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,

Posts Tagged ‘forest fires in Montana’

In Missoula, Science Is Showing Residents How To Live In Extreme Times

Montana has seen its fair share of extreme weather and research being done locally is showing residents how to adapt to overcome these events.... more

Smoke Gets in Your… Well, Everywhere

By BOB WIRE - August in Missoula means forest fire smoke is everywhere. It’s insidious. You can’t escape it. It’s like bluegrass. I even wrote a song about it.... more

Young Men, Fire, and the Missoula Fire Lab

By MARK VOSBURGH - It's August, it's hot, and it's fire season. If you haven't read Norman Maclean's Montana literary classic, "Young Men and Fire", now is the time.... more

Montana Wildfires: What Are the Odds?

By MARK VOSBURGH - With the Scratch Gravel Hill fire burning near Helena, our wildfire season has begun in Western Montana. What are the odds of forest near you burning?... more

Will Our Forests Burn this Summer?

By MARK VOSBURGH - You are a fire-adapted Missoulian. Wildfires don't come as a surprise, but the question lingers: Will this be one of those summers that brings fires?... more