SAM BRAXTON NATIONAL RECREATIONAL TRAIL
Elevation gain: 350 feet (from 4,100 feet to 4,450 feet)
Dogs: No restrictions
Named after a well-known Missoula skier, bicyclist and outdoorsman, this trail loops around the southeast portion of Pattee Canyon Recreation Area.
You might want to pick up one of Lolo National Forest's Pattee Canyon brochures before exploring this trail. While the trail is signed, you can be confused easily by old horse-logging skid trails and other paths that crisscross the area.
Look for giant old-growth western larch and ponderosa pine, Montana's state tree, near the beginning of the trail. Careful observers will discover remnants of Missoula homesteads along the trail. Savor your journey into the past, but remember these artifacts are parts of archaeological sites protected by law. Leave for others to enjoy and study.
The trail begins four miles up Pattee Canyon Road, just off the south side parking area. Bear to the right beyond the gate in the parking area and follow the roadway to the trailhead.