Main Rattlesnake Trail FR 99 is a 8 mile out and back trail located near Missoula, Montana that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
Close to Missoula, this trail is popular for day hiking, backpacking, and mountain biking. The trail was an old logging road so it is wide, has a relatively gentle grade for the first 9 miles, and roughly parallels Rattlesnake Creek.
From the main trail, there are many side trails available. The main trail winds through open ground, dry forested areas, and progresses into western larch and Engelmann spruce farther up the drainage.
Beaver dams can often be seen in Rattlesnake Creek about 5 miles up from trailhead. This trail connects to many other trails such as the "Wallman Trail" (see map) and could be made into loops. (from Forest Service website)
From Missoula, at the junction of Van Buren Street and Interstate 90, take Van Buren north (Rattlesnake Dr.) about four miles north to the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area trailhead. Turn left off Sawmill Gulch Road to get to the ample parking area. Information board with maps and restrooms are available.