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Trail Well Traveled – 2/16

Welcome to the Trail Well Traveled!

Each Friday, in partnership with Montana Wilderness Association we will feature a new western Montana trail and then give you some helpful details and tips to get on your way!

South of Livingston in the Paradise runs a trail with spectacular views of the Absaroka Range and a great cliff for hang gliding. In fact, Craig tried this here once: “About scared myself to death, but I did it,” he reports.

Hogback Ridge in Paradise Valley

Scoured by the infamous winds that roar down the valley, this ridge is dry early in spring and late into fall. The trail is especially stunning in April and May when wildflowers abound.

Roundtrip: 5.3 miles

Directions: From Missoula, head east on I-90 to Livingston. There, take Highway 89 south for 8.6 miles. After the “Trail Creek” sign, turn right onto Divide Road.  The trail is on the hillside straight ahead.  To get to the parking lot, turn right just after Music Ranch (at the fork with Old Yellowstone Road) and drive 50 yards to the trailhead.

What to expect:  The owners turned their daily hike into a conservation easement so no one could build upon this ridge and, lucky for hikers, made the trail available for public access.

This rocky trail starts out steeply and keeps rising to multiple false summits.  Sometimes the trail gets faint.  If there is no cairn, the general idea is to stay upon the ridge, although there are a few points where the trail drips down into the trees along the north side of the ridge.

The picnic table at the first major summit marks the launching area for hang gliders.

Tip: The best views are on the return trip.

Learn more about this trail, file your own trip report and photos, or check out some other great hikes at And don’t forget to tune in to the Trail 103.3 each Friday at 9:50 am for the next featured trail and your chance to win!

Big thanks to Rangitsch Bros RV for sponsoring the Trail Well Traveled. Proudly serving Missoula for over 56 years, whatever camper best suits your needs Rangitsch Bros has got it!

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