Montana Fish & Wildlife Conservation Trust

Mount Ascension Acquisition

Photo of Mount Ascension ViewProject Name: Mount Ascension Acquisition

Sponsor: Prickly Pear Land Trust

Year: Phase I: 2006
Phase II: 2011

Grant Amount: Phase I: $125,000
Phase II: $427,400

Total Project Cost: Phase I: approximately $235,000
Phase II: $768,091

Project: Overlooking Helena, Montana, Mount Ascension is a popular hiking spot for locals and visitors. The 40.4 acre property adjoins the South Hills of the Helena National Forest, home to a variety of native wildlife like moose, deer, elk and bird species. This scenic reserve features rolling foothills, one topping 6,400 feet, open meadows with native pine and fir trees and access trails for hikers and bikers to reach the summit of this scenic landmark.

Phase I Purpose: Acquisition of a 40-acre parcel to provide legal public access for public recreational use, preservation and improved trail maintenance.

Phase II Purpose: Acquisition of 4 parcels (82 acres total) on the north and east faces of Mount Ascension to provide better public access to popular forest land and trails, further protect local wildlife habitat, and preserve other private parcels in the area.

With expansive views of the Helena Valley and the city of Helena, this property will now allow public access. With funds provided by the Montana Fish & Wildlife Conservation Trust and partners, the acquisition of Mount Ascension brings together some of the most popular hiking/biking trails in Helena. The land adjoins acres of the Helena National Forest which ultimately expands essential wildlife habitat. The property is managed under the Helena Open Lands Management Plan. The City of Helena and partners maintain the trails and oversee native plant preservation and weed control.

Directions: From Helena, Montana follow Davis Gulch Road south of town through Downtown Helena. Mount Ascension is located between Helena Park and Mount Ascension Park on the east side. Trail may be accessed on the south end of Beattie Street.

Restrictions: None



Montana Fish & Wildlife Conservation Trust
P.O. Box 1993
Helena, MT 59624
Phone: 406-897-2580 or Email: