Mount Dean Stone

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Mount Dean Stone Preserve Now Fully Open to the Public!

The trail connecting the upper and lower portions of the Mount Dean Stone Preserve has been completed and the entire Preserve is now open to the public! See the Mount Dean Stone Trails Map for all trails open on the Mount Dean Stone Preserve. This opens an additional 350 acres of Conservation Lands and a total of 6.33 miles of new non-motorized trails to the public. These new trails are open to both hikers and bikers. Please follow proper trail etiquette and respect other trail users while enjoying the Mount Dean Stone Preserve. Newly opened trails can be accessed from both the Sousa Trailhead on Spanish Peak Drive or the Barmeyer Trailhead on Pattee Canyon Drive. From the Sousa Trailhead to the highest point on the new trails is 4.52 miles and gains 1,900 feet in elevation. From the Barmeyer Trailhead to the high point is 5.16 miles and 2,340 feet in elevation gain.

The opening of these new trails follows the adoption of the Mount Dean Stone Preserve Recreation and Special Resource Management Plan on March 9, 2021. For more information on recreation management objectives and resource considerations for the Preserve, please refer to the full Management Plan in the documents section to the right.

Enjoy Missoula’s newest Conservation Lands and always remember to do your part to steward these special places by following all posted rules, staying on designated trails, and packing out all litter. Thank You!

Trailhead Access and Parking

Sousa Trailhead
The Sousa Trailhead is located on Spanish Peak Drive. If you plan to drive to the Sousa Trailhead, please access the trailhead via Whitaker and Dean Stone Drives. Parking is on-street only. Please park in the designated parking area which is south of the trailhead.

Barmeyer Trailhead
The Barmeyer Trailhead is located on Pattee Canyon Drive. A small gravel parking lot is available on the south side of Pattee Drive. The parking lot only accommodates 12 vehicles and there is no overflow parking.

Background on Missoula's Latest Open Space Acquisition

The Missoula City Council approved the purchase of 350 acres of open space land on Mount Dean Stone to provide a new publicly accessible recreational trail and protect scenic open space and wildlife habitat.

The Mount Dean Stone Preserve opens over five miles of new trail route on the south side of Missoula, above the South Hills Spur and the Barmeyer Trail. The Preserve promotes health, wellness, and social equity through the delivery of unparalleled recreational opportunities. Conserving these lands will help Missoula adapt to climate change and plan for sustainable growth that is responsive to community needs. In December 2020, the City Council approved spending $925,000 in Open Space funds to acquire the 350-acre Mount Dean Stone Preserve from Five Valleys Land Trust, which Five Valleys Land Trust will match with a $1.6 million-dollar contribution to the project.

Promoting Health, Wellness, and Social Equity

The Mount Dean Stone Preserve promotes health, wellness, and social equity by significantly expanding Missoula’s trail system. The trail on the upper Preserve was built at an 8% grade, which is less steep than many of the trails around Missoula and is suitable for a broad array of Missoula’s residents. The Mount Dean Stone Preserve will expand the limited number of places where the City’s recreation programming can give people of all ages the opportunity to grow, experience, learn, and enjoy the natural world around them. Delivering both physical and mental health benefits, the proposed conservation lands will provide an outstanding recreational corridor where people can get exercise and connect with each other in nature.

Adapting to Climate Change and Protecting Human Safety

The Preserve helps meet the goals and strategies prioritized in the 2020 Climate Ready Missoula Plan and Missoula County’s 2018 Community Wildfire Protection Plan. Located adjacent to the City, the acquisition of the Mount Dean Stone Preserve helps the Missoula community adapt to climate change by eliminating residential development in a high wildfire risk area, reducing wildfire risk to both structures and first responders. In order to promote long-term forest health and reduce wildfire risk, Five Valleys Land Trust completed a forest health improvement project on the Mount Dean Stone Preserve lands closest to Missoula. Under Conservation Lands Management, the City can further buffer developed areas from wildfire through appropriate forest management.

