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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    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 3 months 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.

Page last updated: 24 September 2021, 09:26