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



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Nature Viewing

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Other Activities

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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


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Winter Sports

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Areas & 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


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4200 feet