Winding through scenic forested land at the edge of Missoula, the Preserve also provides a shady place to get outside in a warming world. Its carefully designed trail system will provide exceptional recreational experiences close to where people live, which will promote non-motorized transportation and reduce emissions from vehicles as well as dependency on fossil fuels.

Planning with Vision

The Preserve balances land uses by conserving land with significant public access and natural resource values without reducing the availability of land that is suitable for meeting Missoula’s affordable housing needs. Missoula’s Growth Policy guides residential and commercial development inward where services and housing can be developed more economically and efficiently. The Growth Policy also recognizes that a primary, character-defining feature of Missoula is its connection with natural and scenic resources and that outdoor recreation is an essential part of the Missoula community’s character and way of life. The Preserve supports Missoula’s efforts to provide a safe and healthy quality of life for our growing community through accessible open space conservation and recreation programs on lands appropriate for conservation.

Community Support

Over the last five years, hundreds of Missoula residents, as well as dozens of businesses and partnering organizations and agencies, have celebrated and invested in the conservation of Mount Dean Stone. They’ve pulled weeds, designed and developed trails, shared their expertise, and contributed generously to this grassroots community effort. With their support, Five Valleys Land Trust facilitated the Mount Dean Stone Corridor proposal and brings $1.6 million dollars in matching funds to the project.


Mount Dean Stone Preserve Now Fully Open to the Public!

The trail connecting the upper and lower portions of the Mount Dean Stone Preserve has been completed and the entire Preserve is now open to the public! See the Mount Dean Stone Trails Map for all trails open on the Mount Dean Stone Preserve. This opens an additional 350 acres of Conservation Lands and a total of 6.33 miles of new non-motorized trails to the public. These new trails are open to both hikers and bikers. Please follow proper trail etiquette and respect other trail users while enjoying the Mount Dean Stone Preserve. Newly opened trails can be accessed from both the Sousa Trailhead on Spanish Peak Drive or the Barmeyer Trailhead on Pattee Canyon Drive. From the Sousa Trailhead to the highest point on the new trails is 4.52 miles and gains 1,900 feet in elevation. From the Barmeyer Trailhead to the high point is 5.16 miles and 2,340 feet in elevation gain.

The opening of these new trails follows the adoption of the Mount Dean Stone Preserve Recreation and Special Resource Management Plan on March 9, 2021. For more information on recreation management objectives and resource considerations for the Preserve, please refer to the full Management Plan in the documents section to the right.

Enjoy Missoula’s newest Conservation Lands and always remember to do your part to steward these special places by following all posted rules, staying on designated trails, and packing out all litter. Thank You!

Trailhead Access and Parking

Sousa Trailhead
The Sousa Trailhead is located on Spanish Peak Drive. If you plan to drive to the Sousa Trailhead, please access the trailhead via Whitaker and Dean Stone Drives. Parking is on-street only. Please park in the designated parking area which is south of the trailhead.

Barmeyer Trailhead
The Barmeyer Trailhead is located on Pattee Canyon Drive. A small gravel parking lot is available on the south side of Pattee Drive. The parking lot only accommodates 12 vehicles and there is no overflow parking.

Background on Missoula's Latest Open Space Acquisition

The Missoula City Council approved the purchase of 350 acres of open space land on Mount Dean Stone to provide a new publicly accessible recreational trail and protect scenic open space and wildlife habitat.

The Mount Dean Stone Preserve opens over five miles of new trail route on the south side of Missoula, above the South Hills Spur and the Barmeyer Trail. The Preserve promotes health, wellness, and social equity through the delivery of unparalleled recreational opportunities. Conserving these lands will help Missoula adapt to climate change and plan for sustainable growth that is responsive to community needs. In December 2020, the City Council approved spending $925,000 in Open Space funds to acquire the 350-acre Mount Dean Stone Preserve from Five Valleys Land Trust, which Five Valleys Land Trust will match with a $1.6 million-dollar contribution to the project.

