Peak potential: Dean Stone project nears public approval

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A new view of the Missoula Valley opens up below the trail to the summit of Mount Dean Stone, thanks to a project organized in part by, from right, Five Valleys Land Trust Executive Director Whitney Schwab, Missoula Open Space Program Manager Grant Carlton and FVLT lands director Pelah Hoyt. The Missoula City Council is considering a land purchase that would make the trail network open to the public in spring 2021.

Schwab, Hoyt and Carlton hike around a corner on the gently graded Mount Dean Stone trail, which has been engineered for a more gentle climb than many of Missoula’s other mountainside trails. Last Friday, there was a 6-degree temperature difference between the Dean Stone summit and the Missoula Valley floor.