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Best Hikes Near Missoula
by Josh Mahan (Falcon Guides)
The Bitterroot River winds along the base of picturesque McCauley Butte on the edge of the Blue Mountain Recreation Area. The Maclay Flat Nature Trail leads out to the river and traces its bank. Big cottonwoods lay down shade at swimming holes. Scattered benches offer a respite where you can enjoy the murmur of the river away from the hum of the road. Large meadows offer a view of the surrounding hills. Birders can see golden eagles, hawks, and falcons in the open grasslands. A marshy area shelters a variety of songbirds. Bald eagles, ospreys, and kingfishers patrol the river bottom.
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