building bridges. Today, visitors can find the remnants of mines, cabins and a railroad along the banks of Belt Creek in the park.
Curious what other visitors have had to say about the park?
Open all year
Parking area/ trailhead open sunrise to sunset.
Backcountry open 24/7
38 Evans Riceville Road Belt, MT 59412