Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
643.00 ft (195.99 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
1.20 mi (1.93 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Great views. Quick hike. Exercise.

Cons

Crowded. Steep grades.

Trailhead Elevation

3,238.00 ft (986.94 m)

Highest point

3,881.00 ft (1,182.93 m)

Features

Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Wildflowers
Historically significant

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Missoula + Bitterroot Mountains, Montana
Missoula + Bitterroot Mountains, Montana

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