CLARK FORK RIVERFRONT
Southside Trail
Northside Trail

BLUE MOUNTAIN RECREATION AREA
Maclay Flat Interpretive Trail
Forest Roads No. 365 and No. 2137
Blue Mountain Nature Trail
Blue Mountain National Recreation Trail
Motor Vehicle Trails

SOUTH HILLS TRAIL SYSTEM
Meadow Hill Trail
Ravenwood Park Trail
Peery Park, Moose Can Gully Trails
High Park Loop

MOUNT SENTINEL
Kim Williams Trail
"M" Trail
Mount Sentinel Fire Road
Mo Z Trail
Pengelly Ridge Trail
Hellgate Canyon Trail

SOUTH MISSOULA
Bitterroot Branch Trail
Tower Complex Trail
South Avenue Trail
Raven Park Trail
Larchmont Trail

PATTEE CANYON RECREATION AREA
Sam Braxton Trail
Crazy Canyon Trail
Northside Trails
Southside Ski Trails

RATTLESNAKE NATIONAL
RECREATION AREA and WILDERNESS

Main Travel Corridor
Spring Gulch/Stuart Peak Trail
Woods Gulch/Sheep Mountain Trail
Sawmill/Curry Trail System

RATTLESNAKE VALLEY
Greenough Park Trails
Routes North of Greenough Park
Mount Jumbo Trails

NORTH HILLS TRAILS
Moon Randolph Homestead

SHORT TRIPS from MISSOULA
Cha-paa-qn/Sleeping Woman Trail
North Summit/Lolo Peak

 

 

 

MAIN RATTLESNAKE TRAVEL CORRIDOR

Miles: 15

Elevation gain: 1,248 feet (from 3,850 feet to 5,098 feet)

Dogs: From the southern national forest boundary north past the main trailhead to milepost 1.7 and on Ravine Trail 34, there are seasonal restrictions on pets: Dogs are not allowed from Dec. 1 to Feb. 28; dogs must be leashed from March 1 to Nov. 30.

If you're looking for easy access to the Rattlesnake, this is an excellent choice. The route has no official trail name but is commonly referred to as the "main travel corridor." It's actually an old farm-access and logging road (Forest Road No. 99) that has been closed to public travel by cars and other motor vehicles since 1984.

Expect to encounter other people along the corridor: It's a favorite of hikers, bicyclists, runners, equestrians and others. Many other Rattlesnake trails connect with this main artery, so there are plenty of opportunities for exploration and loop hikes.

The trail is on a wide, gentle grade that runs parallel to Rattlesnake Creek. Although the water quality in the creek looks good, beware: It's a source for the giardia parasite, so don't drink it unless you boil it first. The creek is a reserve source of municipal water for Missoula, so it is especially important to protect water quality. Use the toilets near the trailhead or bury human waste and tissue well away from the stream.

Throughout the main valley and Spring Gulch, you can see evidence of homesites established more than a century ago and vacated in the 1930s. Look for building foundations and old orchards with a few scraggly apple trees remaining.

You have a good chance of seeing mountain goats on cliffs above Rattlesnake Creek at Franklin Bridge, about eight miles up the trail. Elk Meadows, at the 12-mile point, is a popular destination for horseback riders. There's forage here, and you can easily make day trips into the wilderness.

The road ends at about the 15-mile point, but several connecting trails will take you farther into the Rattlesnake Wilderness. Remember that bicycles are prohibited in the wilderness.

The travel corridor begins at the main Rattlesnake trailhead, on Sawmill Gulch Road just west of Rattlesnake Drive. To get there, go four miles north of the intersection of Interstate 90 and Van Buren Street/Rattlesnake Drive.

 

 

 

 

 
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