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Rattlesnake - Sawmill Gulch Loop Trail

MODERATE 59 reviews

Rattlesnake - Sawmill Gulch Loop Trail is a 8.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Missoula, Montana that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, horses, and mountain biking and is best used from April until November. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 8.9 miles Elevation Gain: 1,377 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

running

forest

wild flowers

no dogs

A couple things to note: trail is actually a combination of trails and there is a creek you will have to cross at separation of Spring Gulch trail (you go right from mail trail, map is accurate) and your feet may get submerged. Also, as this is not a heavily trafficked trail, it's worth noting that there is cell phone service nearly the entire hike and you should carry bear spray, just in case. Highly recommend this trail for hiking and experienced trailrunners, just watch out for bikes and do not wear headphones or you may get run over.

Awesome trail. Took my brother and I 3 hours to complete the loop at about a 19:30 mile pace. Only downside to this trail is the lack of views. Still a great hike and not too difficult.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful trail! Heavily forested and wildflowers in early June. The perfect combination of sun and shade. As other reviewers have recommended, I would rate as moderate, not hard. Although the map looks as if there are heavy switchbacks, these are not true switchbacks. Trail is very well-maintained. Although I hiked, the only other people I saw were bikers and those on horse (only at start of hike before trail separated). A couple things to note: trail is actually a combination of trails and there is a creek I had to cross at separation of Spring Gulch trail (you go right from main trail, map is accurate) and my feet did get submerged. I suspect it will not be an issue during summer. Also, as this is not a heavily trafficked trail, it's worth noting that I had cell phone service nearly the entire hike and I did carry bear spray, just in case. Highly recommend this trail for hiking and experienced trailrunners, just watch out for bikes and do not wear headphones or you may get run over.

mountain biking
muddy
6 months ago

1st ride up the rattlesnake this season. Exciting but sore legs

Saturday, July 28, 2018

This trail is not near Sawmills Gultch. It is part of the Wallman trail.

hiking
Friday, April 27, 2018

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!

hiking
Monday, April 16, 2018

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

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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

Monday, September 18, 2017

This was a great workout! Lots of mountain bikers.

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

Amazing

hiking
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!! Conclusion 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

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