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The Missoula L

Short and sharp!

Hiking Moderate

3 km
199 m
199 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
986 m
High Point
1.2 km
The Missoula L Map

This is a popular hike to a local landmark, close to Missoula city centre but nicely wild too. If you're looking for a quick nature hut in an hour round trip from downtown Missoula, this is your hike.


The Missoula L commemorates Loyola Sacred Heart Catholic High School, that sits at the bottom of the trail. There are a couple of spots at which to park before starting the hike to the L, but regardless of which one you choose, the trail is super obvious and well marked. All the way up to the L the trail is smooth and easy to hike.

The hike is slightly easier than the trip to the Missoula M but it's still more than enough to get you breathing hard! Keep on grinding and before you know it you'll be looking out over downtown Missoula and its northern suburbs. The L, like the M on the neighbouring hillside, is pretty impressive close up, and is much bigger than it looks from below.

You'll be able to pick out many Missoula landmarks from the L, and taking a bit of time to do so is a recommended use of 5 minutes. Just sitting and admiring the scenery isn't a bad idea either!

This hike would be improved if it was a loop, but sadly it's an out-and-back so about turn and descend by the same route you ascended. If you do want to turn this into a loop then continuing up to the summit of Mount Jumbo (behind the L) is the way to do it.



Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between April and October


  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Family friendly

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area