Explore the most popular nature trips trails in K Williams Natural Trail Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

trail running
15 days ago

We live a couple minutes from this trail and really love it, although parking is limited. If you get there early or keep an eye out for when it’s not so busy, parking is fine.

In the hotter months the trees make for a beautiful, cool, shady start, but eventually you are back in the sun enjoying the valley views and wildflowers,and the view from the Overlook is great too! They are planning to link it up with a new trail from Spanish Peaks road in 2019.

There are no restrooms but dogs are allowed (leashes for the first few hundred yards until you cross a private road). In winter in can be quite slippery coming back down the start of the trail head, but micro spikes or yak tracks help, just take your time. I wouldn’t say it’s that easy, it definitely gets the blood pumping and is a nice run you can do in 45 minutes, with moments to stop and take in the views as you go.

Started up the M trail and continued to the summit via Hellgate Ridge. Fairly easy hike with some steep portions and beautiful views of downtown. Took me about 2.5 hours round trip as I'm not in the greatest shape. You'll definitely need spikes as all of the M is ice, hellgate ridge was a mix of blown snow and ice didn't find anything deeper than 6 inches. Overall a very nice hike.

Little icy, but doable!

2 months ago

Beautiful place to hike at sunset!

A good start for those who are looking to get into hiking or backpacking. Its a challenge that's worth it

beautiful hike. been there three times and it seems I look at it differently each time. view from the overlook is awesome

Challenging with reward!

4 months ago

I logged 3.0 miles (not 3.6). Very limited parking. No restroom facilities at trailhead. Dogs permissible on leash (until signage indicates leash may be removed partway up the trail); poop bags and trash bin available at trailhead. Very easy hike with a rewarding view across the valley from the scenic outlook point.

Parking at Albertsons and crossing the foot bridge makes parking easy and free for this hike. Be prepared for lots of uphill - mostly gradual with some steep. I like this route up Sentinel due to the tree cover. Easy to make a loop by heading down via the M trail.

Great hike roughly 2hr round trip with slow steady speed;) Go early before sun hits mountain!

5 months ago

High diversity of landscaping, with view on the city and paths in the forest. The hike is about 17k and accessible to all. Need to use alltrails.com to find the right paths...

Another beautiful summer day and cool enough to hike this beast! Parked near Griz Gateway no issues because it's Sunday. Dappled sunlight all the way up. Had my dog Otis jump in the river right before the hike & maybe I should've too! But it's crisp today for mid summer, in the 70s right now, high of 81. This is usually a perfect fall hike but the tree cover is keeping us cool enough today. Would not recommend this hike if it was weather in the 90's unless you leave real early. My favorite hike around Missoula by far! It's less baron than the other hikes and less trafficked. You have to walk quite a ways down Kim Williams trail and turn right at the white metal sign that says day use only. The trail is definitely at least moderate but not painstakingly long, it'll take you right up over Mount Sentinel where there's a variety of routes back down.

Parked at the M trail parking lot but walked around to the Kim Williams Trail and down it until it met up with the Hellgate Canyon trail. Took that up the backside of Sentinel, which provided much-appreciated shade, sporadic thimbleberries, and occasional views of the river and East Missoula. Hiked to the top of Sentinel and then back down the front side and down the M trail for a total of about 5.8 miles. Really enjoyable. Hazy views though due to smoke in the sky from nearby wildfires (which still didn’t dampen my enjoyment of it). All in all, a great hike.

5 months ago

Beautiful view from the top of Mount Sentential! We started at the M Hike and continued to the top. It was quite strenuous for moderately in shape people. Once you got passed the M it was very quiet. Took about 3 hours to do the about 4.5 mile hike. The parking lot has $1.50 per hour so plan accordingly, 3 hours was perfect with about 20 minutes to spare (and we took a handful of breaks on the trail). Well worth it!

30-40 minutes up to the M. 1.5 to the top. After the first tree line above the M a long rather banal hike around to the other side. Very quiet and great views at the top, however. Only saw two other people on a Saturday near the top.

Amazing views! Wildflowers were in bloom and provides an excellent splash of color to the already green landscape. The trail provided a great hike on this Memorial Day and has left a lasting impression of the beauty that Missoula has in its vast surroundings. I recommend this trail to anyone that wants a taste of country hiking close to town. Awesome!

I created a nice loop about 4.5 miles heading out along the river on Kim Williams Nature Trail, then turn up Hellgate Canyon Trail to the summit of Mount Sentinel, then down the face of Mount Sentinel on the M trail. This gives you a much more interesting ascent, and more gradual though still hard work, through beautiful forest with occasional views of the river. Still some snow on the trail in patches but I was fine in sneakers. We didn’t meet anyone else on the mountain coming up that way on a Saturday morning. Lovely to have the trail to ourselves. Coming down the M was busy.

Although this is not a very long trail I found it to be a pretty intense climb. It had beautiful views and I was rewarded with paragliders when I reached the summit. Would definitely go again!

Nice little hike to the top, not too difficult, after the "m" it gets quiet and offers wonderful views of the ancient lake bed now known as missoula...

Nice little hike to the top, not too difficult, after the "m" it gets quiet and offers wonderful views of the ancient lake bed now known as missoula...

Nice little hike to the top, not too difficult, after the "m" it gets quiet and offers wonderful views of the ancient lake bed now known as missoula...

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Hiked the M in late-April at the recommendation of a local. Nice little introduction to Missoula.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Decent enough hike, you can make it as long or short as you want. Trail sections off at many points and even has a trail going to the top of Mt Sentinel.

Beautiful trail! Very uphill but worth the walk. Well maintained and suprisingly quiet for the amount of traffic. the entrance being on campus makes the entrance and parking situation very easy.

A lot of fun, easy short hike to see a Missoula landmark. Definitely worth doing, plus a great view of Missoula once you reach the top.

Beautiful views!

You owe it to yourself to do the M if you are here. Great view of the Valley and a bucket list kind of hike.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Pretty fun and easy hike. We were up to the M in about 1/2 hr and had hiked all the way up to the Top of Sentinel in about 1 hr and 10 min. Great morning hike to get the blood flowing pretty much a straight up incline but a pretty view of the valley below.

A great workout!

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