A nice 90 minute loop trail with good eastern, western and southern views.
From the trailhead follow the trail climbing up to the saddle. Stay left when the trail forks and make your way to Jumbo Saddle Road. Soon you will have views of the saddle itself, then of the Clark Fork, East Missoula, and Canyon River. When you see a newly cut road going uphill to the left, take it, or continue 100 yards and start climbing on the “old” road. At the top of this stretch there is a private home to the right, and the area has been recently thinned. The trail climbs steadily, then flattens out, passing by a small meadow to the left where I once saw a Momma black bear and her two cubs, then soon climbs steeply until you reach the junction at the top of this hike.
For this hike, keep going straight, which is also down. Going left takes you on a very pretty little stretch of trail back to the top of the ridge you just walked around; going right, mostly used by mountain bikers, takes you to any of several trails towards Wood’s Gulch, the Rattlesnake NRA, or Blue Point.
From here it is almost all downhill. The road makes a big switchback on Elk Ridge, easily seen from town. There are great views of Missoula and the Bitterroot Range from here. Follow the trail back down to Lincoln Hills Drive, and walk the 50 yards back to the parking area. If you do this hike mid-day in the summer, bring plenty of water.
Drive north on Rattlesnake Drive. Turn right onto Lincoln Hills Drive and follow the road all the way to the top until you reach the parking area below the Jumbo Saddle.