Exploring the Backside of Missoula’s Mount Jumbo

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lolo peak from mount jumbo in missoula montana

Missoula is filled with hiking opportunities without even having to leave the city limits. This particular Mount Jumbo hiking trail is up the Rattlesnake and through a residential area called Lincoln Hills.

parking lot with cars

The drive up there is very accessible to nearly any vehicle. It is all paved with about 15 seconds of maintained gravel.

rwd turbo Subaru Impreza wagon built by Automersion

For example, I made it there in this vehicle without even having the front bumper touch the gravel.

Missoula parks and recreation sign

Being that this is part of the Missoula Parks and Recreation system, there are some rules. They are basic enough that they enjoy pumpkin spice lattes and only need common sense to follow.

Mount Jumbo Closure Notice

Mount Jumbo is closed to the public from December 1st through April 30th to protect the wildlife. There is a herd of elk, as well as mule deer that situate themselves here for the winter.

flora and fauna facts

Before you jump on the trail, you can find out information on the area and all of the different types of flora and fauna that you may encounter.

dog leashes

If you decide to bring a four-legged friend, they also have leases and waste bags right there for you.

mountain biker with mountains in missoula montanaBefore I even made it to the actual trailhead, a mountain biker made his way passed me and continued on the lower part of the trail. This is a very popular area for bikers, so keep your eyes peeled.

Mount Jumbo Trail Head

Venture through the posts and you’re good to go.

mens running shoes on gravelThis is a pretty laxed hike– with nothing too strenuous at all. I wore just my cheap, simple running shoes since my trail runners were M.I.A. at the moment.

power line on the side of a mountain

The bottom remains pretty well open, but as you get higher the trees begin to get more dense.

yellow daisys

I had never ventured up this way in the springtime before– that was a mistake. It would be an understatement to say that these yellow flowers are in an abundance. Seriously, there are entire fields of just yellow. The higher you go the more there are.

yellow daisy patch

I would call this are patchy compared to others.

purple flower

These little purple buggers make an occasional appearance.

orange flowers

As well as these neat looking… things. Sorry, I’m no flora expert and I didn’t study the board at the bottom. I guess I should be learning a lesson right now.

lolo peak from north missoula

Immediately you are greeted with phenomenal views of Lolo Peak and glimpses of the city. This Mount Jumbo hiking trail has easily become one of my favorite parts of Missoula. Whether you are looking for a nice stroll, a mountain biking path, or a place to trail run– it accommodates all of that. I very highly recommend taking the path that I did today.
It is very clear once you are actually there– take the mountain bike trail (narrow dirt path) up the side.
You’ll break off of the maintenance road after you walk on it shortly before it curves around to East Missoula.

I am going to keep the wording to a minimal from here. As nature is– it is better to indulge more with your eyes than your mouth.

open space among mountains missoula parks and recreation trail closure sign on mount jumbo gravel trail leading to green mountains open prairie with mountains in the distance missoula parks and recreation winter closure sign on mount jumbo blue shoes on gravel path nature looking over mountain town Mount Sentinel from Mount Jumbo in Missoula Montana power lines running to East Missoula

The view looking east. East Missoula is tucked just on the other side of this mountain.

ten spoons winery in missoula montana

Great views of Ten Spoon Winery and their vineyard also makes appearances.

mountain biker on gravel path mountain biker riding through the mountains view from mount jumbo overlooking the rattlesnake fallen tree in field of yellow flowers yellow flowers along mountain bike trail in missoula montana field of yellow flowers on Mount Jumbo overlooking Mount Sentinel in Missoula Montana Mount Jumbo and Lolo Peak

Lolo peak overlooking Missoula Montana

Missoula is mixed into all of that green down there.. somewhere.

Lolo Peak in Montana dark lolo peak with clouds Snowbowl Mountain from Mount Jumbo

With Lolo Peak to my back, I saw Snowbowl staring me down.

yellow flowers on the side of a mountain interstate highway from mountain yellow flowers lining a hiking and mountain bike path on Mount Jumbo mountain biker riding down mountain surrounded by yellow flowers snowy lolo peak with the forest of mount jumbo the backside of mount jumbo and lolo peak in Missoula, MontanaThe hiking trail in this photo will lead you to the on the other side of Mount Jumbo.

Lolo peak and the rattlesnake wilderness of Mount Jumbo

view of Missoula from the backside of Mount Jumbo

You can see the backside of Mount Jumbo in all of its glory here. This was the point where I decided to hangout for awhile before I made my trek back down.

map my run missoula montana trail hike map my run missoula montana trail hike up the rattlesnake

The route that I took was almost exactly 4 miles round trip. Not too shabby for a quick jaunt into nature, right at the edge of town.

man standing on mountain taking photo with city in the background

I am fortunate enough to have the Mount Jumbo Hiking Trail just a mile or two from my house– but I can assure you that it is worth making the venture to.

Get out, explore, experience.

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Ross M Perkins

Creative Wanderlusting Mechanic at Wanderlust Northwest
Thinker of stuff, Doer of things. There isn't much that makes me more happy than finding myself in new surroundings with camera in hand. Roadtrips are standard life procedures and the maps in my home are there to inspire me to travel even further. When it comes down to it, I just really like nature..