The Story Behind the "M"

The "M" is 620 feet above the Missoula Valley floor. It is 125' feet long and 100' feet wide. University of Montana forestry students cut the switchbacks into the side of the hill in the early 1900's. The first "M" was assembled out of whitewashed rocks in 1909, and given a fresh coat of paint by freshmen every year, until 1968, when all those rocks were cemented together with concrete.

Photo by Nelson Kenter, kenterphotography.com

Archive for the ‘Hiking and Backpacking’ Category

Best Entertainment Places in Missoula

There's something available for everyone when you visit Missoula! Here are just a few: ... more

Do You Want To Take Up A New Hobby? Climbing Just Might Be The Thing For You

Hiking has many benefits, which makes it worth trying. Here are some of them that will inspire you to try it out.... more

Must-Visit States in the Western U.S. for Every Type of Traveler

In this article we take a look at four specific Western locations that both tourists and even local Americans must visit at least once.... more

Hiking VS Camping – Why Not Both?

Today we’ll talk about the differences and similarities of camping and hiking, as well as the reasons why you can do both in one run.... more

Be Bear Aware When Recreating Outdoors

Bears are emerging from dens with the onset of spring, and people are reminded to “Be Bear Aware.”... more

Mount Jumbo South Zone Closure Extended to March 22

In consultation with wildlife biologists at Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Parks and Recreation has extended the Mt. Jumbo South Zone winter wildlife closure to March 22.... more

Going Rock Climbing? Here Are The Essential Items You Should Get

To make the job easier for you, we’ve picked out the most important items that you should get before going rock climbing. ... more

Useful Items You’ll Need When You Go Outdoors For A Hike

Here are some of the things you should bring with you on a hike.... more

Expert Survival Tips for Hikers and Campers

If you are looking to leave everything behind and enjoy a few days of nature's raw beauty, here are a few expert survival tips for hikers and campers.... more

Great Activities for Students in Missoula

Planning to visit Missoula but don't know how to have fun? The city has many interesting locations. Here are great activities for students in Missoula.... more

How to Make Your Outdoor Activities Extra Special

Keep reading to know more about guides and a common question for your exciting venture.... more

Top Five Entertaining Things to do While in Missoula

There are many entertaining activities anyone can indulge in while visiting Missoula, and here’s a list of some of the top five:... more

5 Insanely Creative and Fun Things to do in Missoula

From local farmer's markets to natural hot springs, we've compiled a list of the top-rated places to check out in The Garden City.... more

Man Injured in Grizzly Bear Attack on Sun River

A man was attacked by a female grizzly bear on Sunday morning near the Sun River. The attack left the man with non-life-threatening injuries.... more

Beartooth Wildlife Management Area Opens May 15 to Day-Use Only

To coordinate with local and federal partners, Beartooth WMA opens May 15 to day-use only; other WMAs open as usual with social distancing protocols in place.... more

FWP Announces Updates to COVID-19-Related Closures and Suspensions

People looking to get outside and enjoy spring will continue to have ample opportunities with Gov. Steve Bullock's phased approach to re-opening the state.... more

Common Hiking Aches & Pains

Make sure you understand what the different aches and pains are that you can get from hiking, and this will help you deal with them in the best possible way.... more

State Lands Remain Open For Day Use

Fish Wildlife and Parks adjusts facility management in response to COVID-19; and state lands remain open for day use. ... more

6 Reasons to Visit a National Park

There are many great reasons why you should definitely have a national park at the top of your to-do travel list!... more

Top 10 Hikes Around Missoula

By JEFF JONES - An insider's perspective of the top 10 hikes in and around Missoula, Montana.... more

Local Snowmobile Store to Host Annual Avalanche Training Event

Gull Boats & RV will host a free annual avalanche traiing event at Big Sky Brewing on October 30 at 6pm featuring instructor Mike Duffy from the American Avalanche Association.... more

Tourism and Innovation. How Montana is Trying to Get Ahead

One of the most northerly of the U.S states, Montana is widely appreciated for its numerous outdoor opportunities, tourist attractions and local culture. ... more

10 Heavenly Montana Hikes West of the Continental Divide

By BRIAN D'AMBROSIO - Nothing inspires like a heart-pounding hike into Montana's high country. Put these ten picks for memorable hikes on your Montana bucket list!... more

Mount Jumbo North Zone Opens May 1

By BECKY GOODRICH - All areas on Mount Jumbo. north of Saddle Road will re-open to the public on Sunday, May 1.... more

Is Spring Early or Late?

