Mount Dean Stone Update: Community Open Space

With support from many partners, we’re doing everything we can to ensure that Mount Dean Stone will be a place for the whole community! Help us to create the best possible open space area by:

• 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.

Excited to start exploring what Mount Dean Stone has to offer? Before you hit the trail, check out our newest project map and read the most recent update on accessibility and restrictions to various parts of the mountain: 

Pattee Canyon to the South Hills Spur (Phase I)

The City aims to open trails from Pattee Canyon to the Spur later this year. Photo by Tom Robertson.

The South Hills Spur was transferred into the City of Missoula’s ownership in December. While the City works to develop the Barmeyer Loop trail and trailhead at Pattee Canyon Road, which will connect Pattee Canyon to the Spur, this section of Mount Dean Stone is not currently open to the public. 

Our partners at MTB Missoula have broken ground on trails on the Spur, but these trails are not finished and are also not currently open to the public. Please help us by respecting the neighboring private landowners in this area and do not trespass, even if you see trails. The City hopes to open the Barmeyer loop late this fall, and additional trails by fall 2018. To learn read the City's South Hills Spur Recreation Management Plan, which includes a map of proposed trails on page eight.

The Ridge to Miller Creek (Phase II)

This vast 2,500-acre section, across 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 parcel, which runs from the ridgeline south to Miller Creek, while Five Valleys continues to raise funds for its purchase.

The TNC parcel is the best place to explore the Phase II lands, via Little Park Creek. This yet-undeveloped trailhead is 8.5 miles up Upper Miller Creek Road. Click here for driving directions and take a look at our Little Park Creek access map, below.

Please note that several DNRC parcels lie within the Phase II parcel. 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.

Connecting the Spur to the Ridge (Phase III)

Bikers at Little Park Creek. Photo by Five Valleys staff.

Connecting the South Hills Spur to the ridgeline and the TNC parcel beyond, creating a contiguous Mount Dean Stone complex, requires several complex, sensitive land transactions with private landowners. Please help us by respecting private property while we work through these efforts. If you see a private property or no trespassing sign, even if you think it’s old, please respect it. 

Together we can help make Mount Dean Stone an open space for all.

Thank you to our partners: The Nature Conservancy, City of Missoula Parks and Recreation, Run Wild Missoula, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, MTB Missoula and Hellgate Hunters & Anglers.

Header photo of Little Park Creek by Five Valleys staff.


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