M Mountain or "The M" as locals call it is a beautiful hike 10 minutes away from downtown Bozeman. This hike is a popular hiking destination for many locals with amazing views.
I was in town for a business meeting and had 2 hours of down time and an itch to get some stair climbing training in. Hiking up mountains has turned out to be my favorite non-stairclimbing training activity. The views, fresh air, varying degrees of incline, wildlife and happy people you meet make it very enjoyable compared to running up hotel stairs that are empty, dark, windowless, dusty and typically all white.
|The M Parking Lot....Graffiti good...Dog Pollution Bad...|
I began to jog about halfway up when I entered some beautiful trees and mountainous vegetation. There are three different routes I found to get up to the top. One of them is basically straight up and pretty challenging. The one I chose is longer in distance and zig zags the mountain until you reach the top.
After 20 minutes 57 seconds I reached The M and grabbed some water and caught my breath from the walk that turned into a jog that turned into a full on run for the last quarter of a mile of the hike. The elevation climb gave me a similar burning feeling I get in my lungs when I run stairs.
The M is made of a bunch of rocks painted white and held together with some 4 by 6 wood pieces. There is some erosion but overall it is in pretty good shape. It is always interesting to see these letters up close. They seem so uneven and bumpy yet when you view them from the valley they look like one solid piece of concrete that you could slide down.
The view from the top was incredible. I can see why there were so many people on this hike this beautiful spring day. A few people I spoke to told me they climb it 5 days a week...Impressive. I will definitely be back to workout here again. Next time I'm taking the straight up trail!