Promoting Health, Wellness, and Social Equity

The Mount Dean Stone Preserve promotes health, wellness, and social equity by significantly expanding Missoula’s trail system. The trail on the upper Preserve was built at an 8% grade, which is less steep than many of the trails around Missoula and is suitable for a broad array of Missoula’s residents. The Mount Dean Stone Preserve will expand the limited number of places where the City’s recreation programming can give people of all ages the opportunity to grow, experience, learn, and enjoy the natural world around them. Delivering both physical and mental health benefits, the proposed conservation lands will provide an outstanding recreational corridor where people can get exercise and connect with each other in nature.

Adapting to Climate Change and Protecting Human Safety

The Preserve helps meet the goals and strategies prioritized in the 2020 Climate Ready Missoula Plan and Missoula County’s 2018 Community Wildfire Protection Plan. Located adjacent to the City, the acquisition of the Mount Dean Stone Preserve helps the Missoula community adapt to climate change by eliminating residential development in a high wildfire risk area, reducing wildfire risk to both structures and first responders. In order to promote long-term forest health and reduce wildfire risk, Five Valleys Land Trust completed a forest health improvement project on the Mount Dean Stone Preserve lands closest to Missoula. Under Conservation Lands Management, the City can further buffer developed areas from wildfire through appropriate forest management.

Winding through scenic forested land at the edge of Missoula, the Preserve also provides a shady place to get outside in a warming world. Its carefully designed trail system will provide exceptional recreational experiences close to where people live, which will promote non-motorized transportation and reduce emissions from vehicles as well as dependency on fossil fuels.

Planning with Vision

The Preserve balances land uses by conserving land with significant public access and natural resource values without reducing the availability of land that is suitable for meeting Missoula’s affordable housing needs. Missoula’s Growth Policy guides residential and commercial development inward where services and housing can be developed more economically and efficiently. The Growth Policy also recognizes that a primary, character-defining feature of Missoula is its connection with natural and scenic resources and that outdoor recreation is an essential part of the Missoula community’s character and way of life. The Preserve supports Missoula’s efforts to provide a safe and healthy quality of life for our growing community through accessible open space conservation and recreation programs on lands appropriate for conservation.

Community Support

Over the last five years, hundreds of Missoula residents, as well as dozens of businesses and partnering organizations and agencies, have celebrated and invested in the conservation of Mount Dean Stone. They’ve pulled weeds, designed and developed trails, shared their expertise, and contributed generously to this grassroots community effort. With their support, Five Valleys Land Trust facilitated the Mount Dean Stone Corridor proposal and brings $1.6 million dollars in matching funds to the project.


Ask a question

Questions about the project? Ask Open Space Program Manager Grant Carlson.

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  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Why did you route traffic up Dean Stone Drive? This is as much a residential street as Spanish peaks drive. I live on Dean stone and myself and my neighbors do not want more auto traffic.

    John asked 25 days ago

    Hello, and thanks for the feedback. Your HOA president specifically asked for that routing to mitigate traffic on the neighborhood as a whole. The traffic routing also lines traffic up with the designated parking area on the south side of the road.

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    Where are the trails for those 65 and older that can't walk 9+ miles? The plan needs to provide for some ATV/4-wheeler use and connectivity to existing FS roads.

    jimm asked 5 months ago

    Hello Jimm,

    Thanks for your question regarding accessible trails on the Mount Dean Stone Preserve. Unfortunately, steep topography and narrow trail corridors prevented us from building more universally accessible trails. While the City of Missoula does not manage for motorized access on City Conservation Lands, planning to connect the trails on the Mount Dean Stone Preserve to adjacent Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy lands are ongoing.

     

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    So are you just responding to questions? Or are you accepting public input; very different! My comment is, we need out door spaces where dogs are not allowed and neither are bikers. I feel I have no where to go in peace. Many people here have several large dogs, many of whom do not keep them on leases or pick up the poop. I can't go anywhere in to enjoy solitude and peace. Also, when I go to the places around Missoula, there is no wildlife; it's because dogs and bikers scare them off. If I am put off by these intrusive people and dogs, I can imagine how the wildlife feels. Dogs and bikes need to have some space, but not everywhere. It is out of control here in Missoula. Generations of my family have been born and raised in Montana, and now our quiet spaces are over run by dogs and bikes. I am sick of wreckreation...they need limits and containment and should not just be given carte blanche all the time. I realize they will scream bloody murder and have tantrums if they have any limits set on them, but some responsible, adult person needs to do it.

