Mount Sentinel is one of the most iconic hikes in Missoula. The “M” Trail on the west face of the mountain is considered a rite of passage for University of Montana students. It’s a steep series of switchbacks, but the 1 mile trail is smooth gravel — great for hill work! It’s a serious climb — 620 over 3/4 mile! We’ve mapped a route up to the “M” and then looping back through the Kim Williams Natural Trail Area.
Other runnable trails on Mount Sentinel include the less-steep Hellgate Canyon Trail on the north side of the mountain, and the Fire Road which leads south to Pattee Canyon. There are a number of trails running through this gorge in the Lolo National Forest — the most popular options are the relatively flat Crooked Canyon Trail and the 3.4 mile Sam Braxton Trail loop.