NewsMissoula County


Missoula's M Trail: Accessible and fun hike, even in the winter

M Trail hikers and dog
Posted at 3:55 PM, Mar 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-13 12:51:22-04

MISSOULA - In the winter when it’s blizzarding out like this, why do people get outside?

Why do people want to hike in frozen conditions?

Well, MTN's got some answers for you.

Whether you’ve seen it driving by, hiked once, or head up every week, the M Trail is an obvious Missoula favorite in warmer seasons.

But, in the winter, the trail is slippery and frozen. However, some people strap on their ice spikes and hike up anyway.

M Trail hikers and dog
Nell, Cathleen, M, and Peanut Butter (left to right) take a break on one of the benches on the M Trail to chat

“If you’re not suffering, you’re not having fun,” one person told us.

Commonly called 'sufferfest' or 'type 2 fun' is referred to here with laughter and smiles.

Hikers Cathleen, M, Nell, and pup Peanut Butter were out on the M on Friday morning “Getting in a snow hike,” shared Cathleen.

“Wanted a little outdoor adventure," M continued.

Nell wanted to bring her stuffed animal, Stuffy M, up to the top of the M too.

M Trail Hikers
Greg and Leslie chose the M Trail over snowshoeing today. It was Leslie's first time up the M in 10-15 years.

“Getting some fresh air, challenging ourselves to enjoy this,” said Leslie.

“Instead of going snowshoeing, we thought we’d go for a walk,” Gregory told MTN News.

Bearing the cold gives a warm sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction.

“And you feel alive," Leslie added.

Remember to always check the weather and avalanche conditions before exploring Missoula.