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The large white M that overlooks Bozeman from the south slope of Baldy Mountain is accessible from a trailhead and trails managed by the Gallatin National Forest. The trailhead is located on Rt 86 at the mouth of Bridger Canyon. The 250-ft long letter M was made from whitewashed rocks built by students from Montana State University in 1915. Google Maps
The vertical elevation from trailhead to the top of the M is approximately 850 ft. The elevation at the M is approximately 5,800 ft. Elevation at the trailhead is approx 4,950 ft. There are multiple trails ranging from medium to hard. The western trail (turn left at the trailhead) is easier, with many switchbacks and a more meandering trail to the top. There are some very nice outlooks over the Gallatin Valley from this trail. Part of the trail cuts through fir and juniper forest. There are some alternate trails up this side
The eastern trail runs up the ridge, and is a more direct and shorter route. However, the steep slope on rock requires more caution, hiking boots and possibly walking stick(s).This trail offers better views of Bozeman and the surrounding area and mountains. Hiking down this trail is hazardous because of loose stone and rock, use caution. The main trail up through the Bridger Mountain Range branches off from this route about halfway up.
Plan on up to 2 hours for up and down trip with time at the top to rest and take pictures. Trails are not marked, but well worn paths are sufficient for non-winter hiking. A water bottle is suggested. Winter hiking is not suggested without proper equipment and training.