Conservation Lands Closures
Closures Fast Facts
- Upper Mount Dean Stone Preserve trails are closed to dogs to protect wintering elk from December 1 to May 1, but some lower trails including the Barmeyer and Sousa, remain open to dogs year-round.
- Most of Mount Jumbo closes to all recreational use during winter to protect wintering elk, deer and other wildlife. The closure also helps protect recreationists and neighbors from avalanche danger on Jumbo's steeper slopes.
- Jumbo's North Zone, including areas north of the Saddle Road, is closed from December 1 to May 1 or later.
- Jumbo's South Zone, south of the Saddle Road, is closed from December 1 to March 15 or later.
- Closure dates may vary due to weather conditions and wildlife protection requirements.
- On Jumbo, the "L" and I-90 trails remain open all year, and dogs must be leashed during the winter closure.
- Parks and Recreation is seeking volunteers for the "Elk Spotters" program.
- Trespassing during the wildlife closure is prohibited by law, and violators may be fined up to $500.
- Under certain conditions, Mount Jumbo can become an avalanche zone. Trespassers risk their own safety and the safety of others. Watch this site for avalanche updates.
- Please call 911 to report trespass violations. If possible, please provide a description of the person and/or his vehicle and license plate number.
- Closure Map (PDF)
Dogs must be under strict voice and sight control on Mount Jumbo and leashed where posted. Pet owners are asked to respect conservation lands, adjacent private property, other park visitors and wildlife by controlling their dogs at all times and removing their pet’s waste. Pet owners may not allow their dogs to chase, attack or harass wildlife or livestock on City open space. Free Mutt Mitts and loaner leashes are provided at trailheads.
Several trails on Mount Jumbo are open all year, including the U.S. West road above I-90 and the L trail, both of which are accessible at the Cherry Street trailhead. Dogs must be leashed on the L trail and during the winter closure. The road linking Upper Lincoln Hills Drive with Tamarack St. and the 40 acres below the road is also open all year. These trails may be closed if avalanche conditions are present. Watch this site for updates.
Each winter brings own special elk herd back to its traditional winter range. When winter snows deplete forage at higher elevations, about 75 elk move to lower elevations on the slopes of Mt. Jumbo to feed. To help increase the elk herd’s chance for winter survival, citizens, staff and wildlife biologists have agreed to institute seasonal closures of critical areas of the mountain to all recreational use. Help track the elk on their winter range: Jumbo Elk Spotters Program
Other Wildlife Protection Closures
Conservation lands may be closed to protect wildlife as needed, especially during the winter months. Sign up for email alerts of Conservation Lands closures.
During fire season, conservation lands may be closed to protect citizens from wildfire. Wildfire can happen in the blink of an eye and if you’re caught on a grassy, sun-drenched slope, such as Mount Sentinel, Mount Jumbo, or the North Hills when a fire starts, you can be in extreme danger. Wildfires, especially when wind-driven, can move at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.
The City of Missoula wants citizens to recreate safely in summer and fall. During fire season, western Montana’s vegetation, from grass to trees, is likely drought-stressed and tinder dry. Consequently, along with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and the U.S. Forest Service, the city may temporarily close a few popular open space sites as a public safety precaution. Citizens will be notified by press release, website postings, and email alerts.
City of Missoula/Missoula County Urban Avalanche Awareness
The City of Missoula and the Missoula County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) have created an Urban Avalanche Response Team comprised of personnel from the OEM, Missoula Fire Department, Missoula Police Department, Missoula Parks and Recreation, the West Central Montana Avalanche Foundation and others to monitor avalanche conditions on Mount Jumbo and prepare for an emergency response should an avalanche occur.
The Team has informally designated February as "Urban Avalanche Awareness Month" in an effort to educate residents about the risks of urban avalanches and how to protect themselves and their property. Learn more.
W. Broadway Islands are CLOSED due to flood risk.
Tower St. Open Space now OPEN.
City conservation lands located in the floodplain, including West Broadway Islands and Tower St. Open Space, close in the Spring due to the risk of flooding. Trash containers and park fixtures will be removed as needed before river levels rise. The areas' re-opening dates will be determined based on flood and weather conditions. Sign up for Smart 911 emergency alerts and learn more about flood safety at the Missoula County Office of Emergency Management website, missoulacounty.us. Questions or concerns? Please call Park Operations at 406-552-6253.