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Trail Well Traveled – 5/5

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 one lucky listener some cool goodies to help them embark on their journey!

Crazy Canyon Trail

One of the most popular trail systems in Missoula, Crazy Canyon Trail is close, accessible and suitable for both two-legged and four-leggeds of all ages!

Roundtrip: 3-3.5 miles (varies)

Directions: Head up Pattee Canyon Drive in the southeast corner of town, and about 3.5 miles up you’ll see a parking lot – and the trailhead – to the left. It’s very clearly marked, so you should have no trouble finding it if you’re paying attention.

What to expect: You’ve got your choice of three trails at the start, but all three end up at the same spot within a very short distance – and then, after merging, they each head up the side of Mount Sentinel.

At 3 miles, another choice: Continue another half-mile up to the very top of Mt. Sentinel, head up University Mountain (very steep, with no switchbacks, but plush with beautiful wildflowers), or head down the back side of the mountain down to the Kim Williams Trail and the Clark Fork River.

Actually, there’s a fourth: You can turn around and head back to the parking lot if you so desire.

If you are having a tough time deciding, we recommend journeying to the very top of the mountain. It’s perhaps the best view of Missoula you’ll ever find without the assistance of an airplane, and if you’ve coordinated a little bit you can head down the face of the mountain to the ‘M’ and on down to the University of Montana campus.


Tip: On rare occasions, you may see a truck on the trail. More than likely, these are hang gliders with special use permits that allow them to launch from the top of the mountain. They try to be courteous and appreciate smiles and waves from hikers instead of scowls; they’re not breaking the rules. And if you’re lucky, you may get a chance to watch them launch.

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!

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