Julie Gardner
ERA Lambros Real Estate

3011 American Way
Missoula, MT 59808

Cell: (406) 532-9233
Email: jgardner@eraLambros.com

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Missoula, Montana
Area Guide

Nestled in the Rocky Mountains of western Montana, the City of Missoula is a lively and cosmopolitan community.  Whether seeking a lifestyle intimately connected to natural beauty, ease of access to a plethora of outdoor recreation, a stimulating arts and entertainment fare drawn on access to a wide variety of university departments, or a family-friendly city with a multitude of thriving child-centered organizations, Missoula answers the call.  Missoula is the county seat of Missoula County, and one of the West’s most sophisticated smaller cities.  Once characterized by an economy built on forestry, Missoula’s main economic drivers today include its top-rated, regional medical facilities, the renowned University of Montana, and growing service and technology sectors.  Growth in the city is also highlighted by a number of notable new building projects –  the St. Patrick Hospital and Health Sciences Center, Caffe Dolce’s new neighborhood Italian bistro, First Interstate Bank’s flagship downtown building, and Garlington Lohn and Robinson’s fabulous new law offices are all projects that have enhanced the city recently.  Ongoing investment in Missoula is undoubtedly spurred in part by Missoula’s stellar location – second to none in the eyes of many Missoulians.  Located equidistance between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, as well as near two world-class ski resorts, and home to blue ribbon fishing and thousands of acres of public lands, Missoulians find plenty to do near home when the work day is over.   Fusing college town culture with small town convenience, urban amenities with natural beauty, and historical significance with a progressive mindset, Missoula is an amazing place to call home. To learn more about life in Montana, Missoula County or the City of Missoula, please visit:


 

Missoula Visitors & Convention Bureau 
http://www.missoulacvb.org/

Missoula Travel Guide
http://www.gonorthwest.com/Montana/northwest/Missoula/Missoula_montana.htm

Make It Missoula 
http://www.makeitmissoula.com/

Missoula Maps
http://www.makeitmissoula.com/housing/missoula-maps/

Destination Missoula
http://missoulacvb.org/attractions.php

Glacier Country Tourism Commission
http://glacier.visitmt.com

Official Montana State Travel Information
www.visitmt.com

Montana Territories—Missoula
http://missoula.montana.com/

Winter Montana- State Travel and Information
http://skimt.com/


History

The settlement of the Missoula area has been traced back as far as 3,500 B.C., with many artifacts excavated that are estimated to date from the end of the glacial lake period 12,000 years ago. Native American Salish, Pend d’Oreille, Blackfoot, Kootenai and Shoshone tribes predominated in the area prior to European settlement, with the valley’s natural corridor through the mountains a site of conflict between native tribes and pioneers and travelers to the eastern Montana plains that were replete with herds of buffalo. French fur trappers dubbed the corridor Porte d’ Enfer, literally, “Hell’s Gate”, due to the amount of human bones from repeated ambush. The area remained named Hell Gate until 1866, when it was renamed. Members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition were the first known European-Americans to visit the Missoula area, stopping south of Missoula in the years 1805-1806. The region was not surveyed until the 1850’s, by Congressional request with the express purpose of the development of a transcontinental rail route. Washington Territory governor Isaac Stevens, in addition to surveying the region, negotiated the Treaty of Hellgate, wherein the Native American area tribes ceded their claim to the land to the United States government. Missoula, founded as Hellgate Trading Post in 1860, was renamed Missoula Mills in 1866—Missoula, from the Salish tribe name for the area’s Clark Fork River, Nemissoolatakoo, which translates roughly to “cold water” and Mills for the prosperous flour and sawmills that served as the settlement’s first industries. The original city was built on the site of present-day Missoula’s Frenchtown area, with the city’s base of operation moving to the modern location in 1864. Missoula’s wagon road enabled safe passage through the Rocky Mountains to the inland Pacific Northwest, facilitating the establishment of Fort Missoula in 1877. That same year, Missoula Mills was renamed Missoula; Fort Missoula ensured the settlement’s survival as a city. Unlike many western Montana towns, Missoula never experienced a “boom” following the gold rush, though the town did enjoy a period of rapid growth that tempered out by the early 1880’s. In 1883, the Northern Pacific Railway arrived in Missoula, once again spurring a period of growth and stimulating a logging and lumber economy. This period of economic development and the rise in population led to the construction of many of the historic buildings of the downtown district, many of the most recognizable of which were designed by the architect A. J. Gibson. Missoula, in an agreement with Helena, did not enter a bid to become Montana State’s capital city, instead choosing to become the home to the state university, established in 1893. In 1908, Missoula became the district and later regional, headquarters for the Forest Service of the United States, training smokejumpers since 1942. In addition to over 60 structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Missoula is home to ten distinct and separate historical districts for exploration, enjoyment and education. The newest additions are the Westside Railroad District and Free Speech Corner, which commemorate the 1905 union Industrial Workers of the World and their struggle for free speech rights to coalesce timber, lumber and mining workers into a worldwide union. To learn more about Free Speech Corner, Missoula’s historical districts or buildings, nearby ghost towns, historical museums or destinations, please visit:

