Quake Lake Visitors Center

With a spectacular view of Earthquake Lake, the Earthquake Lake Visitor Center is located on top of the landslide debris triggered by the 1959 Hebgen Lake Earthquake.

Imagine standing on top of 80 million tons of rock and looking up at the remaining half of a mountain that towers over you.  Quake Lake was formed when a massive landslide blocked the Madison River  river canyon in 20 seconds on that fateful night.  Today, ghost trees poke above the surface of this now-quiet water.  A huge boulder that crested the landslide rests above the visitor center and stands as a memorial to the 28 victims of the quake.

The earthquake is just part of the story and can be relived with short hikes and road markers.  You can also learn about the seismic land beneath our feet and about earthquakes across the world, plate tectonics, and our active earth.

Nearby, enjoy vistas of Hebgen and Quake Lake.  Drop a line in the Madison River at Cabin Creek. Watch for Big Horn Sheep and other wildlife.  Camp, hike or picnic in the nearby state parks.

The Earthquake Lake Visitor Center, Gallatin National Forest on US Hwy 287 between West Yellowstone and Ennis, MT.

What Should I Know?

  • Amenities: Yellowstone Association Bookstore, Restrooms, picnic tables, Interpretive trails
  • Operating Hours:  Open 10 to 6.  7 days a week starting May 24, 2017
  • Fees: None
  • Safety:  high wind frequency
  • Self -guided auto tour of the Earthquake Lake Geologic Area
  • Movie: “A Force of Nature” shown hourly


Quake Lake Visitors Center
Bozeman, MT 59771

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