Not everyone can lay claim to their very own mountain, but that is just what Helena, Montana did when the original mining town was built around the large outcropping. Now the center of a thriving downtown, it’s a popular hiking destination that offers a variety of trails that cater to hikers of all skill levels, from novice to experienced. It also makes an exceptional place to have a picnic lunch with a treeless granite top!
Hiking Mount Helena allows visitors to take in the stunning views of the city, the surrounding mountain ranges, and the infamous sleeping giant. The trails are well-maintained, and there are numerous viewpoints along the way that offer sweeping vistas of the area. Hikers can expect to see a variety of wildlife, including deer, ground squirrels, and a wide variety of birds.
One of the most popular trails is the Mount Helena Ridge Trail, which is a 4.3-mile out-and-back trail that offers stunning panoramic views of Helena and the surrounding cityscape. The trailhead is conveniently located just minutes from downtown Helena, making it a great choice for those who want to explore the outdoors without having to travel too far from the city.
For those who are looking for a longer and more challenging hike, the Mount Helena City Park Trail System offers several more options. The 3.3-mile Mount Helena Trail is a steep climb to the summit of the mountain, but the views at the top are well worth the effort. The trail also connects to several other trails, including the 1.7-mile 1906 Trail and the 3.3-mile Prairie Trail.
Before heading out on any hike up to the top of Mount Helena, it's important to be prepared. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and snacks, and wear appropriate footwear. It's also a good idea with any hike to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. Being so easily accessible and close to town, this is a very popular mountain and you are almost certain to run into other hikers, friendly dogs, and the local track team depending on the time of year!
Hiking Mount Helena is a great way to experience the beauty of Helena's natural landscape. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or a beginner, there is a trail for everyone to enjoy.