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The summit lookout tower

Spectacular Summit Hikes Near Missoula

Climb 5 of Montana's most accessible peaks, all within a 20 minute drive of Missoula city centre!

Hiking Difficult

The summit lookout tower
The summit lookout tower Photo: Charlie Boscoe


One of the many great things about Missoula is that it's remarkably close to countless wild-feeling peaks, none of which are glaciated or technical. The proximity of wilderness to town is a feature of many places in the American West, but having a city as cool as Missoula so close to mountains like these is truly special.

Missoula's history dates back thousands of years, but Europeans only started to arrive there in the late 1850s, and the lumber industry developed the town over the next half a century. Nowadays, the University of Montana, Missoula's school system and its hospital are the main employers (and the lumber industry has all but disappeared), yet Missoula retains the feeling of a frontier town, sitting at the confluence of several valleys and with wilderness surrounding it. Modern Missoula is fun, with a distinctly independent and alternative feel, and the mountains are close at hand when you want to escape the city.

You could spend a lifetime exploring the peaks around Missoula, but in this guidebook, we'll start your journey with five highly recommended hikes. There are easier hikes around Missoula than those listed here, so this is a guidebook for those seeking a full day out in the wilds. Even the shortest hike in here - the trip up Mount Sentinel - is a challenge; don't be fooled by the relatively small distance - it's a toughie!

The longest hike in here is the trip up Mount Stuart - a remote peak in the heart of the epic Rattlesnake Wilderness Area, but there are also more manageable options like the trip (almost!) to the summit of Mount Dean Stone, and the lovely stroll up Blue Mountain. Elsewhere, the short trip up Mount Jumbo is one of the most accessible and recommended hikes above Missoula and is an excellent use of a few hours.

A funky city, tons of wilderness, and a reliable climate - what's not to like?!?!

Routes included

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