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Missoula's M Trail

Missoula + Bitterroot Mountains, Montana

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Missoula's M Trail

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  • Lolo Peak from the M.- Missoula's M Trail
  • The University of Montana.- Missoula's M Trail
  • Downtown Missoula.- Missoula's M Trail
  • University of Montana and the Clark Fork River in the distance.- Missoula's M Trail
  • The Rattlesnake Mountains.- Missoula's M Trail
  • The M from below.- Missoula's M Trail
  • One of the switchbacks leading up to the M.- Missoula's M Trail
  • A bench along the way.- Missoula's M Trail
  • The first switchback.- Missoula's M Trail
  • Trail signs at the start of the trail.- Missoula's M Trail
  • History of the M.- Missoula's M Trail
  • The parking lot.- Missoula's M Trail
  • The restrooms.- Missoula's M Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views. Quick hike. Exercise.
Cons: 
Crowded. Steep grades.
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Region:
Missoula + Bitterroot Mountains, MT
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Highest point: 
3,881.00 ft (1,182.93 m)
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
General Day Use Fee
Permit required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
1.20 mi (1.93 km)
Total elevation gain: 
643.00 ft (195.99 m)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
3,238.00 ft (986.94 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

The M Trail is one of Missoula's most popular trails, if not the most popular. Rising a little over 600 feet from the valley floor, the M towers over all of Missoula. The parking lot is located on the University of Montana's campus and requires a small parking fee. There are bathrooms in the parking lot.

The trail is straightforward and crowded. There are 11 switchbacks that wind up the side of Mount Sentinel. There are a couple of benches along the way in case you or someone in your group needs to rest a spell. Dogs are allowed, but they must be kept on a leash. Once you reach the M you will have commanding views of the Missoula Valley including the city, the Rattlesnake Mountains, and the Bitterroot Mountains.

From the M you can continue upward to summit Mount Sentinel or back down the way you came to the parking lot to continue your day.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Adventures

(8 within a 30 mile radius)

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Adventure Community

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77 Adventures Explored
24 Adventures Published

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