By BRUCE AUCHLY - The warm weather of February and early March could lead one to believe in an early spring, which feels nice but is not necessarily a good thing.... more

Mount Jumbo South Zone Re-Opens March 22

Mount Jumbo’s South Zone, including the Saddle Road and all points south of the road, re-opens to the public on Tuesday, March 22.... more

Mount Jumbo Wildlife Closure Begins December 1

By BECKY GOODRICH-Most of Mount Jumbo closes to recreational use during the winter months to protect wintering elk. Read more about the closures areas.... more

Becoming an Outdoors Woman Summer Workshop August 7-9

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' popular Becoming an Outdoors-Woman summer workshop is set for Aug. 7-9 at Lubrecht Forest, east of Missoula.... more

Public Invited to Grant Creek Trail Grand Opening This Thursday

FREE icecream for the first 100 people at the grand opening of the Grant Creek Trail--Missoula's newest bicycle-pedestrian trail. The Celebration will be at 5:30 pm , Thursday July 9.... more

Manners Matter – How to Share Western Montana Rivers

By JOLEEN TADEJ - It's still easy to have a great summer experience on Montana's rivers. The key is river etiquette, a mix of common sense, courtesy, and respect.... more

Park Service to Open Iconic Sun Road On Glacier’s West Side

By DILLON TABISH - Summer is Here! The National Park Service announced Wednesday that the Going-to-the-Sun Road, is expected to fully open on the west side on Thurs., June 11.... more

Tips for dealing with a Rattlesnake Bite: Quick Tips to Save a Life

By CLAY SPRINGMEYER - If you follow these points, you can help save a life. However, the best life saver in the backcountry is situational awareness.... more

Summer Season Begins in Glacier National Park

Memorial Day Weekend marks beginning of primary visitation season at national park.... more

Explore Downtown Missoula by Foot on a Historic Walking Tour

If you’re visiting Missoula and looking to explore the city a bit, the beautiful downtown area offers an array of locations rich in historical significance. The Missoula Downtown Association has a self-guided... more

Saint Mary’ Peak Trail

By CHAUNCEY LISTON-How did I get into this fix? It started with my packing. That afternoon I decided I was going to climb the 9,300-foot peak that is Saint Mary’s in the Bitterroot Mountain Range. ... more

MacLay Flats Nature Trail

By MALLORY KERENSA WELLS - It was a quiet Thursday evening and after a long week I knew that a hike was not only a wanted but a needed.... more

Tower Street Trails: A Bold Dinner Date

By BRENDEN SPERR - I see trees. Trees and squirrels everywhere, squirrels that are so bold they get right next to me then turn and run as if they’re playing chicken.... more

Tales and Trails: Love in the Time of Cold

By BRUCE AUCHLY - One day it’s warm and sunny, the next day cold and snowy. Welcome to that time on the calendar between winter and spring. ... more

Blue Mountain Folf Course: Too Much Fun to Hike Past

By DEVIN SLATER-It seems like if there is anything you want to do outdoors you can find it at Blue Mountain. But honestly, I wouldn’t know those trails. I never get past the folf course. ... more

Hiking Blodgett Canyon Trail

By DONNA HULL - How long has it been since you’ve been to Blodgett Canyon, the Bitterroot Valley’s version of Yosemite? Long-time Missoula boomers have probably hiked Blodgett Canyon Trail more times than t... more

The Clark Fork River Walk (VIDEO)

By CATHERINE ORFANOS: The Montana campus was quiet. The Oval, empty. Puddles formed across the sidewalk and my path through campus zigzagged between them. ... more

Rattlesnake Valley: Wood’s Gulch to Sheep Mountain

By REBECCA KEITH- I lean up against Jasmine; my red, secondhand mountain bike and stew in frustration. The 11-mile ride from Wood’s Gulch to the top of Sheep’s Mountain was kicking my butt. ... more

Kim Williams Trail: The Unexpected Wilderness in My Backyard

By MARTHA KREBILL- Walking the Kim Williams Trail that night had been a spur-of-the-moment decision, and I was captivated by the natural beauty of what I can describe literally as my backyard.... more

Rattlesnsake Recreation Area

By MEGAN FRANZ - I made it to the Main Rattlesnake Trailhead, locked up the bike, swung my beat up sack over my shoulder and started trekking along the old road that follows the creek. ... more

My Most Spectacular Failure Was a Gift

By SHELLI JOHNSON - Former Lady Griz hoopster, Shelli Johsnon tells how getting cut from the team and losing her scholarship was a game changer that led her to an Epic Life! ... more

Greenough Park Trail: A Journey Into Art and Nature

By PARKER BRIXEY - I’m cruising into Greenough Park on my bike, entering the park at its southern end, closest to town. I’ve got my headphones in, and Wiz khalifa bumping loud. ... more

Randolph-Moon Homestead Trail: Pushing Back Against Doubt and Disease

By GARRETT SLADE - It wasn’t until I had topped the final crest in the North Hills that my anxiety about the day fled. From my vantage point over Missoula the stress of the past two weeks began to melt away.... more

Mount Jumbo – Daylight Turns to Dark, Marvel Fades to Fear

By By NICK MERTES- Our eyes locked. He reared back and then quickly struck the ground with his hooves, like he was revving his engine, looking to fight. He was ready to go, but was I?... more

North Hills – Making Peace With the Rural-Urban Medley

By BELLE GASH-GILDER - There are a number of different places to begin to explore the North Hills. I started at Mountain View Trail which literally literally starts in someone’s yard. ... more

Mount Jumbo – Rising Above a Rude Awakening

By HENRY CRIST- Sometimes, little adventures change your entire perspective, and you’re a different person because of them. My adventure wasn’t a heart racing one, but it was just what I needed.... more