Mount Sentinel

Missoula + Bitterroot Mountains, Montana

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Mount Sentinel


  • Toilets at the parking lot.- Mount Sentinel
  • Benches along the way up to the M.- Mount Sentinel
  • Switchbacks up to the M to start the hike.- Mount Sentinel
  • The trail above the M meets a fire road.- Mount Sentinel
  • Looking down toward Missoula.- Mount Sentinel
  • Glacial Lake Missoula marker.- Mount Sentinel
  • Steep rocky section of the hike.- Mount Sentinel
  • Downtown Missoula.- Mount Sentinel
  • The final push to the summit.- Mount Sentinel
  • Very steep part of the trail.- Mount Sentinel
  • Looking back toward University Mountain.- Mount Sentinel
  • Lolo Peak in the distance.- Mount Sentinel
  • More of the Bitterroot Mountains.- Mount Sentinel
  • View from the summit.- Mount Sentinel
  • The Rattlesnake Mountains.- Mount Sentinel
  • Looking toward East Missoula.- Mount Sentinel
Overview + Weather
Exercise. Views.
Steep. No shade. Crowded.
Missoula + Bitterroot Mountains, MT
Pets allowed: 
Highest point: 
5,158.00 ft (1,572.16 m)
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,958.00 ft (596.80 m)
Year round: 
Parking Pass: 
General Day Use Fee
Permit required: 
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
3.00 mi (4.83 km)
Total elevation gain: 
1,958.00 ft (596.80 m)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
3,200.00 ft (975.36 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

The trail to Mount Sentinel begins on the University of Montana's campus. You will begin winding your way up the switchbacks below the M, a giant white letter situated on the side of Mount Sentinel. There are benches along the way in case you or someone in your group needs to rest. Once you reach the M, continue on the trail for a few more switchbacks until you reach a fire road. From the fire road the trail goes straight up for the next mile. The summit is denoted by a rocky outcrop with 360-degree views.

The view from the peak offers astounding views of the Rattlesnake Mountains, Mount Jumbo, University Mountain, East Missoula, the Missoula Valley, and the Bitterroot Mountains. Along the trail, keep an eye out for deer because they frequent the area. There are bountiful wildflowers in the spring as well. Bring plenty of water; the hike offers zero chance for shade. If you bring your dog, be aware of the temperature and the hazards of exposure in the summer heat.


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Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Nearby Adventures

(8 within a 30 mile radius)

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