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Mount Sentinel, Montana

4.9
#74 of 124 in Nature in Montana
Mount Sentinel, originally known as "Mount Woody," is a small mountain located to the east of the University of Montana in Missoula, Mont. At a height of 1,958 feet and an elevation of 5158ft, Mount Sentinel also features the hillside letter "M", a large concrete structure 620ft up its western face.
The University of Montana first received land on Mount Sentinel in 1902 when the Northern Pacific Railroad Company donated 40 acres at the foot and up the slope of the mountain. The U.S. Congress later turned over many acres of Mount Sentinel so that campus extended up the slope to the crest of the mountain, making the University of Montana the only university in the nation to own a mountain. In 2000, the city of Missoula also purchased 475 acres along the face of Mount Sentinel.
Glacial Lake Missoula Between 15,000 and 13,000 years ago, a Pleistocene Ice Age glacier moved through the Purcell Trench in northern Idaho, damming the Clark Fork River. This glacial dam created Glacial Lake Missoula, a lake larger than Lake Erie and Lake Ontario combined. As the lake continued to grow, pressure increased on the glacial dam, ultimately causing the dam to fail. Water from the lake rushed westward at speeds between 30 and 50 miles per hour across Montana, Idaho, and Washington. The violent flow created by the draining of Glacial Lake Missoula left shoreline marks that are still visible on the face of Mount Sentinel and Mount Jumbo, a neighboring mountain to the north.
A visit to Mount Sentinel represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Missoula trip planning tool to plot your vacation.
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Mount Sentinel Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
20 reviews
Google
4.9
TripAdvisor
  • We had fun to find the Mount Sentinel. They call it also "M". Mo for the University of Montana. We tried the hard way, but we ran out. The last adventure was a success. Worthwhile to see!  more »
  • Hiked this when we visited Missoula. Fun hike, wear sturdy shoes as there is loose rock on the trail-especially on the way downhill. There are benches on the end of a few of the switchbacks if you...  more »
Google
  • Use left trail for excellent cardio workout, stunning views and photo ops. Sunscreen, wide brim hat, and water are necessities. Early morning or early evening hikes are more comfortable due to heat and sun exposure.
  • Bring oxygen and water. Watch out for the young whipper snappers and their beer cans. Be careful coming down I fractured my pelvis when I fell trying to chase after a bunny. I did get the bunny though and now I will always have good luck with my new lucky charm.

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