If you’re short on time, but your pooch is craving some Mother Nature, then the Blue Mountain Nature Trail is the ideal option. Not to be confused with the nearby Blue Mountain Lookout Trail, this half mile loop gives you a taste of the puptastic natural beauty of the Lolo National Forest and the Bitterroot Valley. The trailhead is easy to pass by. Look for it on the east side of the road, right as Forest Road Number 365 makes a hairpin turn.
Leash up your pup and set out on the flat trail for a delightful afternoon stroll. Since there is barely any change in elevation, this trail attracts families with two legged children, school groups, and folks who aren’t able to tackle more serious hikes. And since there are interpretive signs along the way, visitors will also leave with an education about Glacial Lake Missoula, the area’s flora and fauna, and prescribed fires. Pick up one of the trail’s interpretive brochures at the trailhead or Lolo National Forest Visitors Center for even more information. By the time you head home, your pup will be a Blue Mountain expert!
About half way around the loop, you’ll come to a rock outcropping with a pawsome view of the surrounding mountains, the Missoula Valley, and the confluence of the Bitterrroot River and Clark Fork. A sign identifies each of the peaks and helps you get acquainted with the area. Before moving on, snap a photo or two of your pooch with the gorgeous background.
Although this trail is rather easy, be sure to still pack plenty of water for your four legged hiking buddy. The summer days can be hot, and you don’t want a thirsty pup on your hands. Also, be sure to bring a clean up bag and pick up whatever you dog puts down. Blue Mountain Nature Trail will definitely hit the spot for your outdoor loving pup!