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, with new wildfires popping up daily, we’ll feature a trail a little closer to home. Adventure safe, Trailheads!
Three Larches Trail
Enjoy a quick trek along an easily accessed – but infrequently used – trail in the Rattlesnake Recreation Area north of Missoula.
Round Trip: 6 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 1,194 feet
Directions: Head northeast on Van Buren Street through the Rattlesnake neighborhood. The road will change into Rattlesnake Drive – continue on, but before you enter the Lincolnwood neighborhood follow the road as it curves right and then left again.
Continue past a housing development, the Ten Spoon Winery and into a wooded area, then follow the signs left at Woods Gluch Road, across a bridge and to the trailhead parking lot.
What to expect: The Three Larches Trail is accessed via the main trail at the end of the trailhead parking lot.
About a mile down the main branch, at the second creek crossing, you’ll turn onto the unmarked trail off to the left. It’s steep initially, then levels off and goes up and down.
You’ll intersect another unmarked trail shortly after you start, but you’ll want to stay on the low trail.
Three Larches meanders along the hillside and is shady most of the way, making for a great hike even in the hottest part of the day.
At about 1.7 miles you’ll connect with an old logging road. Note the three namesake larch trees at this intersection, and then continue on the logging road for about a mile until you get to the creek.
From there, enjoy great views of Lolo Peak before turning around or getting back onto the main Rattlesnake trail just past the creek. This trail, too, will return you to the parking lot.
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!