Pattee Canyon Group Picnic Area

Area Status: Open

Set in a wooded canyon east of Missoula at 4,100 feet, the Pattee Canyon Picnic Area is a popular spot for family picnics. Because this picnic area is in the Pattee Canyon Recreation Area, there's plenty to do before enjoying a relaxing lunch. Knock yourself out hiking or biking a trail then have a picnic lunch and rest under the shade of the forest...pure bliss!

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Day use only, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Area closed 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. The entrance gate closes at 9 p.m.
Fees: Group Picnic Area Site A: $100
Group Picnic Area Sites B/C: $50
Reservations can be made at
Open Season: June 15 - October 31
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: No overnight camping. Individual picnic sites are limited to 10 people. Use of group picnic sites are available by reservation only; fee required. Please view our Pattee Canyon Recreation Area brochure and Lolo National Forest Visitor Guidelines.
Closest Towns: Missoula, Montana
Water: No drinking water available
Restroom: Accessible vault toilets
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Missoula Ranger District, 406-329-3814

General Information


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:

The loop roads are paved and the group sites have garbage receptacles and accessible toilets. This area has picnic tables, fire rings, and grills. No overnight camping is permitted. When the picnic area gates are closed people are welcome to park outside and walk in during the hours of 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. See our brochure, "Pattee Canyon Recreation Area" for details.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Viewing Wildlife

A flammulated owl viewing site with interpretive sign at the north end of the picnic area is available for owl-watchers. Park-like ponderosa pines shelter flammulated owls. Fires maintain the kind of habitat owls thrive in. The interpretive sign features outstanding illustrations of owls in the pines and points out the connections among fire, pines, and owls.
Species flammulated owls


This is a great place to eat, relax, or engage in a fun activity. Go for a hike, play a round of disc golf, visit the owl viewing site, or ride your bike on a trail.
No. of Sites 4
No. of Accessible sites

Group Picnicking

The loop roads are paved and the group sites have garbage receptacles and accessible toilets.
No. of Sites 3
Reservation Info Make reservations by calling, 1-877-444-6777, or by going to

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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4100 feet