Missoula Historic Districts

Downtown Missoula
Lower Rattlesnake
Northside
East Pine Street
McCormick
University Area
Fort Missoula
Southside
University of Montana Campus
Missoula County Fairgrounds

Montana Historical Society Press – Guide to Historic Missoula
mhs.mt.gov/pub/press/missoula.asp

Montana Historical Society – Historical Preservation, Missoula
mhs.mt.gov/shpo/community/Missoula.asp

National Museum of Forest Service History
www.nmfs-history.net/

Montana Natural History Center
http://www.montananaturalist.org/

Preserve America Community- Missoula, Montana
http://www.preserveamerica.gov/mtmissoula.html

Historical Museum at Fort Missoula
http://www.fortmissoulamuseum.org/

Missoula Ghost Towns
http://www.missoulacvb.org/ghost_towns

Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History
http://www.fortmissoula.org/

Missoula Gold & Gem Mining
http://www.missoulacvb.org/gold_gem_mining

Museum of Mountain Flying
http://museummountainflying.org/

Montana Rail Link Railroad
www.montanarail.com/

Northern Rockies Heritage Center 
www.nrhc.org


Parks and Recreation

The city of Missoula is located at the bottom of what was formerly Glacial Lake Missoula. Floodwaters and the melting of glacial dams during the Ice Age contributed to the unique topography of the present-day region.  With the Missoula Valley at the geographic hub of five mountain ranges – the Bitterroot Mountains, Sapphire Range, Garnet Range, Rattlesnake Mountains, and Reservation Divide – and the confluence of the Clark Fork, Blackfoot and Bitterroot Rivers, Missoula is the perfect destination for both city-dwellers and outdoor enthusiasts. Year-round, the area is hospitable to a range of outdoor activities, such as skiing, hiking, biking, snowmobiling, ice skating,  hunting, mountain climbing, river rafting, mountain biking and fly fishing. Local wildlife and vegetation is typical of Missoula’s Rocky Mountain ecology: bald eagles, osprey, black bears and white-tailed deer populate the region, with winter “visitors” of elk and mule deer “vacationing” on Mount Jumbo. Missoula tributaries and rivers provide habitats and nesting territories for belted kingfishers, beaver, wood ducks, northern rough-winged swallows, killdeer, bank swallows and spotted sandpipers. Birdwatchers will also find an abundance of catbirds, song sparrows, a variety of warbler species, and pileated woodpeckers in the nature preserves and parks. Native vegetation include Montana’s state flower, the bitterroot, as well as shrubs and berry plants the Douglas hawthorn, chokecherries and western snowberries and wetland species of cattails and beaked-sedge. Missoula trees range from Montana state tree the Ponderosa Pine and White Alder to riparian sandbar willows and cottonwoods. Sportsmen and fishermen enjoy the variety of hunting game and plentiful fish of the area; westslope cutthroat and rainbow trout are plentiful in the coldwater rivers, while elk, deer, antelope, moose and big horn sheep are among some of the game that are legally hunted seasonally.  National recreation areas and national forests literally abutt Missoula, and two of the country’s most famous national parks – Yellowstone and Glacier – are less than four hours away.  Area state parks and city parks, too, are places where families or individuals can enjoy the outdoors and relax in the rugged natural beauty of Montana—many Missoula area destinations are also pet-friendly, so grab the leash and the ball when you pack for a visit. To learn more about how you can enjoy the great outdoors while in Missoula, please visit:

