Hiking “M” Mountain in Bozeman

“’M’ Mountain” or just The “M” if you’re a local, is a great hike while in Bozeman, Montana.  I did the “M” with one of my best friends and his family in May of 2011 (see video below).  Once you reach the famously visible “M” (which stands for Montana State University [MSU]) you’re rewarded with spectacular views of the Gallatin Valley below, along with mountain peaks in the distance.

There are two trails up the “M…” the right fork, which is quite steep and follows the ridge-line—or, the left side, which is a bit easier via a series of switchbacks through a beautiful forest of Juniper trees.  During our hike we chose to go up the right fork and come down the left… just to mix it up a bit.  There are more trees on the trail to the left, which provides some welcomed shade on a warm summer day.


“M Mountain” is located on the south side of Baldy Mountain overlooking Gallatin Valley.  The “M” trail is accessed via a trailhead at Route 86 in Bridger Canyon. The actual “M” letter formation sits about 5900’ above sea level, about a 1000 foot assent from the 4950’ trailhead.

Plan on at least two hours round trip, a bit more/less depending on your physical condition and length of stay at the top while enjoying the views.  The trail is just over 3 miles round trip.

Winter can make hiking the “M” more difficult due to low temperatures and snow, so take precautions and wear appropriate gear. Early summer through fall is the most popular time to hike the “M.”

In 1915 rocks where arranged and painted white by MSU students to create a 250’ letter “M” that is visible throughout Bozeman.

The Bridger Range has many named and unnamed peaks. Some of the most well-known peaks are:

  • Sacagawea Peak (9665 ft)
  • Hardscrabble Peak (9575 ft)
  • Naya Nuki Peak (9449 ft)
  • Saddle Peak ( 9162 ft)
  • Ross Peak (9004 ft)
  • Mount Baldy (8914 ft)
  • Bridger Peak (8635 ft)

Mike Shubic

Mike Shubic is a seasoned road trip travel video blogger, traversing the byways of the world looking for those hidden gems of the road. From unique destinations, unexpected discoveries, creative cuisine, intriguing inns to exciting attractions…the road is his page. The experiences are his ink. And every 300 miles, a new chapter begins. Whether you live vicariously or by example, Mike will do the exploring so you can have an adventure.


Comments are closed.