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!
It hurts to say it, but our weekend hiking treks are about to transition into cross-country and downhill skiing. So this weekend Craig capitalizes on what remains of the dry(ish) weather with a trip east to a relatively relaxing hike along part of the Continental Divide.
Use your imagination to name the rock formations strewn along this stroll through the Boulder Batholith.
Round Trip: 7.4 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 1,845 feet
Directions: From Missoula, east on Interstate 90 towards Butte. Take Exit 223 at the top of Homestake Pass, and from the exit ramp head north and then right into a large parking area with a jackleg fence along the road.
What to expect: The Continental Divide Trail sounds like it would be a tough, steep hike – but when you park at the trailhead, you’re actually already up at the divide. So don’t get fooled by the name – this one is actually pretty easy.
The trail is also surprisingly fun because it lies on the edge of the Boulder Batholith, an unusual formation of quartz monzonite rocks that get rounded as they weather. So even though the trail itself is comprised of soft, wide dirt, the surrounding area is strewn with stacks of boulders.
At 2.3 miles you’ll enjoy a scenic overlook of south Butte. Again, look for the sign.
At 3.9 miles you’ll continue straight, past an old trail and then over a seasonal stream. From here you’ll start to pass lots of great boulder stacks. After another mile you can turn around, or if you’re feeling truly adventurous continue up the steeper trail to the junction with Maud S Canyon Trail.
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!