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Looking back towards Mount Sentinel and the Missoula M

10 Superb Half-Day Hikes in Missoula

Explore the natural world surrounding Montana's second largest city

Hiking Easy, Moderate, Difficult

Looking back towards Mount Sentinel and the Missoula M
Looking back towards Mount Sentinel and the Missoula M Photo: Charlie Boscoe


The name "Montana" conjures up images of cowboys riding horses beneath vast skies, with wild scenery stretching off into the distance. It's a place which evokes a feeling of adventure and wilderness, and it's for good reason that Montana is said to be "High, wide and handsome".

However, although the state's reputation for wilderness is well-earned, there are also some extraordinary, easy adventures to be had there. In this guidebook, you'll find ten such routes centred around the state's second largest city, Missoula. Montana might be all about the big sky and wilderness, but Missoula is a buzzing little city with a vibrant cultural scene and a slightly leftfield feel to it. Suffice it to say that if you like quirky places, you'll enjoy Missoula.

One of the many great things about Missoula is that it's surrounded by mountains, rivers and forests, making it a great base from which to explore some of Montana's more accessible wilderness. We've listed no fewer than ten great hikes in here, ranging from short, leisurely strolls to multi-hour hikes in the hills above town. All of the hikes in here are a maximum of a few hours long so you could do any of them after work on a summer's evening, or before breakfast at the weekend.

Of all the hikes described in here, only the loop around the Missoula waterfront is an urban hike - all of the others quickly take you from city life to peaceful natural spots in a matter of minutes, and all offer the views and big sky for which this part of the world is so famous. Speaking of famous, this list includes hikes to two of Missoula's best known landmarks - the L and M which are on hillsides just above the city. If you're wondering what on Earth two big letters are doing on a hillside, read the relevant descriptions for the explanations!

So, enjoy exploring one of western America's coolest towns and the fabulous natural wonders surrounding it!

Routes included

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