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.