    Patty99 asked 5 months ago

    Hello Patty99,

    Thank you for your comment and concern regarding dogs and bikes on the Mount Dean Stone Preserve. While we share your concern for wildlife and responsible pet owners, we also strive to balance the demands of many users who recreate on our lands and support our ability to continue to provide diverse recreational experiences. That is why on the Mount Dean Stone Preserve, in particular, we are planning both pedestrian-only trails where bikes are not allowed and multi-use trails where bikes are allowed. We are also planning to close the most sensitive area to dogs from December 1 - May 1 of each year to protect wintering elk.  We believe these steps are reasonable attempts to balance the needs of diverse recreational users and the needs of wildlife.  Please see our draft Management Plan, available here https://www.engagemissoula.com/mount-dean-stone, for more details.

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    Why won't the city or fwp close the barmeyer tr in the late writer (Jan thru march) until 10 am every morning I watch people from my house chasing the elk up the hill and their dogs I don't want it closed all the time just first thing in the morning let the elk feed up in the trees and bed down

    Eric tomaszewski asked 5 months ago

    Hello Eric,

    Thank you for your question regarding a winter morning closure on the Barmeyer trail. The suggestion is good, but likely difficult to enforce. Perhaps this is an issue that can be approached with better education. It seems likely that many recreationists do not know what impact they may be having on elk or other wildlife. We will be installing some educational signage on the property which will address this issue in part. 

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    Where will everyone park at barmeyer trailhead? Isn't there clear needs to for access and parking from Larch Camp road and from mansion heights?? Where will older people, 74 years old, like me hike from?

    asked 5 months ago

    Hello,

    Thank you for your questions regarding parking and access on the Mount Dean Stone Preserve. Parking to access the Mount Dean Stone Preserve will be available at the Barmeyer Trailhead parking lot and on-street parking at the Sousa Trailhead on Spanish Peaks Drive. The City is continuing to pursue opportunities to expand parking in this area, but there are not any immediately viable options. Trail connections that are currently in the planning phase may help to add additional access points and distribute use. Currently, the Sousa Trailhead provides the best access for individuals who prefer a less steep trail.

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    I support! Would live to know the mixed use plans. Mountain biking, hiking, horse?

    Trob asked 8 months ago

    Hello Trob,

    Thank you for your question regarding our multi-use plans for the Mount Dean Stone Preserve. Please see the draft Management Plan for details. Its available here: https://www.engagemissoula.com/mount-dean-stone. The plan includes both pedestrian only trails and non-motorized trails open to bikes and pedestrians. Trails are not open to horses due to site constraints and safety concerns.

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    Who will be the stewards of the property? Weed control, timberland management, trail maintenance etc.

    Andy Hayes asked 8 months ago

    Hello Andy,

    Thank you for your question regarding the stewardship of the Mount Dean Stone Preserve. All management of the City-owned portions of Mount Dean Stone will be conducted by the Conservation Lands Management Program of Missoula Parks and Recreation. 

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    So I live on mount Dean stone full time. Actually for the last 19 years. Ever since five valley’s started this project I have seen nothing but increased activity and disruption of the wildlife habitat. What is you plan to keep these people from trespassing? As it has already become a problem and will only increase.

    Clang asked 8 months ago

    Hello,

    Thank you for your question regarding trespass issues on the Mount Dean Stone Preserve. The issue of potential trespass into surrounding private lands is something that we have considered carefully and address expressly in the draft Management Plan that we are currently working on. If you have not had a chance to review the draft plan, it is available here https://www.engagemissoula.com/mount-dean-stone. In the most narrow corridors where the potential for trespass is highest, we will use jackleg fencing, gates, and signage to encourage users to stay on trail and on public land.