This route is a burner to the top of Mt. Sentinel in Missoula, MT and offers awesome views of Missoula. A seriously steep hike with many options for a way down.
"Going to the M" is an outing for visitors and locals throughout the years providing views of Missoula and the valley.This route follows a steep, zigzagging path with many switchbacks and much more gain in elevation.
To hike the entire Hellgate Ridgeline Trail, continue past the "M" for a few hundred feet then look up. You have more than 1300ft to go to reach the top of Mt. Sentinel. This trail is steep but well traveled and can be slippery in spots. Typically, it's windy at the top where you can enjoy stunning views in all directions.
There are multiple ways to retreat down this mountain. The route shown here takes a more gentle approach down. From the peak of Mt. Sentinel, take the Sentinel Gulch Trail until you reach the Sentinel Fire Road. Take a right on the fire road and make your way down the switchbacks which will return you to the trailhead.
History & Background
The "M" on the west face of Mount Sentinel is a Missoula landmark since 1908. It has seen several transformations over the years.