Missoula Area Mountain Winter Wildlife Restrictions in Place Now
Watch where you step! As of today (December 1), you, and your dogs, need to be mindful of wintering elk on certain mountain trails overlooking Missoula.
Missoula Parks and Recreation announced that parts of both Mount Jumbo and Mount Dean Stone are now off limits to hikers and/or pets. These are annual closures that have been in effect for some time.
Here is the Parks and Recreation overview of what is and isn't allowed on Jumbo and Dean Stone:
The Mount Dean Stone Preserve trails are closed to dogs to protect wintering elk, now through May 1. However, some lower trails remain open to dogs year-round.
Mount Dean Stone's Barmeyer and Sousa trails remain open to dogs during the closure.
Most of Mount Jumbo closes to all recreational use during winter to protect wintering elk, deer and other wildlife. These closures serve another critical purpose, protection from avalanche dangers on some of Mount Jumbo’s steeper slopes.
The Mount Jumbo North Zone, which includes areas north of Saddle Road, is also closed through May 1. The South Zone, south of Saddle Road, is also closed, but only until March 15.
Mount Jumbo's popular “L” and I-90 trails remain open all year, but dogs must be leashed during the winter closure periods in effect elsewhere on the mountain.
There are lots more details courtesy of Missoula Parks and Rec here. Also, if you are really into these majestic creatures, Parks and Recreation has an Elk Spotters program for which they could use some volunteers. If you want to help out with that, give them a call at 406-721-PARK.