4x4 Trails near Missoula
This is just a sample of great 4x4 routes in the area. Pick up a copy of 4x4 Routes of Western Montana for detailed information on over forty routes.
- Blue Mountain: The Blue Mountain route, just south of Missoula, offers a quick half day excursion ending at Telephone Butte, which is a great place to eat lunch. The trail is not difficult and can easily be accessed by a stock 4x4 vehicle (not your Subaru though). On the way back down you have some scenic views of the Missoula and Bitterroot valleys. The first part of the route takes you on a good graded dirt road to Woodsman Saddle. From here the route becomes more challenging, especially in the early summer due to the numerous mud holes along the way.
- Rock Creek: To the east of Missoula, about 26 miles, is the turn off to Rock Creek, exit 126, county road 348, which offers a chance to fish one of the premier Blue Ribbon trout streams of Montana. This approximately 60 mile long paved and then good graded dirt road follows along the creek with a good chance of seeing big horn sheep, moose, and deer, especially in the early mornings and late afternoon. There is a well marked turn off that will take you to numerous routes in our book that range from easy to fairly difficult. They will give you the opportunity to visit remains of mines and offer a great view from the top of Slide Rock Mountain.
- Skalkaho Pass: If you continue on Rock Creek Road, this scenic easy route continues to the pavement at Highway 348, where you have the option of turning to the east on it (left) towards Philipsburg and then back home along Montana’s scenic highway 1. Or you can continue straight to the south and join in with Highway 38 that turns to the west and rejoins Highway 93 just south of Hamilton, where you can return to Missoula via Highway 93. This well graded dirt road takes you over Skalkaho Pass, where you want to be sure to spend a few moments enjoying the spectacular Skalkaho Falls, and can be done even in a passenger car, though the road is closed during the winter.