Mount Dean Stone: Winter 2020 Update

After a year chock-full of events, developments and planning, the Mount Dean Stone Committee partners are excited for what 2020 has in store.

At the close of 2019, Five Valleys staff completed the lands acquisitions that will one day provide a trail corridor around the Mount Dean Stone ridge. This achievement marks the culmination of years of listening, negotiations and patience, and stands as a major milestone for the greater Mount Dean Stone project. Read more here.

Building upon these acquisitions, and the trails that the Mount Dean Stone Committee partners and our hardy volunteers have helped to construct over the last few years, the Mount Dean Stone Committee recently submitted a grant proposal to the State's Recreational Trails Program (RTP). RTP grant funding would be used to support the construction of the House of Sky Trail, a proposed 4.6 mile trail that would form the backbone of the Mount Dean Stone trail network. RTP funds would also be used to improve the primitive trailhead at Skyline Ridge.

The City of Missoula below the proposed House of Sky Trail. Photo by Five Valleys staff.

The House of Sky trail will, for the first time, connect the northern and southern sides of Mount Dean Stone, expanding recreational access for a growing Missoula and relieving pressure on existing trails and open space areas. The proposed trail would unite three trail heads across the Mount Dean Stone landscape by tying the City’s existing Barmeyer and Sousa trailheads to Skyline Ridge, located in the Pattee Canyon area. The proposed trail design will provide a backcountry feel just minutes from downtown Missoula, while also minimizing impacts to wildlife and native plant communities and mitigating the spread of weeds. Wayfinding signs and trailheads will improve user experience, assist first responders, reduce trespassing, and protect natural resource values.

RTP funding would also fund much-needed parking area improvements to the primitive trailhead at Skyline Ridge, in the Pattee Canyon area. Improvements will also include the installation of a new informational kiosk describing the Mount Dean Stone project’s conservation and recreation goals as well as the area's cultural significance. The RTP public comment period ended on March 9th. Awards will be announced in late April. Learn more about the RTP program.

Check out the 2019 Mount Dean Stone Public Access Map and learn more about the once-in-a-generation Mount Dean Stone project.

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The Mount Dean Stone Committee project partners and business supporters: 

Header photo of the proposed House of Sky trail area by Five Valleys staff.

Photo of the view of Missoula from the proposed House of Sky trail area by Five Valleys staff.


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