Rattlesnake Trail

EASY 57 reviews

Rattlesnake Trail is a 34 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Missoula, Montana that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
34.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2791 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

camping

cross country skiing

hiking

horseback riding

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

rocky

Close to Missoula, this trail is popular for day hiking, backpacking, and mountain biking. The trail was an old logging road so it is wide, has a relatively gentle grade for the first 9 miles, and roughly parallels Rattlesnake Creek. From the main trail, there are many side trails available. The main trail winds through open ground, dry forested areas, and progresses into western larch and Engelmann spruce farther up the drainage. Beaver dams can often be seen in Rattlesnake Creek about 5 miles up from trailhead. This trail connects to many other trails such as the "Wallman Trail" (see map) and could be made into loops. (from Forest Service website)

snowshoeing
21 days ago

Nice trail for winter fun like snowshoeing, cross country skiing or fat tire biking. Quite crowded, at least over the holidays, but everyone seems pretty happy to be out in the magical snowy wonderland. Wide trail, fairly easy and mild. Gorgeous views, and you follow the creek off and on along the way. Only did a few miles today, but excited to go back for more!

2 months ago

Easy, great for mountain biking.

3 months ago

Great trail for walking your dog or mountain biking. Many different options available.

mountain biking
6 months ago

Road our bikes to Franklin Bridge last Friday. First Mtn bike ride for my girls and they did great. Wildflowers beautiful, White Tail and Mule Deer and our second run-in with a year old Blond black bear just off the trail. Other hikers, walkers and cyclists were courteous. The creek is still pumping!

7 months ago

Walked the trailhead to the Pilcher Creek crossing on Friday, June 16, 2017. Easy walk, light drizzle. Beautiful wildflowers, two black bears near the trail. Large Elk tracks and droppings and white tail and mule deer near the trail.

hiking
Monday, July 11, 2016

My puppy loved it!

hiking
Sunday, July 03, 2016

Very easy hike

hiking
Sunday, July 03, 2016

Excellent easy-level hike; mild elevation change; gorgeous wooded scenery; good for hiking, trail running, mountain biking

Saturday, June 18, 2016

My favorite trail since it can be short or long and my dog loves it. my favorite view is up this trail!

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Nice easy hike, great scenery!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Easy and regular weekend hike with my dog. Very friendly hikers, cyclists and joggers. Wonderful, relaxing spot that is just on the edge of town. Lots of black bears, so keep an eye out. I have seen several hiking in Rattlesnake Wilderness Area, the most curious of them have been three cubs who seemed to try to "play" with my dog. I have heard there are a lot of mountain lions in this area, but I haven't seen one yet. Good day hike if you don't have time for a drive outside of town.

hiking
Tuesday, October 14, 2014

First time, hiked 3 in - 3 out. Stayed on main trail.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Great for small kiddos, strollers, dogs.

hiking
Monday, August 25, 2014

Great hike for hyper active pups, especially if you follow the water. First part of the trail requires dogs to be on a leash but afterwards it's not required.

hiking
Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The possibilities beginning at the trailhead seem endless when you're looking for a day hike just outside of town. There is a lot of traffic, especially on the weekends, but that thins out the further you go. Take your dog, bike, picnic basket, etc. This is a great spot for everyone to experience.

hiking
Friday, June 20, 2014

I've not completed the whole trail but this is a nice trail to take an afternoon stroll. Listening to the creek rushing by and lovely spring afternoons make this an easy trail for a beginner to really enjoy the hiking experience. This is a busy trail with all kinds of traffic.

mountain biking
Friday, June 21, 2013

It's a good ride with lots of senic views. Just north of Beeskove creek is a large meadow. If you walk out toward the center & look to the north you can see observation tower of Mineral Peak. This area appears to have been cleared of stones in the past for a homestead and farm/garden. Noted piles & rows of stones. & shallow trenches.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Main part of FR 99 is easily accessed and is 8 miles long (to Franklin Bridge). FR 99 continues on past Franklin Bridge and has several exceptional scenic view points. The trail is good for hiking, running, and biking. For biking the trail is rocky in parts. Water is easily accessible up to Franklin Bridge.

hiking
Monday, January 07, 2013

Awesome seclusion peeling off of main trail. Wildflowers, scenic views, and bear with cubs. Main trail easy hiking, feeders can be a steep climb.

mountain biking
Thursday, May 17, 2012

the bigger mountains are alot of fun just moved here from nc

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