Rattlesnake National Recreation Area & Wilderness

Lolo National Forest, Near Missoula, Montana

Rattlesnake National Recreation Area & Wilderness does not offer reservations through Recreation.gov. Please take a look at the area details below for more information about visiting this location. Enjoy your visit!


Established by Congress in 1980, the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and Wilderness is located on the Missoula Ranger District, northwest of Missoula and southwest of Seeley Lake, Montana. This area is an iconic recreation destination for those visiting Missoula.

The National Recreation Area

The National Recreation Area (NRA) lies south and adjacent to the wilderness and receives heavy recreation use, particularly in the South Zone, within about three miles of the main trailhead. It is a popular area for hiking, biking, trail running and horseback riding.

The Rattlesnake Wilderness

The Rattlesnake Mountains, located four miles north of Missoula, Montana, and adjacent to the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area, form a rugged and scenic vista for the Missoula Valley. This Wilderness is characterized by scenic lakes, forested ridges, open cliff-banded slopes, and mountain peaks. Elevations in the Wilderness range from 4,200 feet at the southern boundary to 8,620 feet at McLeod Peak.

Visit Wilderness Connect for more information about the Rattlesnake Wilderness Area.