Vigilante National Recreation Trail is a 10 mile out and back trail located near Townsend, Montana that offers the chance to see wildlife. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking.
Out and back with great views of Helena and the hanging valley.
The Hanging Valley trail weeds out the weak right from the start with a very steep first mile. What makes this hike strenuous is the distance combined with a gross elevation gain of 3700 feet. Fortunately, that 3700 is broken up. First you will climb up 2600 feet in about 4-1/2 miles, then drop down to the beautiful Hanging Valley ledge. The climb back up is what adds up to the gross number.
This trail is mostly wooded, but there are several spectacular points where you can see over trees into the valley. The trail is well maintained, but be advised a summer morning hike will result in dew from low plants soaking your pants and then into your boots. It would be wise to carry spare socks.
My experience was that this hike actually added up to 13.82 miles vs the published 12.