Missoula, Montana is an active university town rich in character set in the midst of stunning scenery. The city lies at the hub of five merging valleys and surrounded on all sides by mountain ranges. The Clark Fork, Rattlesnake, and Bitterroot Rivers converge near the city center, where the streets are lined with historic buildings and residences from the National Register. A short distance in any direction leads to national forests and wilderness areas. Outdoor activities abound in the area! Now in its fourth edition, Day Hikes Around Missoula, Montana includes an excellent collection of 102 day hikes within a 100-mile radius of the city. While many hikes are located within the city itself, most are found in the surrounding valleys, mountains, and national forests. Destinations include both popular and remote trails, from easy nature walks to high-elevation overlooks with expansive vistas across Missoula and its mountain ranges. Highlights include several dramatic waterfalls, stream-fed canyons, fertile valleys flanked by mountains, hot springs, suspension bridges, and historic sites from the Lewis and Clark voyage. The author has written extensively on Montana hiking trails and has personally hiked all of these trails. The author's other Rocky Mountain hiking guides include Day Hikes Around Bozeman, Day Hikes In the Beartooth Mountains, Day Hikes In Yellowstone National Park, and Day Hikes In the Grand Tetons. The majority of Stone's 24 hiking guides are in their 3rd, 4th, or 5th editions.
Since 1991, Robert Stone has been writer, photographer, and publisher of Day Hike Books. He is a Los Angeles Times Best Selling Author and an award-winning journalist of the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Writers and Photographers, the Outdoor Writers Association of California, the Northwest Outdoor Writers Association, the Bay Area Travel Writers, and the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Robert resides summers in the Rocky Mountains of Montana and winters on the California Central Coast.
Table of Contents
Each hike includes a summary, driving directions, hiking directions, and a map. (1) Northeast Missoula: Rattlesnake National Recreation Area (2) Mount Jumbo Recreation Area and East Missoula (3) North Hills and Rattlesnake Valley (4) Missoula: City of Missoula, Mount Sentinel, Pattee Canyon Recreation Area, South Hills (5) Blue Mountain Recreation Area (6) Northwest Missoula: Frenchtown and Ninemile Valley (7) Southwest Missoula/Highway 12: Lolo to Lolo Pass, including the Fish Creek Drainage (8) Lolo Pass into Idaho (9) Bitterroot Valley (10) Rock Creek Drainage (11) Blackfoot River Recreational Corridor (12) Seeley-Swan Valley (13) Index
Hike 89: Welcome Creek Trail. The Welcome Creek Trail lies along the northern Sapphire Mountains in the 28,135-acre Welcome Creek Wilderness, the smallest designated wilderness area in Montana. The remote trail in the Rock Creek drainage enters a quiet, narrow canyon through an old-growth forest, passing 1900s-era gold mining ruins and abandoned log cabins. An Indiana Jones-style suspension bridge at the beginning of this hike makes the Welcome Creek Trail a hike long remembered. The suspension bridge crosses high over Rock Creek and a white sand beach below. The entire Welcome Creek Trail climbs 7.5 miles to the rocky divide near Cleveland Mountain. This hike takes in the first 2.5 miles to the confluence with Cinnabar Creek.