Bozeman Hikes: Hiking the “M”

 Bozeman Hikes: Hiking the "M"

One of the most iconic Bozeman hikes is unquestionably the trail to the “M.” Created by Montana State University class of 1918 as a monument to the school, the hike remains one of the most popular in the area.

Part of the allure is its easy access; located just four miles outside of Bozeman up Bridger Creek Road, you can’t miss the giant white “M” marking the top of the trail on Mount Baldy. Local residents can be found morning, noon and night, making a quick trip through the amazing sights and sounds of the Gallatin Valley which include the Spanish Peaks and Tobacco Root Mountains.

This is one of the first trails to dry out in the spring, (until then it can be icy and muddy, so if you just can’t wait to get hiking, be prepared with proper footwear, and trekking poles if needed).

Wildflowers start to pop early and are abundant in this area; flower lovers bring your identification books!

Hiking the "M" Trail

Now part of the Main Street to the Mountains trail system maintained by Gallatin Valley Land Trust, the trail is well-kept with numerous benches along the way to rest or simply stop and enjoy the view.

One of the most appealing things about this hike is that depending on your skill level (or mood of the day) you can choose to do a round trip, or an out-and-back hike. If you start on the west side, the trail makes gentle switchbacks through the trees, providing lots of shade. Beginning from the east, the trail is steep and straight up. For those who want a good workout, this option is sure to get your muscles in shape!

Round trip, the hike is 2.4 miles, and takes approximately an hour, depending on your speed.

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