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Trail Well Traveled – 3/30

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!

Filling in for Craig this week, Alanya sends us packing to a rocky summit with big views – a perfect spring day hike for the full family!

Schley Mountain Trail #110

A short hike to a scenic summit with majestic views of the Bitterroots, Missions and the Great Burn region in between.

Roundtrip: 1.25 miles

Total Elevation Gain: 500 feet

Directions: From Missoula, head west on I-90 for about 37 miles to the Fish Creek exit (#66), and then north onto Fish Creek Road. At just under a mile, you’ll bear right at the towards the Big Pine fishing access and campground (look for the brown sign). After another 2.2 miles, the road turns to gravel. Turn left to stay on Fish Creek Road and at 4.2 miles you’ll pass Big Pine, which is the largest Ponderosa pine in the state.

At 9.9 miles stay left, at 15.3 miles curve right (stay on Fish Creek Road) and then at 16.5 miles you’ll turn right onto Forest Road #7734. This road is narrow and twisty, but it’s passable for passenger vehicles. At 28.3 miles you’ll arrive at the Schley Mountain trailhead.

What to expect: The trail starts from the south side of the road, just to the left of the gate/road to the “upper trailhead.”  The forested trail begins following an old road bed, climbing gradually to the summit.  The actual trail just skirts the actual summit, but keep your eyes peeled after about 1/2 mile and you’ll see the obvious “pile of rocks” summit just to the left of the trail.  Stick to the old road bed (rather than the actual trail), which will curve around the south side of the summit, then scramble over rocks for the final short distance to the top.

From the summit, enjoy views of Sleeping Woman and the Reservation Divide, the Missions, Rattlensnake, Petty Creek, East Creek, and Burdette Roadless Areas, Cache Creek, and the still unprotected Great Burn Proposed Wilderness.

Note: There is an outhouse at the trailhead as well as plenty of space to camp!

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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