Missoula offers excellent access to a number of hiking and biking trails, catering to outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels. Whether you’re a casual or an extreme adventurer, you’re sure to find something that fits your interests.
Most trails are mixed use, so keep an eye out for cyclists, pedestrians, and horses. Remember to follow trail etiquette, pick up after your dog, respect nature, and be prepared with appropriate gear. It’s also advisable to check weather conditions and trail closures before setting out, as Montana’s weather can change quickly.
Mount Sentinel’s “M” Trail
This trail starts on the University of Montana campus and leads to the large “M” overlooking the city. While the ascent may require some effort, the reward is breathtaking panoramic views of Missoula.
Waterworks Hill is a favorite among locals. Located just off Greenough Drive, Waterworks is an easy, scenic in-town hike.
Blue Mountain Recreation Area
Super popular with dogs and their two-legged counterparts, Blue Mountain Recreation Area is an easy two-mile drive southwest of Missoula.
Pattee Canyon Recreation Area
Situated southeast of Missoula, Pattee Canyon offers a range of trails suitable for beginners. The Pattee Canyon Trail is particularly favored, winding through peaceful woodlands and offering glimpses of wildlife.
Rattlesnake National Recreation Area
Located just north of Missoula, this area offers an extensive network of trails catering to various skill levels. The Rattlesnake Main Trail is a popular choice, featuring lush forests, creeks, and the picturesque Rattlesnake Creek.
Downtown Missoula offers convenient access to a variety of walking trails, allowing residents and visitors to enjoy outdoor recreation and explore the natural beauty of the area without venturing too far from The Wren. Here are some walking trails close to downtown Missoula:
Riverfront Trail: The Riverfront Trail extends along both sides of the Clark Fork River. It provides a network of walking paths, with bridges connecting the downtown area to the University of Montana campus and beyond. The trail system offers diverse scenery, including parks, gardens, and riverfront views.
For a walking tour, check out the map from Missoula Parks and Recreation here.
Kim Williams Nature Trail: This scenic paved trail starts near the heart of downtown Missoula and follows the Clark Fork River. It offers a peaceful and leisurely walk, with beautiful views of the river, surrounding mountains, and lush greenery.
Missoula is a haven for cyclists, with trails that allow you to explore the area’s natural beauty while enjoying a ride.
Kim Williams Nature Trail
This paved trail starts near downtown Missoula and meanders along the Clark Fork River. It’s a fantastic option for beginners, providing a serene biking experience amidst picturesque landscapes.
The Rattlesnake National Recreation Area
Located just north of Missoula, The Rattlesnake area features smooth singletrack and is close enough to ride to from downtown.
Blue Mountain Recreation Area
Located a short drive south of Missoula, this area offers a network of mountain biking trails suitable for various skill levels. It’s notable for being a rockier trail system than others in the area.
Bike Skills Parks
Syringa and Bellevue bike parks both feature a beginner’s pump track, which is a continuous loop of hills and berms which allows cyclists to perfect their riding skills. Click here to learn more
Not finding what you’re after? Check out what our friends at Destination Missoula recommend — another great resource for the best of Missoula! Or, check in with your front lobby guides for additional suggestions.