All areas on Missoula’s Mount Jumbo north of Saddle Road will reopen to the public on Tuesday, May 1.
The South Zone already is open.
The North Zone is accessible by way of the trailhead on Upper Lincoln Hills Drive. All dogs must be under strict voice and sight control, and may not chase or harass wildlife or livestock.
A wintertime closure protects elk that utilize the hillside for food and shelter, keeping humans and dogs at bay and allowing the elk to remain close to their food supply and to conserve energy during calving season.
The closure also helps prevent the elk from becoming habituated to humans and dogs, thereby altering their natural behaviors.
Morgan Valliant, the city’s conservation lands manager, made the announcement Monday after consulting with Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks about snowpack conditions and the elk herd’s location.
Mount Jumbo’s South Zone, including the Backbone Trail and trails near the “L,” reopened in March.
Missoula Parks and Recreation sells maps of Mount Jumbo and all city-owned open space for $4, available at Currents Aquatics Center.
Valliant asked that pet owners respect conservation lands, adjacent private property, other park visitors and wildlife by controlling their dogs at all times and removing their pet’s waste.
Leashes are required in some areas – where posted with a sign to that effect.
Free Mutt Mitts and loaner leashes are provided at trailheads.