This trail is usually impassable due to snow and dead fall until June.
This trail starts at the Woods Gulch trailhead and climbs consistently for nearly 6 miles before you get a break. The further you run up this trail, the harder and more rugged it becomes. Be prepared for anything; it's a long way out if you have any issues! There is no water available on this ridge.
Once out of Woods Gulch, this trail follows a prominent ridge line in lodgepole forest with a variety of terrain to keep you on your toes. Look for excellent views of both the Rattlesnake Wilderness on your left and occasional views of the Missoula Valley on your right as you climb up into the alpine. Just when you think you have hit the top, you get a great view of the backside of Sheep Mountain ahead and Wisherd Ridge off to your right. Descend into the small saddle and be prepared for some steep sections as you summit Sheep. Once on top, enjoy the views of several nearby wilderness areas.
At this point, you can either turn around and go down what you just traveled up or head off the back side of the peak for some steep, rocky, and exposed switchback running that transitions to a smoother steep path through the forest. If you choose to run the back of Sheep Mountain, there are several ways out; either head left down the East Fork of Rattlesnake Creek trail (514) or continue until 513 meets the road and head up FS Road 2120 to run Mineral Peak Trail (511). Both 514 and 511 will bring you down to the main Rattlesnake Corridor road just above Franklin Bridge for a dip in Rattlesnake Creek followed by an easy 8 miles of two-track running back to the main Rattlesnake Trailhead.
Shared By: Matt Radlowski