Conservation Lands Closures

March, 2016 Update:  
The South Zone will re-open to the public on Tuesday, March 22


Mount Jumbo Winter Wildlife Closure Schedule
  • The North Zone, from the Saddle Trail to the north, is closed annually from December 1 until May 1, weather permitting.
  • The South Zone, from the Saddle Trail above Lincoln Hills Dr. and south to I-90, is closed annually from December 1 to March 15, weather permitting. 
  • Closure Map
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. 

All-Year Trails
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 trail head. Dogs must be leashed on the L trail and U.S. West road during the winter closure. The road linking Upper Lincoln Hills Drive with Tamarack St. and the 40 acres below the road are also open all year.

Elk Population 
Each winter brings Mount Jumbo’s 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.

Fire 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.