M Trail

m trail university of montana

Support The M Trail


The M Trail is an iconic symbol of the University of Montana and the City of Missoula, providing a unique recreational experience and a panoramic view of the Missoula Valley. Established in 1908 by UM students and currently marked by a giant concrete M installed in 1968, the trail is steeped in history and beloved by the community.


Hike the M Trail

m trail hikersThe M Trail is a steep ¾ mile hike that includes 13 switchbacks, offering hikers and runners a challenging yet rewarding experience. Over 1,000 people make the trip daily, connecting to miles of adjacent U.C. Forest Service trails and the city trail system from the summit.

A Trail of Natural Beauty

Beyond its recreational appeal, the M Trail cuts through stunning native prairie plants that bloom every spring. From arrowleaf balsamroot and lupine to paintbrush and shooting stars, the trail is a haven for flora and fauna. Vesper sparrows nest under bunchgrasses, a fox dens near the trailhead and migratory songbirds arrive every summer, adding to the trail’s vibrant ecosystem.

The Importance of Maintenance

Due to its heavy use, the M Trail faces constant erosion challenges. To preserve its beauty and accessibility, ongoing maintenance is crucial. We urge hikers to stay on well-established trails to help minimize erosion. Your gift helps protect this cherished landmark.

Show Your Support

If you love the M Trail, you can support our efforts in two ways:

Purchase Merchandise

m trail shirt - Trevin GradneyWe are thrilled to introduce a new logo for The M Trail, capturing the essence of this iconic hike. Featuring the phrase “I Hiked the M, Missoula, MT” with a stylized "M" incorporating trail switchbacks, the new design is available on a variety of merchandise. Partnering with Wear Your Roots, an official collegiate licenser, we offer high-quality T-shirts and other goods, with a portion of sales supporting trail maintenance.

Donate Directly

Make a direct donation to the Friends of the M Trail via the UM Foundation. Your donation is tax-deductible and will directly benefit the maintenance and preservation of the trail.