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Mt. Sentinel Crest

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.1 (9) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

This is the steep way (2000ft of elevation gain!) to reach the stunning views over Missoula.


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Map Key

3.4

Miles

5.5

KM

Loop

5,044' 1,537 m

High

3,243' 988 m

Low

1,797' 548 m

Up

1,804' 550 m

Down

20%

Avg Grade (11°)

40%

Max Grade (22°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

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.

Description

"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.

Contacts

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Hiking Project Staff

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 8 votes

#2705

Overall
  4.1 from 8 votes
5 Star
25%
4 Star
63%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#62

in Montana

#2,705

Overall
186 Views Last Month
4,018 Since Apr 9, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

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29%
0%
71%
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Photos

Looking down into the University of Montana Grizzly Stadium.
May 6, 2015 near Missoula, MT
On the way to the top of Mt. Sentinel.
May 1, 2015 near Missoula, MT
View from the "M."
May 6, 2015 near Missoula, MT

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Check-Ins

Aug 5, 2020
James Sanderson
Spectacular view of Missoula and the Clark Fork River. Not for small children! 3.6mi — 2h 03m
Jul 29, 2018
John Scott
Mar 21, 2018
Matt Nelsen
The M 1.4mi
Sep 2, 2017
Rose Price
Jul 20, 2017
Brandi Bergreen
Jan 17, 2017
Michael Kerper