Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
1,120.00 ft (341.38 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
3.20 mi (5.15 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.

At 5,461 feet, Mount Helena looms prominently over Montana's state capitol. Hike up to Mount Helena for great views of the city, the Helena Valley, Helena's South Hills, and the Big Belt Mountains to the east.

From the main parking (on the east side), you will soon find that there are many trail combinations through the 620-acre Mount Helena Park to the top. Starting on the 1906 trail is your best bet for a direct and scenic route to Mount Helena's summit. The trail has a gradual climb as it wraps around the north side of the mountain. You'll journey through a ponderosa forest, along the base of limestone cliffs, and past the Devil’s Kitchen, a distinct cave in the cliff side. The Devil’s Kitchen makes a great landmark for finding the nearby rock climbing routes. Before reaching the top, you’ll also pass a trail junction that leads to the Mount Helena Ridge Trail, a long and popular trail in Helena’s South Hills.

The top of Mount Helena is rocky, but it has ample room to take a seat and soak in the wide views of the valley and the Big Belt Mountains. You may also notice a few metal bolts left in the rock at the top. These bolts are all that is left of a shelter that was once at the top of the mountain in the early 1900s. Make the hike a loop by first taking the Hogback Trail then the Prospect Shafts trail back down. There is less tree cover on the eastern slopes of Mount Helena, so enjoy the vistas on your way back!

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Wide views.

Cons

Busy.

Trailhead Elevation

4,340.00 ft (1,322.83 m)

Highest point

5,460.00 ft (1,664.21 m)

Features

Big vistas
Wildflowers
Historically significant
Vault toilet

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

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