Sawmill Trail #24.0

Sawmill Gulch

This trail begins on the edge of the meadow and progresses uphill and into ponderosa pine forests. It is steeper than the main Rattlesnake trail and provides good access to other trails in the area - many of which can be combined to make loop routes.

Alberta Penstemon Yarrow Flower Snowberry Flower Livery Lupine Prickly Rose

At a Glance

Operational Hours: The Rattlesnake South Zone is closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Please view our Rattlesnake (RNRAW) Restriction information.
Closest Towns: Missoula, Montana
Water: No drinking water available
Restroom: Accessible restrooms are available at the Rattlesnake main trailhead and horse trailhead.
Information Center: Missoula Ranger District, 406-329-3814

General Information

Directions: From Interstate 90 in Missoula, take the Van Buren Street exit #105 and head north. Van Buren Street will turn into Rattlesnake Drive. Stay on Rattlesnake Drive for approximately 3 miles until you reach the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area entrance. Travel another 0.25 mile and turn left on Sawmill Gulch Road. The trailhead is at the end of the road.
General Notes: For details about this area, see the brochure "Rattlesnake National Recreation Area" and map, "Rattlesnake Wilderness and National Recreation Area" in our Maps & Publications section.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Mountain Biking

Bicycles are restricted to designated system trails as shown on the map to reduce user conflict and to protect resources. See brochure, "Rattlesnake National Recreation Area." Off-trail bicycling, construction of jumps and/or other structures and user-built trails are prohibited. Bicycle trails are marked with gray diamonds. Trail starts out level and gentle, but increases in difficulty.

Day Hiking

Trail starts out on a wide path (old road bed) in open ground at the edge of the meadow where it is level and gentle. The trail grade then increases as it travels through the forest. This trail can be combined with other trails to create routes that form loops. See brochure, "Rattlesnake National Recreation Area" to view the locations and lengths of area trails.
Elevation desc 3900 feet to 4400 feet

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

The beginning of the trail is gentle, but then increases in grade. Cross-country skiing on the lower sections of trail is a popular activity.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  • Click here to read current alerts and closures
  • Click here to learn about staying safe and following the rules of bear country.
  • Click here to find a map to take on your adventures.
  • Click here to find out more about obtaining permits or passes for certain activities on the forest.
  • Click here to find avalanche infornation


  Area/Length : 
1.3 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
3900 feet - 4400 feet