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Trail Well Traveled – 3/16

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!

This weekend, Craig gives spring a little tender encouragement with a hike up the Blackfoot. That said, spring is an important time to be bear aware – and this hike  certainly verges on the border grizzly country!

McCabe Creek Trail #1104

A beautiful, shady stroll above McCabe Creek in the southern foothills of the Bob Marshall Wilderness – a little visited area that makes for fantastic hiking three seasons of the year.

Roundtrip: 2.8 miles

Total Elevation Gain: 223 feet

Directions: From Missoula, head east on I-90 to Bonner and then exit onto Highway 200 headed north. After about 45 miles, as you’re approaching the turnoff to Ovando, turn north onto Monture Creek Road.

After 4.4 miles turn right onto Forest Road 5401 and continue another 2.5 miles to the McCabe Creek trailhead parking lot, which is on the south side of the road.

What to expect: The trail begins behind four large boulders at the edge of the trailhead. The first 100 feet is wide along an old roadbed, then signed Trail #1104 becomes narrower as it ducks into the woods above McCabe Creek. Pass through a delightful mix of Doug fir, larch, and even aspen, then enjoy views down into McCabe Creek from occasional scree fields and meadows. The trail is well above the creek for the first 1.4 miles, at which point it approaches the stream near open cliffs.

This is a great destination for a shorter hike, or continue to your hearts’ content with more access to the stream.

Tip: When approaching the trailhead by passenger car, you can actually lop off about .2 miles of walking but continuing past the parking area left onto Forest Road 17536 and to another trailhead that has the capacity for about three or four cars.

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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