Madison Canyon Landslide

March 28, 2001


Provided by: Rod Benson, Helena High School Science Dept.
Summary authors & editor: Rod Benson

This photo shows the Madison Canyon Landslide which happened as a result of a magnitude 7.5 earthquake near Yellowstone Park at 11:37 pm on August 17, 1959. Tragically, a campground located on the Madison River was buried by the landslide, killing 26 people. Only seven bodies were found . . . The rest are presumed to be buried beneath the landslide. This photo was taken the day after the quake for the Deseret News (Salt Lake City).

The fallen mountain also blocked Highway 287 and dammed the river, causing the formation of Earthquake Lake. Today a visitor center sits atop the landslide, and in places, the tops of dead trees can still be seen poking through the surface of the lake.

Related Links: