Rattlesnake - Sawmill Gulch Loop Trail

HARD 21 reviews

Rattlesnake - Sawmill Gulch Loop Trail is a 8.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Missoula, Montana and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

8.9 miles
1377 feet

dog friendly


mountain biking

trail running

From Missoula, at the junction of Van Buren Street and Interstate 90, take Van Buren north (Rattlesnake Dr.) about four miles north to the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area trailhead. Turn left off Sawmill Gulch Road to get to the ample parking area. Information board with maps and restrooms are available.

1 month ago

I think this should be classified as easy-moderate. Not many views but it is a nice trail of you want to get out in the woods. Still quite a bit of snow at the top, but I was able to trek through it. I took my shoes off at the gulch because it was too wide to cross over and did not want to get soiled! Also some fallen trees and branch cluster build ups sporadically along the trail. Other than that, great trail!

2 months ago

Beautiful loop, my pup had a blast! still quite a bit of snow so be prepared.

9 months ago

So beautiful after rain. Switchbacks were just right for a challenge. Great views. Bring some snacks and water.

9 months ago

This was a great workout! Lots of mountain bikers.

trail running
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Great little loop run or Mtn bike in the Rattlesnake. For the less fit it is a moderate to hard hike. You can get water from spring creek but I'd filter. Dry and hot on the east side in the summer. My favorite time of the year on the west side is November when it 'snows' larch needles.

mountain biking
Monday, April 11, 2016


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Great, somewhat challenging loop to hike up the Rattlesnake. Some decent elevation and plenty of switchbacks. Most the people I encountered on the trail were on mtn bikes.

mountain biking
Sunday, August 08, 2010

My Experience
This was my second ride in the Rattlesnake Trail System, and I had actually climbed the Wallman Trail while doing it in combination with the Stuart Peak Trail. While busting my lungs going up, I knew I had to come back, and do this little beauty going downhill.. One thing is certain, The Wallman Trail is a hell of a lot more fun coming down than it is going up!!

Absolutely fantastic loop, Wallman Trail downhill offers the ultimate buzz, sweet singletrack at its best. A couple of fairly easy but tight switchbacks and enough visibility to switch off your common sense and put your steed to the deed. The fun doesnt just stop when the trail bottoms out, youve still got a sweet mile of level but fast zigzagging through the Rattlesnake pine forest.

I did this trail on a week day, I spent 2 hours on the trail, and did not see anyone untill I reached the last 0.5 miles from the trailhead

Other Info:
Traffic on Trail : Trailhead was busy but I did not see anyone on the trails

Wild Life : none this time

Scenery : scenery is low, but the fun level compensates for that

Other : Free map at trailhead, Trails are VERY busy during weekends

Recommendation : If you are willing to put in an extra hour, I suggest you continue all the way UP to the end of Stuart Peak Trail, then turn around and enjoy about 10 miles of downhill mayhem just dont miss the Wallman trail while bombing down

My Trail Rating : 8.5 / 10

8 months ago

11 months ago

Monday, June 19, 2017

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

recorded 29.1

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Saturday, March 23, 2013