Image courtesy Jacob Fuhrer.

HELENA – The City of Helena is working to improve the parking situation at one of the most popular trailheads in the city and is asking for public input on how to do it.

The Beattie Street Trailhead is the main access point to Mount Ascension and as residential development continues in that area, it has become a challenge to provide enough parking and facilities for hikers and bikers.

Alternative 1. Courtesy City of Helena.

According to Helena’s Parks and Recreation Department, city engineers have developed two possible solutions. “Alternative 1” would support 24 standard parking spots and two accessible spaces. “Alternative 2” would support 30 standard spots and two accessible spaces. Both designs include a vaulted restroom similar to the one found on the Mount Helena City Park. The added spaces would be constructed to the south of the current lot on city park property.

Alternative 2. Courtesy City of Helena.
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On Tuesday, the Helena Open Lands Management Committee (HOLMAC) will discuss the pros and cons of both options and is hoping to hear the community’s opinion.

Helena resident Theresa Bousliman was heading up to Mount Ascension Monday and parked at the trailhead. Bousliman knew about the proposed changes and welcomes them, though she said she hasn’t had much trouble parking at the trailhead during the winter.

“I think it will be great. I think it will be great for the hikers to have the restroom, to have the facilities and also as the trail becomes more popular to have more parking. Especially during the summer when the mountain bikers come up,” Bousliman said.

The open house begins Tuesday at 5 p.m. in room 426 of the City-County Building.




  1. I am concerned that the increased traffic will be detrimental to the residential aspect of this neighborhood. It seems like it would be more logical (and less impactful to residents) to increase the parking area on Davis Gulch instead.

  2. The City indicated to the public that they had 4 alternatives under consideration. Only two are offered. One requested alternative (which the City said it would offer) was to keep the impact minimal and reproduce only those number of spaces as currently exist, more than ample given the regular use of the parking lot. This alternative does not appear on the table – why not? The city did a dismal job of including the neighborhood in this discussion, though they’ve said they’ve been working on this plan for years…. Now they are trying to appear as though they are engaging the neighborhood, but aren’t considering the least damaging alternative. There have been multiple requests to allow access by spreading out the impact cross multiple parking sites to the south hills, but the City seems to have Beattie in its bulls-eye. Consider the proposal in the Helena Open Lands Plan for cutting new trails on the southeast face of Mount Ascension for bike-specific trails….hmmm….

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