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,

UM Campus (Click to Enlarge)

Missoulians love the University of Montana!  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.

Do you have photos of the UM campus that you’d like featured in our photo gallery? Email them using the CONTACT US form.

Learn more about the University of Montana, The Story of the M, and Glacial Lake Missoula.