Surrounded by the Lolo National Forest, Missoula, Montana is known as the “Garden City” for its lush forests and abundant fresh water.
Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and Wilderness, less than five miles from the city, offers endless mountain trails and bike paths on 61,000 acres of glaciated topography.
Whether you want a walk in the woods or an intense mountain bike ride, you’ll find high mountain lakes, crystal clear waterfalls, hanging valleys, and slopes of sub-alpine fir, pine and spruce leading to open parklands. Be on the lookout for deer, elk, coyotes, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, black bears, grizzly bears (rare!), moose, and mountain lions, as well as eagles, hawks, ospreys, and a variety of songbirds. In the park’s northern region, the Flathead Indian Reservation protects sacred lands that were once vision-quest sites for the Salish Indians, so be sure not to trespass.
Learn about Missoula's historic developments and more on an historic walking tour and at the city’s excellent heritage museums.