Missoula city officials announced the closure of Mount Jumbo's south zone will extend through March 31. The closure is in place through the winter to protect wintering elk and mule deer. North Mount Jumbo remains closed until May 1.
Mount Jumbo's South Zone, which includes the Backbone Trail and trails near the "L", will remain closed through Monday, March 31. The Saddle Road and all points south of the road will re-open to the public on Tuesday, April 1. North Mount Jumbo (areas north of the Saddle Road) remains closed until May 1. The Saddle Road is located at the north end of Lincoln Hills Drive.
In the South Zone, the "L" trail and the US West road above I-90 will remain open for on-trail traffic only. All other City-owned areas of Mount Jumbo are closed. Dogs must be leashed on the "L" trail and US West road during the winter closure. Violations of the Mount Jumbo winter closure are punishable by fine.
In a typical snowfall year, city officials say Jumbo's South Zone would re-open to the public on March 15. However, due to late season snowfall, the Mount Jumbo elk herd has remained on lower elevations in the south zone. They report 63 elk were counted on Jumbo's southern flank earlier this week. Officials from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the City of Missoula have determined the winter closure should be extended to give the herd time to move to higher elevations.