Golf Courses
http://www.ranchclub.com
http://www.canyonrivergolfcommunity.com 
http://www.larchmontgolfcourse.com
http://www.missoulacountryclub.com
http://www.umt.edu/golf.com

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks
http://fwp.mt.gov/

Five Valleys Land Trust 
www.fvlt.org

Clark Fork Coalition
http://www.clarkfork.org/

Missoula Marathon 
www.runwildmissoula.org

Ratpod
www.ratpod.org

The King Fisher Fly Shop
www.kingfisherflyshop.com

Bitterroot National Forest
www.fs.fed.us/r1/bitterroot/about

Lolo Forest and Rattlesnake National Recreation Area
http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/

Glacier National Park
http://www.nps.gov/glac/index.htm

Blue Mountain Recreation Area
http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps

Yellowstone National Park (4 hours drive time)
http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm

Montana State Parks
http://www.fwp.mt.gov/parks/

Beavertail Hill State Park
http://fwp.mt.gov/parks/visit/beavertailHill/

Clark Fork River State Park
http://fwp.mt.gov/fishing/guide

Council Grove State Park
http://fwp.mt.gov/parks/visit/councilGrove/

Fort Owen State Park
http://fwp.mt.gov/parks/visit/fortOwen/

Frenchtown Pond State Park
http://fwp.mt.gov/parks/visit/frenchtownPond/

Traveler’s Rest State Park
http://fwp.mt.gov/parks/visit/travelersRest/

Lolo Creek State Park
http://fwp.mt.gov/fishing/guide

Flathead Lake Islands and Wild Horse Island State Park
http://fwp.mt.gov/parks/management/flathead.html
http://fwp.mt.gov/parks/visit/wildHorseIsland/

Painted Rocks Reservoir State Park
http://fwp.mt.gov/parks/visit/paintedRocks/

Blackfoot River State Park
http://fwp.mt.gov/recreation/management/blackfoot/

Placid Lake State Park
http://fwp.mt.gov/parks/visit/placidLake/

Salmon Lake State Park
http://fwp.mt.gov/parks/visit/salmonLake/

Missoula Parks and Recreation
http://www.missoulaparks.org

Greenough Park
http://visitmt.com/categories/moreinfo.asp?IDRRecordID=12542&siteid=1

Missoula Parks Map
http://www.onlyinmissoula.com/images/parksMap.pdf

Outdoor Recreation in Missoula
http://www.missoulacvb.org/outdoor_recreation

Run Wild Missoula
http://www.runwildmissoula.com

Missoula Wildlife
http://www.missoulacvb.org/watchable_wildlife

Missoula Winter Sports
http://www.missoulacvb.org/winter_activities

Missoula Camping Information
http://www.missoulacvb.org/camping

Missoula KOA
http://www.missoulakoa.com/

Rock Creek Miller Flats 
http://www.rockcreekmillerflats.com/

Outdoor Recreation in Missoula
http://www.onlyinmissoula.com/visting/recreation.html

Missoula Hunting and Fishing Guides
http://missoula.montana.com/guides.html

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
http://www.rmef.org/

Montana Snowbowl 
http://www.montanasnowbowl.com/

The Missoulian Angler
http://www.missoulianangler.com/

The Ranch Club
http://www.ranchclub.com/

Missoula Watersports Guide
http://www.makeitmissoula.com/listings/rafting-and-kayaking-companies/

