Day Hikes around Missoula, Montana
by Robert Stone (Day Hike Books)
© Robert Stone/Day Hike Books. All Rights Reserved.
Really good hike for in town hiking, wonderful view of the city from the top of the trail.
Hiked this trail several times before, the flagship trail for Missoula. Great trail for a morning/evening walk or workout. I hiked it as the sun set over the Bitterroot Mtns to the west and it provided a breathtaking view overlooking the Missoula city lights at dusk. A portion of Mt. Sentinel had burned just a few months prior so it was interesting to see the contrast of grass-covered area and the blackened area.
The Trail to Mount Sentinel''s M is quite the experience. The M is visible on the side of Mount Sentinel from miles around. The M is a cement block in the shape of the letter. Asthetically the area you hike to is not pleasing. The trail is littered in several areas and the M has usually be vandalized. It would also appear to be a place where several local teens go to drink. On the upside, when you are at the top, the view is unmistakably awe inspiring. You arrive to the top via 17 switchbacks. The hike is steep, gaining some 1500 feet on the way up. There are 4 different benches stationed strategically along the switchback trail. The way down proves to be difficult on the knees and legs, though it does go by quickly. All and all the trip is worth taking if you are going to be in the area for a while, but it is not a hike you will want to repeat, there are far better ones in the area...this is just the most obvious one.
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