Welcome to the Trail Well Traveled!
Each Friday, in partnership with Montana Wilderness Association we will feature a new western Montana trail and then give you some helpful details and tips to get on your way!
This week, Craig delivers us some respite from the gray skies of Missoula Valley with a trip east into the plentiful sunshine of Butte – and to a trail that can be snowshoed or skied when the snow renders hiking too difficult.
Total Elevation Gain: 1400 feet
Directions: Take Interstate 90 to Butte and then exit at Harrison Avenue/Highway 2 heading south for 7.3 miles. After passing Continental Drive and entering Thompson Park, take the second right and park in the small pullout at the bottom of the road.
The trailhead is across Highway 2 at the bottom of the road, just past the Silver Bow Archery Club sign.
What to expect: This is a pleasant, forested trail alongside a trickle of a creek in Thompson Park. All the trails are well signed, or you can plan ahead by checking out the park details and maps HERE.
Starting on the other (east) side of Highway 2, go up the road to the Silver Bow Archery range, then immediately turn right and cross a small bridge at the start of Skeeboggan Trail #4805. The trail climbs the hillside, passing well above the archery range, then drops back down to the side of the trickling creek.
At 1.4 miles, you’ll cross Blacktail Canyon Trail #4804. Turn right there, continuing uphill towards the ridgeline. At 1.6 miles turn left onto Blacktail Ridge Trail #4800, and then the best overlook comes at 2.1 miles, when the trail drops down off the ridge and passes through several rock formations.
A half-mile later, take a sharp left turn onto Blacktail Canyon Trail #4804 to begin the return leg. At 3.4 miles continue straight past Madison Run Trail #4803. Shortly after, peer past the large vertical boulder for a view of Red Mountain, and then a third of a mile later turn right down Skeeboggan Trail to return to the trailhead.
Note: Please dress warmly for this one because not only does Butte have an elevation of about a mile, the trail tops out at 6,706 feet.
Learn more about this trail, file your own trip report and photos, or check out some other great hikes at hikewildmontana.org. And don’t forget to tune in to the Trail 103.3 each Friday at 9:50 am for the next featured trail and your chance to win!
Big thanks to Rangitsch Bros RV for sponsoring the Trail Well Traveled. Proudly serving Missoula for over 56 years, whatever camper best suits your needs Rangitsch Bros has got it!