Missoula hikes in the fall are filled with crisp weather, glorious scenery, and a blaze of color as leaves are changing. Even though the warm days and long nights of summer are over doesn’t mean the outdoor adventures end! After a long year, it’s important to still get outside as much as possible not only for the body but for the mind as well. You don’t even have to get too far away from the city to find a trail. You could just drive around to see the fall foliage, but why not do something even better for yourself by going on a hike in the cool mountain air?!
After an autumn day spent seeing jaw-dropping vistas you’ll want a cozy and comfortable place to land. We are here to welcome you! At Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast you’ll find the tranquility you’ve been looking for. This fall, come stay at our mountainside escape for a romantic getaway. During the cool, autumn nights curl up in one of our private guest rooms overlooking the surrounding mountains, forests, and gardens. Our secluded oasis just happens to be minutes away from everything Missoula has to offer. The best of both worlds! If you are ready for the ultimate place to relax this fall, book your room today!
10 Fun Missoula Hikes
When colors begin to change and you feel that cool air brush your skin you can’t help but feel like the world is anew again. The best way to experience this change in the seasons is by going on a hike! Luckily Missoula is in close proximity to many amazing hiking spots where you can get a birds-eye view of the changing fall foliage or enjoy a leisurely walk along the river, all within the city limits.
With temperatures on the cool side and awe-inspiring mountain vistas, getting out and hiking is the ideal way to spend an autumn day in Missoula. Here are 10 fun Missoula hikes to take this fall!
- Mount Sentinel, also known as “the M”, is the most well known of all Missoula hikes. A landmark since 1908, “the M” was created by the University of Montana Forestry Club members who carried the stones up and formed them in the shape of the school’s symbol, an M. To get to the M its a 3/4 mile walk. While you are up there you might as well hike up one more mile to the top of Mt. Sentinel where you’ll be afforded views of Mount Jumbo, the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area, and the Bitterroot Mountains.
- Mount Jumbo is also known as “the L trail”. You’ll hike 2/3 of a mile up to the “L” on a trail that is less steep and has fewer switchbacks than the “M” trail. The “L” stands for Loyola Sacred Heart High School. Located on the north side of the Clark Fork River, across from Mount Sentinel, this hike offers the chance to see herds of elk and deer who winter on the hillsides here. Making your way up to the summit will turn this hike into a 6 mile, steep hike but you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Missoula, the University, Mount Sentinel, and the river below.
- Waterworks Hill offers expansive views of the Missoula landscape. This 3.5-mile out and back hike is great for all skill levels and is a good choice for a morning or afternoon.
- The Kim Williams Nature Trail, aka the Milwaukee Road Path, follows along the Clark Fork River and connects several parks in downtown Missoula. Of all the Missoula hikes on our list, this one is definitely the most leisurely. Features 9.8 miles of mostly flat trail with a waterfall.
- The Blue Mountain Recreation Area offers 41 miles of trails to explore all near the City of Missoula. Some of the most breathtaking Missoula hikes are in this area along with spectacular birdwatching.
- Sam Braxton National Recreation Trail is a 2.9-mile trail that loops around the southeast portion of the Pattee Canyon Recreation Area. Many Missoula hikes hold much of the city’s history and along this particular trail, you can discover the remnants of early homesteads. Bring lunch as this hike features a picnic area built by the CCCs in the 1930s.
- The 3.6-mile loop of the Barmeyer Trail leads you to an incredible overlook of the city and Mount Sentinel along the way. This easily accessible trail is one of the newer Missoula hikes as it was established in 2018.
- If your Missoula hikes need to include wildlife sightings and great birdwatching, the Maclay Flat Nature Trail is one you should check out! This 1.7-mile loop takes you along the Bitterroot River, through meadows and forests with views of the surrounding mountains.
- One of the more challenging Missoula hikes, Spring Gulch Trail, will get you up and into the peaceful woods on a crisp autumn day. This 8.1-mile hike can actually be a combination hike with the Wallman and Rattlesnake trails.
- An alternative to getting up to Mount Sentinel is the Crazy Canyon Trail. About 7 miles roundtrip this hike up to the summit will reward you with views out across the Clark Fork and Bitterroot valleys. Part of a larger network of trails, the Hellgate Canyon Trail junctions here just below the top of Mount Sentinel.
The Ultimate Missoula Lodging
At the end of the day, after enjoying one or more Missoula hikes you are going to need a place where you can rejuvenate and relax in comfort for your next day’s adventure. Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast will be your mountain retreat this fall! In our quiet and serene location, just far enough away from the hustle and bustle of town, you’ll be able to enjoy a true autumn getaway.
Our cozy guest rooms are set up for your ultimate relaxation. With the atmosphere of a secluded mountain cabin, each room has a king or queen size bed fitted with a warm down comforter for the best rest on those chilly autumn evenings. In your private bath, you’ll be able to refresh your spirits with a jetted tub and shower. Our Plush accommodations are still casual enough so that you’ll feel as if you are at your own mountain retreat. If you want to get away from it all this fall, book your stay today!