Maddie's Trails | A collection of quality hiking trails in Western Montana.

Maddie's Trails


Our Elk Ridge Loop2.5 miles, 750 feet

A short, but scenic loop on the ridge where the Mount Jumbo elk herd can often be seen in winter.

Description

This is my favorite, short loop from the Lincoln Hills trailhead.  Head up the trail from the parking lot (you can also walk up the gated dirt road for a somewhat more gradual climb).  After a few hundred yards, you’ll cross an old two track, then quickly connect with the North Loop road.  Keep walking until the road makes a sharp bend to the left - your new trail starts here. This trail used to run up the spine of this ridge but was reconstructed - I’m guessing - summer of 2012.  When you reach the top of the ridge, the trail turns to the left, and quickly forks. Go right - if you continue straight, you’ll walk along the ridge to a *very* steep descent.

This area is thick with native wildflowers in late May and June. For this loop, stay right. It is the more heavily used trail. You’ll walk down through heavy underbrush (at least relative to most of Mt Jumbo) until you reach a junction on the North Loop saddle. Turn left onto North Loop.  About 100 yards further, you’ll reach an overgrown logging road coming in from the left. This is your trail.

Follow this trail for about a third of a mile.  Eventually it opens up and crosses the very steep trail mentioned earlier.  The trail gradually descends across the western face of the ridge you just traversed.  In the spring, it’s full of lupine, balsamroot and Indian paintbrush. The trail turns right when you reach the gas pipeline.  A short ways further you intersect North Loop where you quickly follow it left, which returns you to Lincoln Hills Drive, just beyond the parking area 80 yards to your left.

Getting There

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.


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