Mount Helena City Park covers an impressive 620-acre area that encompasses the monumental Mount Helena itself within its expanse. (Mount Helena measures in at a height of 5,468 feet above sea level, the park's highest point.)
The park itself is cared for and maintained by the city of Helena, as well as through the efforts of local conservation groups and environmental trusts within the area. This includes the Prickly Pear Land Trust, which is a community-minded organization of over 700 members that has been committed to conserving natural, open spaces in several surrounding Montana counties since its foundation in 1996.
Mount Helena City Park is open to visitors year round and is free of any and all admission charges. Visitors will be treated to beautiful views and opportunities to view many species of local flora and fauna. It is also a wonderful place from which to take in a bird's eye view of the city of Helena itself, located 1,300 feet below.
Mount Helena City Park is a popular destination for local hikers as it includes six different hiking trails that treat visitors to the full experience of the beautiful Montana surroundings. Some of these trails correspond to and connect with trails in neighboring Helena National Forest while others lead to the cave known as Devil's Kitchen, the summit of Mount Helena itself, or to the large letter "H'' on the side of the mountain that overlooks the city of Helena, offering visitors a variety of different views and hiking experiences. The six trails are as follows:
1906 Trail: This trail offers hikers the easiest hike and the most direct route up to the top of Mount Helena. On the way, it passes Devil's Kitchen and winds for some of its length along the base of the picturesque limestone cliffs.
The West End Trail: This trail treats hikers to a view of the most remote area of Mount Helena City Park, taking them on a jaunt through the meadow that lies just between Mount Helena and the next hill over.
The Hogback Trail: This trail offers a more challenging hike that takes hikers along the Hogback Ridge from the peak of Mount Helena, treating them to a variety of spectacular views of the surrounding area and countryside.
The Prairie Trail: This trail is recommended for hikers who were drawn to the park by tales of the beautiful wildflowers to be found in the area. It is said to be especially beautiful at sunrise and sunset.
The Backside Trail: This is the trail to take for hikers interested in viewing the majestic Ponderosa pines that grow in the area, as well as the wide open, grassy woodland area in which they grow.
The Prospector Shafts Trail: This is another of the six trails that offers a longer, more challenging hiking experience for visitors. Approximately halfway along the trail, hikers will pass the prospectors' shafts for which the trail is named. This is also a trail that offers a wide variety of different vistas and experience with several different types of landscape associated with the area.
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