Aug. 4 to Aug 7
On Aug. 17, 1959 at 11:37 pm a 7.5 earthquake hit Montana just west of Yellowstone Park. The quake caused the side of the mountain to fall into the Madison River Canyon - creating Earthquake Lake. The canyon was a popular camping location and many people were in the canyon on the night of the quake. A total of 28 people died in the quake and the resulting land slide. The lake has a very eerie feeling with thousands of dead trees protruding from the surface. We thought it would be neat to kayak on the lake among all the trees. We were lucky that the rain from the previous day and evening moved out and we had a perfect day for kayaking.
Got to be careful as there were many trees just below the surface…
After the quake blocked the flow of the Madison River the lake quickly formed. Initially there was no outlet from the lake and the water continued to rise until the Army Corps of Engineers formed a spillway a few weeks after the quake. As the water rose, many cabins originally on the banks of the Madison floated off their foundations and floated around the new lake. When the spillway was built and the water levels lowered, the cabins came to rest on the hills surrounding the lake. They are called the ghost cabins. We found this cabin about 50 feet above the current water level about a mile from our camp site in Beaver Creek Campground.