This past year, we've been busy working with our many partners to thoughtfully plan public access on Mount Dean Stone, work to create spaces for people of all abilities to access the mountain, and answer questions about wildlife habitat and wildfire close to Missoula's urban interface.
In the meantime, please be patient and respect the private property owners in this area by not trespassing. For more detail, please see the map below.
The southern section of Mount Dean Stone, a vast 2,500-acre parcel which encompasses the southeastern flanks of the mountain, is still under ownership of our partner, The Nature Conservancy. TNC is generously allowing the public to explore this rugged and scenic area, which runs from the ridgeline south to Miller Creek, while Five Valleys continues to raise funds for its purchase. Eventually, we hope this parcel will connect to trails in the Pattee Canyon National Recreation Area.
The TNC parcel is currently the only part of Mount Dean Stone that is open to public exploration. Before you hit the trail, please read our access guidelines, take a look at our newest project map, and check out the for driving directions to the southern section's access point at Little Park Creek:
• Respecting our neighbors and posted no trespassing signs.
• Being observant and gathering information about things you see—wildlife, plants, people, uses, etc., and submitting it here.
• Being patient. Some areas are already open to exploration and others need more time and planning. Please respect this process.
• Supporting this community effort with your time, money, or observations.
• From Highway 93/South Brooks Street, turn east onto Miller Creek Road (heading towards the south Walmart).
• A half mile up Miller Creek Road you'll arrive at a roundabout.
• From the roundabout, continue on Upper Miller Creek Road for 8.5 miles. Drive with caution. The road will change from pavement to gravel and will narrow.
• At 8.5 miles you'll notice a green gate to your left. This is the future Little Park Creek trailhead! Park your vehicle in front of the gate. The trail is only accessible by foot, bike, wheelchair or horse.
While accessing Mount Dean Stone from Little Park Creek, keep to your left when going up the trail, with Little Park Creek to your right. Crossing Little Park Creek will lead you off of TNC-owned lands. Some of these adjacent parcels are managed by the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. Access to DNRC parcels, for recreational uses, requires a State Land Recreational Use License. A Montana Conservation License includes access to DNRC lands. Learn more and purchase State Land Recreational Use Licenses here.
If you have any questions about access, please call the Five Valleys office at 406.549.0755. Together we can help make Mount Dean Stone an open space for all.
Header photo of Little Park Creek by Five Valleys staff.