MISSOULA – Parts of Missoula’s Mount Jumbo are now off-limits to hikers.
Most of Mount Jumbo closed to recreational use to protect wintering elk, deer and other wildlife on December 1.
The North Zone — including areas north of the Saddle Road — will remain closed until May 1. The South Zone — south of the Saddle Road — will be closed until March 15.
City officials note that the “L” and I-90 trails are still open as usual and that dogs must be leashed during the winter closure.
Once the winter snows start to fall about 120 elk move to Mount Jumbo’s lower slopes to feed. To help increase the herd’s chance for winter survival, critical areas of the mountain are closed seasonally to recreational use.
Maps and more information about the closure can be found here.
Trespassing during the wildlife closure is prohibited by law and violators may be fined up to $500. Folks are asked to call 911 to report violations.
Missoula Parks and Recreation is also seeking volunteer “Elk Spotters” to help track the Mount Jumbo herd’s movements over the winter months to learn more about how the animals use the mountain.
Those interested in committing to elk spotting on a daily basis may contact Clancy Jandreau at firstname.lastname@example.org.