Hebgen Dam

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Hebgen Dam
The damaged Hebgen Dam in 1959
Hebgen Dam is located in the US
Hebgen Dam
Location of Hebgen Dam in United States
Official name Hebgen Dam
Location Gallatin County, Montana
Coordinates 44°51′49″N 111°20′08″W / 44.86361°N 111.33556°W / 44.86361; -111.33556Coordinates: 44°51′49″N 111°20′08″W / 44.86361°N 111.33556°W / 44.86361; -111.33556
Opening date 1914
Owner(s) NorthWestern Corporation
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Concrete-core, earthen embankment
Impounds Madison River
Height 85 feet (26 m)
Length 721 feet (220 m)
Spillway type Chute, gate-controlled
Creates Hebgen Lake
Total capacity 325,000 acre·ft (0.401 km3)[1]
Catchment area 905 square miles (2,340 km2)
Surface area 21 square miles (54 km2)

The Hebgen Dam is a concrete-core earthen embankment dam on the Madison River in the U.S. state of Montana. The dam is 85 feet tall and 721 feet long. The dam's purpose is to store and regulate water for other downstream reservoirs and hydroelectric power plants.[2] Montana Power Company originally built the dam, PPL Corporation purchased it in 1997 and sold it to NorthWestern Corporation in 2014.


The dam was built in 1914 and created Hebgen Lake. After the 1959 Hebgen Lake earthquake, the dam was damaged but it was fixed several weeks later.[3] On August 30, 2008, two of the dam's four hydraulic gates failed, releasing 3,400 cubic feet (96 m3) per second of water into the Madison River. The normal discharge of the dam is 900 cubic feet (25 m3) per second and the gate failure caused a 1-foot rise in the river.[4]


  1. ^ "HEBGEN LAKE IS 65 MILES AROUND". Montana Standard. 19 August 1959. Retrieved 11 July 2010. 
  2. ^ "Hebgen Lake". PPL Montana. Retrieved 11 July 2010. 
  3. ^ "Hebgen Lake". Montana Official Travel Site. Retrieved 11 July 2010. 
  4. ^ "Dam Failures, Dam Incidents (Near Failures)" (PDF). Association of State Dam Safety Officials. Retrieved 11 July 2010.