Zoo Town Surfers
http://www.zootownsurfers.com/

10,000 Waves
http://www.10000-waves.com/

MoBASH Skatepark
http://www.missoulaskatepark.org/

Missoula Mountain Biking Trail Guides
http://www.makeitmissoula.com/things-to-do/recreation/mountain-biking-guide/

Adventure Cycling Association
www.adventurecycling.org/

Pet-Friendly Missoula
http://www.makeitmissoula.com/community/pet-friendly/


Attractions and Activities

Though Missoula’s roots began with lumbering and agricultural economies, the Missoula of today is one that revolves around education, government, healthcare, tourism and the service industry. Missoula’s progressive cultural climate is one of surprising diversity and sophistication for a city its size. A thriving arts scene, collegiate mindset and population of urban professionals, young and old contribute to the attractions, events and activities of the city of Missoula. Namedropped and referenced in works of literature by authors such as Ernest Hemingway, Norman Maclean, Stephen Frey, James Lee Burke, James Crumley, and Chuck Palahniuk, Missoula cheekily accepts the compliment offered by Maclean in his novel, A River Runs Through It: “The world is full of bastards, the number increasing rapidly the further one gets from Missoula, Montana.” Equally influential in the scene, Missoula has served as home to bands and band members of Seattle grunge pioneers Green River, Mother Love Bone, Pearl Jam, Silkworm, and Love Battery. Catch tomorrow’s next big band today at venues such as the Top Hat or Elbow Room, or search out new bands at Ear Candy or Rockin’ Rudy’s music shops. Art, music and theatre are prevalent throughout the city, with a number of art museums, galleries and theatrical venues, such as the Missoula Art Museum, Dana Gallery and historic Wilma Theatre to name a few. Missoula’s activity epicenter, however, is the Caras Park Pavilion, located in the bustling Downtown Missoula area, which is home to a number of some of the most interesting shops, bookstores, coffeehouses and fine dining destinations in Montana as well as a weekly farmer’s market. Amenities for families and children include numerous parks with water features, the Missoula Carousel, Families First Children’s Museum, the YMCA, and water parks Currents (indoor, year-round) and Spash Montana (seasonal operation). Shopping and dining opportunities abound—try Missoula’s “Hip Strip” and downtown boutiques, locally owned Southgate Mall, local breweries and coffeehouses, and dozens fabulous dining opportunities.  With everything from nightclubs and spas to world-class art galleries available, Missoula residents can keep their calendars as full as they choose.  Musical performances, theater events, dance recitals, art exhibits, book festivals, and crafts shows are available throughout the year. To learn about what Missoula has to offer, please visit:

Missoula Art Museum
http://www.missoulaartmuseum.org

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
http://www.rmef.org

National Bison Range
http://www.fws.gov/bisonrange/nbr

Carmike Movie Theater 
http://www.Carmike.com

Southgate Mall
http://www.shopsouthgate.com

Ten Spoon Winery 
http://www.tenspoon.com

Caffe Dolce 
http://www.caffedolcemissoula.com

Missoula Culture, Entertainment and The Arts
http://www.missoulacvb.org/culture
http://www.missoulacvb.org/entertainment

Missoula Art Galleries
http://www.makeitmissoula.com/listings/art-galleries/

Montana Museum of Art & Culture
http://www.umt.edu/montanamuseum/

Missoula Cultural Council
http://www.missoulacultural.org/

Historic Wilma Theatre
http://www.thewilma.com/

Missoula Art Museum
http://www.missoulaartmuseum.org/

Dana Gallery
http://www.danagallery.com/

Missoula Public Library
http://www.missoulapubliclibrary.org/

Well-Off-Man Gallery
http://www.welloffman.com/

Missoula Symphony Orchestra
http://www.missoulasymphony.org/

Missoula Attractions
http://www.makeitmissoula.com/things-to-do/attractions/

Dragon Hollow
http://www.makeitmissoula.com/things-to-do/attractions/dragon-hollow/

