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Trail Well Traveled – 3/23

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!

Munson Creek #372

Cedar, larch, Douglas fir and ponderosa pine – plus beautiful rock outcrops, streams and spring wildflowers all in just a few short miles!

Roundtrip: 6 miles

Total Elevation Gain: 1,250 feet

Directions: From Missoula, head west on I-90 to the interchange with Highway 93 just a few miles outside town. There, you’ll head north towards Flathead Lake. At the little town of Ravalli you’ll fork to the left onto Highway 200, and then travel along the Flathead River through Dixon, Paradise and Plains. Three-quarters of a mile past mile post 63, turn right into the marked Munson Creek trailhead parking area.

What to expect: From the trailhead, the trail forks immediately. Stay to the left, following the blue plastic diamond markers. A short ways down, the first stream crossing is easily crossed on a two-log foot bridge. The trail climbs steadily, but gradually, for the entire distance – first through a tastefully thinned stand of Doug fir and ponderosa.  Less than a mile down the trail, it crosses a forest road. Stay straight to continue on the trail, which continues to ascend alternately through open forest and shaded old growth cedar.

If you’re looking for a shorter hike – perhaps with kids or on snowshoes – the first cedar grove and second stream crossing (about 1 1/2 – 2 miles in) makes for a great turnaround spot. Otherwise, continue  through two more cedar groves and two more crossings of Munson Creek (no bridges, but easily crossed on logs and rocks without getting your feet wet).  There’s a small campsite in the cedars just beyond the third stream crossing.  Turn around here, about 3 miles in, or climb another 1/2 mile to where the trail crosses onto open slopes with views to the Cherry Creek Roadless Area.

Tip: If you’re feeling adventurous, continue another 3 miles to Big Hole Lookout (total 12 miles roundtrip).

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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