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,

Mount Sentinel Photos (Click to Enlarge)

The “M” on Mount Sentinel is one of Missoula’s most iconic and frequently photographed landmarks.  Click on the images below to enlarge the photos and use the right-hand arrow to scroll through the images.   Photos are brought to you by various Missoula photographers.  We’ll constantly be adding to our galleries–so check back frequently.  All images are copyrighted and downloading or copying is strictly prohibited.

Read the Story of the “M” as well as the History of Missoula and Glacial Lake Missoula.

Click for more Missoula photos
Do you have photos of Missoula you’d like featured in our photo gallery?  Email them using the CONTACT US form.


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