Pattee Canyon Recreation Area

This 3,200-acre recreation area on the east side of Missoula is a popular getaway for locals and visitors. The extensive, 27 miles of system trails is open year-round to non-motorized use and available to hikers, folfers, mountain bikers, joggers, cross-country skiers and dog walkers. These recreation area trails and roads connect the University of Montana and the Clark Fork River areas. Trail access points available at the picnic area, main trailhead, Crazy Canyon Trailhead and the Larch Camp Road; see the "Pattee Canyon Recreation Area" brochure and map for details.

Sam Braxton National Recreation Trail Marker Sam Braxton National Recreation Trail #4 Sam Braxton National Recreation Trail #3 Sam Braxton National Recreation Trail #2 Sam Braxton National Recreation Trail #1

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Area closed 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Usage: Heavy
Closest Towns: Missoula, Montana
Water: No drinking water available
Restroom: Handicap accessible vault toilets located at the Crazy Canyon and Pattee Canyon Main Trailheads
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Missoula Ranger District, 406-329-3814

General Information

Directions: From Interstate 90 in Missoula, take the Orange Street exit #104 and travel south. Turn left onto West Front Street and go 0.2 miles to South Higgins Avenue, then turn right. Continue on South Higgins Avenue for about 2.7 miles to Pattee Canyon Road, then turn left. On Pattee Canyon Road, travel 4 miles heading (east) up the canyon. Look for the Pattee Canyon Picnic Area sign and entrance.
General Notes: Please see our online brochure, "Pattee Canyon Recreation Area" for details and map.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Mountain Biking

Recreation areas with activity Mountain Biking:

There are many cool bicycle trails to choose from in this area. See our brochure, "Pattee Canyon Recreation Area" for a map of trails.Bicycles (including fat bikes) are prohibited on groomed cross-country ski trails and off designated routes.

Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking: This recreation area has many trails to choose from. The best way to find a trail that's right for you is to view our "Pattee Canyon Recreation Area" brochure.
Elevation desc 4200 feet

Big Game Hunting

Recreation areas with activity Big Game Hunting: Discharging a firearm, air rifle or gas gun, including an air or gas-powered paintball gun, is prohibited. Shooting a bow and arrow is prohibited within the Pattee Canyon Picnic Area, 150 yards of an occupied area, or developed recreation site.
Species white-tailed deer, mule deer
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Viewing Wildlife

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Wildlife:

Disc Golf

Recreation areas with activity Disc Golf: A disc golf course is available in this area. It is open July 1 to November 1, and closed the rest of the year to protect vegetation. Baskets provided.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate


Recreation areas with activity Picnicking:

Group Picnicking

Recreation areas with activity Group Picnicking:

Group Picnic sites are open from Memorial Weekend through Labor Day and must be reserved online at

Reservation required?: Y

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

Recreation areas with activity XC Skiing/Snowshoeing:

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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  Elevation : 
4200 feet