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Best trails in Missoula

3,297 Reviews
Looking for a great trail near Missoula, Montana? AllTrails has 47 great hiking trails, trail running trails, mountain biking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. If you're looking for the best trails around Frenchtown Pond State Park or Council Grove State Park, we've got you covered. You'll also find some great local park options, like K Williams Natural Trail Area or Pattee Canyon Picnic Area. Ready for some activity? There are 27 moderate trails in Missoula ranging from 1.2 to 11.4 miles and from 3,215 to 7,536 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
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Map of trails in Missoula
Top trails (47)
#1 - The "M" Trail
K Williams Natural Trail Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(349)
Length: 1.2 mi • Est. 55 m
#2 - Mount Sentinel via Hellgate Ridgeline
K Williams Natural Trail Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(233)
Length: 3.1 mi • Est. 2 h 32 m
The "M" on the west face of Mount Sentinel has been a Missoula landmark since 1908, when Forestry Club members forged a zigzag trail up the mountain and students carried up stones to shape the symbol of the University of Montana. A hike to the "M" is a favorite Missoula outing for people of all ages. After just a few minutes on the trail, you begin to get a birds'-eye view of the University of Montana. As you gain elevation, the view expands to include all of Missoula, the valley, the Clark Fork River and distant mountains. While the trail is less than a mile long, the hike can be quite strenuous, depending on how quickly you cover this distance. You'll climb a steep, zigzag path with 11 switchbacks and gain 620 feet in elevation. Many local athletes and fitness buffs run the "M" trail as a regular part of their regimen. Most people make the "M" their final destination, but you can continue to climb for about another mile on one of two routes to the top of Mount Sentinel. The view from the top of the mountain is even more exquisite. To the north, across Hellgate Canyon, you'll see Mount Jumbo and the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and Wilderness. Look for the water lines etched into the slopes of Mount Jumbo by the waters of Glacial Lake Missoula. To the south, you can see the Bitterroot Mountains. From the top of Sentinel, you can retrace your steps to the base of the mountain or follow Crazy Canyon Trail into Pattee Canyon. Hikers and equestrians can also follow the Hellgate Canyon Trail linking Crazy Canyon Trail with the Kim Williams Trail.Show more
#3 - Rattlesnake Trail
Rattlesnake National Recreation Site
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(177)
Length: 33.9 mi • Est. Multi-day
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)Show more
#4 - Blue Mountain Lookout Deadman Ridge Trail
Lolo National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(202)
Length: 4.8 mi • Est. 1 h 55 m
#5 - Waterworks Hill
Missoula, Montana
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(203)
Length: 3.5 mi • Est. 1 h 53 m
#6 - Maclay Flat Nature Trail
Lolo National Forest
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(162)
Length: 1.7 mi • Est. 41 m
For an easy outing beyond the Missoula city limits, try the trail at Maclay Flat. The path is wide, level and surfaced to accommodate wheelchairs. It takes you along the Bitterroot River and through adjacent meadows, with some great views of mountains around Missoula. (missoulian.com website)Show more
#7 - Mount Jumbo Trail
Missoula, Montana
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(111)
Length: 6 mi • Est. 3 h 57 m
#8 - Barmeyer Trail
Missoula, Montana
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(168)
Length: 3.6 mi • Est. 2 h 3 m
#9 - Sam Braxton National Recreation Trail
Pattee Canyon Picnic Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(124)
Length: 2.9 mi • Est. 1 h 36 m
#10 - Spring Gulch, Wallman Trail, and Rattlesnake Trail Loop
Rattlesnake National Recreation Site
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(96)
Length: 8.9 mi • Est. 4 h 31 m
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. Show more
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