Explore the most popular forest trails near Missoula with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

fun little walk, close to home. excellent for 14 yr old dog, 11 yr old son and myself.

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.

What a beautiful hike! Be careful to pay attention to where to get back on the trail head if you traverse up the rocks to the summit. We had a few panic moments trying to find the trail head out after we came down off that gorgeous peak. There were not a lot of cairin's built ... maybe build a few on your way up through the rocks and closer to the trail head especially.

backpacking
25 days ago

First overnight trip for my 11 year old. Choose this because of the easy grade, although the 3.5 miles to be able to camp was a bit far for his first time I think. Had a nice time though, and the creek water felt great on the way back under hot sun. Didn’t see any critters.

Always enjoy the Rattlesnake.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful easy hiking trail along the river.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice scenery but it needs more shade

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

Awesome.

hiking
1 month 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.

trail running
1 month ago

***July 14th, just late in posting. Awesome hike & run! I felt the trek through the first maybe 4-5 miles through the valley was a little stuffy. After that though in gaining elevation the views and terrain started opening up. The views of the lakes towards the top were incredible! And the scramble to the summit was pretty crazy but well worth it.

Went 2 weeks ago before haze from wildfire smoke moved in and the views were fantastic. The getting there part and the hike itself left a little to be desired. The road is very rough on the way up so be aware of that. The hike through the forest was pleasant if you like wooded hikes and was pretty easy. There were a TON of mosquitoes though. The scramble to the peak is definitely a scramble and will take a decent amount of time to complete. You’re scrambling over large boulders, that as per usual scrambling, aren’t always well-seated or stable. It’s certainly doable though. However, be ware of the tufted bits of grass here and there amongst the boulders. I stepped on one that wasn’t totally rooted in, lost my balance and fell thigh-first into the knife edge of one of the boulders, ripped my pants, gashed and severely bruised my thigh and tore up the palm of my hand. Despite all the blood and gore, I refused to NOT go to the top, and it really was a beautiful view from up there. Just be very careful on the rocks and grass tufts. The little pikas that came out on our way down were especially wonderful. And the mountain bluebirds and Clark’s nutcrackers were gorgeous. Nice hike overall, just knocked it down a couple stars due to the road in and the long scramble at the top. (Also, total clocked distance for me was 7.6 miles.)

road biking
1 month ago

Watch for off leash dogs! while biking Saturday 7/28 i was knocked off my bike by a dog off leash (ran into my front wheel). Stitches and an afternoon in the clinic, I'll call 911 next time.

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.

Nice view of the river with a few outlets to swim. We found the tiny waterfall at the beginning of our hike which was why we picked this trail and was a little disappointed. But the swim made it all worth the walk.

hiking
1 month 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!

Nice hike this morning, mostly uphill until we decided to turn back

Good for running and biking as the path is wide and flat gravel. However I find it overly populated, lots of litter and human activity, and somewhat of a boring trail. The nice thing is it's so close to town. Otherwise there are better local trails IMO.

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.

Great hike with well defined wide trail which made it easy to visit with my hiking buddy. Great tree canopy so you could do this hike anytime of day.

mountain biking
1 month ago

A fantastic trail for beginner to intermediate mountain bikers. Wide trails, steady incline, plenty of shade and plenty of places to relax and enjoy the scenery. Very dog friendly as well if you want to ride with your pups. Both trail runs and cyclists would appreciate.

mountain biking
1 month ago

Black bears on trail

hiking
2 months ago

The trail (going counter-clockwise) was very quiet and peaceful. Even though it was 90 degrees when we started out, it was comfortable in the shade. There are basically no trail markings so it is easy to stray. Although there were a few miles of trail through a pretty but not particularly interesting forest, much of the trail is scenic and varied. A vigorous hike but I would have rated it as moderate. Only the length might have someone thinking it is hard. The climb covers about four and a half miles but is very steady - maybe a 7 degree slope - and on even track.

Beautiful, easy trail. Great for dogs! If you come to a confusing intersection with other trails, just follow the signs for trail 9.0 and look for the little recreation area logo on the tree.

If you go right along the Sam Braxton turn uphill on the 9.0 trail and then follow the GPS when you get to the loop. Really nice hike. Great vistas.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful Saturday, warm temps & the Lupine was spectacular & fragrant!

Kmmmkmun

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!

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