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A Busy Day in Missoula

By Ann Driggers

Given we only had one day in Missoula we packed in as much as we could. That was easy as, like Grand Junction, this is a city whose character is defined in many ways by the outdoors. So we spent the day doing as Missoulians do.

The M and Mount Sentinel watch over Grizzly cubs in their daily practice.

Mount Sentinel.jpg

First we ran the M Trail which leaves directly from the University of Montana campus and home to the Montana Grizzlies (but of course what else would their teams be called?). Many people hike and run this every day as it is so close in to town. The trail reaches the M in less than a mile and carries onto the summit of Mount Sentinel in under two. With great views of the city and valley it also packs in a good workout.

Running up the trail with views of the Rattlesnake Recreation Area in the right background.

Running the M.jpg

After lunch in town we headed out a few miles north to the Rattlesnake Recreation Area which has many trails for hiking and riding. We chose to ride a 10 mile loop called Spring Gulch with a summit lookout over Montana Snowbowl, the local ski area. The trails were exceptionally buff and provided a ripsnorting fast descent.

Big smiles from Chad on the buff singletrack.

Rattlesnake Trail.jpg

In the evening we heard that there were free music concerts in a park alongside the Clark Fork River in the center of downtown. The music and the scene was happening, as was the river. One of the hottest days of the year the water was a very popular place to be. There was a wave adjacent to the park and a big party going on in and around the river.

A kayaker surfs the wave on the Clark Fork River.

River Playing.jpg

The water was teeming with kayakers, tubers, swimmers, bridge jumpers and rafters, all watched by the well lubricated crowd on shore who seemed to be as entertained as those in the water. It was the perfect ending to a very active day in Missoula.

Happy Hour in Missoula.

Happy Hour in Missoula.jpg

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