Currents Indoor Waterpark (year-round)
http://www.ci.missoula.mt.us/index.aspx?NID=165
http://www.ci.missoula.mt.us/index.aspx?NID=169

Playfair Park (Splash Montana seasonal water park)
http://www.ci.missoula.mt.us

A Carousel for Missoula
http://www.carrousel.com/

Families First Children’s Museum
http://www.familiesfirstmontana.org./

Missoula Breweries, Wineries & Tours
http://www.missoulacvb.org/breweries
http://www.missoulacvb.org/wineries
http://www.BeerTrips.com

Bayern Brewing
http://www.bayernbrewery.com/

Big Sky Brewing Company
http://www.bigskybrew.com/

Kettlehouse Brewing Company
http://kettlehouse.com/

Missoula Shopping Guides
http://www.missoulacvb.org/shopping
http://www.makeitmissoula.com/things-to-do/shopping/

Downtown Missoula
http://www.missouladowntown.com/

Missoula Farmer’s Market
http://www.missoulafarmersmarket.com/

Missoula Saturday Market
http://www.missoulasaturdaymarket.org/

Clark Fork River Market
http://www.clarkforkrivermarket.com/

Missoula’s Hip Strip
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Missoula-Hip-Strip


Events

New residents, tourists, retirees and seasonal residents choose Missoula for its national parks and to enjoy its outstanding recreational opportunities. The events calendar our area has to offer draws more and more people to Missoula County daily—art, culture, literature, sports, athletics, nature, history and civic events make our area desirable as a place of both relaxation and excitement. Missoula is home to events as varied as the River City Roots Festival to the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. Events representing the cultural, natural, historical, artistic, sporting and civic sides of Missoula’s community guarantee something for everyone to enjoy. From First Friday Gallery Nights and Artini to Hellgate Rollergirls derby bouts, GermanFest and the Western Montana Fair, there’s always something happening in Missoula. To find out what’s scheduled for your enjoyment, please visit:

Missoula Calendar of Events
http://www.makeitmissoula.com/

Missoula Events
http://www.missoulacvb.org/events

Events in Missoula
http://www.makeitmissoula.com/things-to-do/

Missoula Community Events
http://www.makeitmissoula.com/community/community-events/

MissoulaEvents.Net
http://www.missoulaevents.net

Missoula Calendar
http://www.onlyinmissoula.com/visting/markyourcalendar.html

Missoula Chamber of Commerce Community Events Schedule
http://www.onlyinmissoula.com/visting/communityevents.html

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
http://www.bigskyfilmfest.org/

Out to Lunch
http://www.missouladowntown.com/play/mda-events/out-to-lunch/

Downtown ToNight
http://www.missouladowntown.com/play/mda-events/downtown-tonight/

Artini
http://www.missoulaartmuseum.org/

First Friday Gallery Nights
http://firstfridaysmissoula.blogspot.com/

GermanFest
http://www.missoulacultural.org/german.php

Western Montana Fair
http://www.westernmontanafair.com/

River City Roots Festival
http://www.rivercityrootsfestival.com/

First Night Missoula
http://www.missoulacultural.org/firstnight/about_first_night.htm

Garden City BrewFest
http://www.missouladowntown.com/play/mda-events/brewfest/

International Wildlife Film Festival
http://www.wildlifefilms.org/

Parks & Recreation Kids Fest
http://visitmt.com/categories

YMCA Riverbank Run
http://www.ymcamissoula.org

The Moriarty Irish Open 
http://baghole.com/index.html

The Missoula Phoenix
www.missoulaphoenix.com/

The Missoula Osprey
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/index.jsp?sid=t518

The Missoula Maulers
www.missoulamaulers.com/

The Hellgate Rollergirls
hellgaterollergirls.com/

University of Montana Missoula Athletics
montanagrizzlies.com/

 

Additional Resources

Addiction Resource

addictionresource.com/

American Society of Addiction Medicine

www.asam.org/

 

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