Exploring the Backside of Missoula's Mount Jumbo
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.The drive up there is very accessible to nearly any vehicle. It is all paved with about 15 seconds of maintained gravel.For example, I made it there in this vehicle without even having the front bumper touch the gravel.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 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.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.If you decide to bring a four-legged friend, they also have leases and waste bags right there for you.Before 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.Venture through the posts and you're good to go.This 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.The bottom remains pretty well open, but as you get higher the trees begin to get more dense.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.I would call this are patchy compared to others.These little purple buggers make an occasional appearance.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.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. The view looking east. East Missoula is tucked just on the other side of this mountain.Great views of Ten Spoon Winery and their vineyard also makes appearances. Missoula is mixed into all of that green down there.. somewhere. With Lolo Peak to my back, I saw Snowbowl staring me down. The hiking trail in this photo will lead you to the L on the other side 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. 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.