M Trail

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M Trail

3 miles (round-trip)

Duration: 30 minutes to 1.5 hours

Difficulty: Easy to moderate (depending on which trail you choose) 

Elevation Gain: 850 feet 

Activities: Hiking, trail running

Crowds: Very heavy traffic


At the mouth of Bridger Canyon is the landmark “M” created by Montana State University students in 1915. There are two routes to the M from the trailhead—one steep, the other winding. To take the steep and direct ascent, go right at the first junction; for an easier and longer ascent, take a hard left. The easier route has a couple of different options, whether you want to scramble across rock or play it safe on maintained areas. This trail is close to Bozeman and very popular, for good reason: The views of the Gallatin Valley are spectacular, and hikers use the trail is as a lunchbreak loop or out-and-back. Don't bike this trail, for your safety and other's. And for God's sake, pick up after your dog! 

Seasonal Conditions
The "M" gets plentiful sun from the west, so it's usually among the driest trails early in the spring and later into the fall. To hit the trail during winter months, wear the appropriate gear for slick and snowy conditions. 

Go north on Rouse Ave., which becomes Bridger Canyon Rd. After a few miles, turn left into the signed parking area, just before a narrow constriction between the Bridgers and the Story Hills.

Robert Stone's M Trail Map

Map courtesy of Robert Stone'Day Hikes Around Bozeman, Montana

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