Many of the in-town hikes are on paths shared by bicyclists. A casual walker can just wander down to the river and pick up the paths that run on either bank in the downtown area. Heading east, the Kim Williams Trail follows the south bank of the Clark Fork out of town.
For those who want more of a challenge, head over to the university and follow the zigzag trail up Mt. Sentinel to the M. It takes about 40 minutes, and a little huffing and puffing, to get there, but on a clear day there are great views of Missoula and Hell Gate Canyon.
Head north from I-90 on Van Buren, which quickly becomes Rattlesnake Drive, and travel about four miles to the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and Wilderness. Here you’ll find as much of a wilderness hike as you’re likely to find in any city.
Missoula’s outdoor stores sell trail maps.
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition