Missoula, Montana is the largest city west of the Continental Divide and offers all major services including an International Airport and the University of Montana. Downtown Missoula is vibrant and eclectic with shops, restaurants, breweries/pubs, riverfront parks and paths, and artisans. “Garden City” is the nickname for Missoula but it is also known as the ‘Hub of 5 Valleys’. Just like the spokes on the Stelling wagon wheel logo, so are the valleys that flow from Missoula. They are: ‘The Clark Fork Valley’ to the West, the ‘Flathead Valley’ to the North, the ‘Blackfoot Valley’ to the NE, the ‘Deerlodge Valley’ to the East and the ‘Bitterroot Valley’ to the South. Resembling limbs of a huge tree, these large valleys split into smaller branches (or valleys, draws, creeks & drainages) and so on. Over the next few weeks we will explore these beautiful Western Montana valleys, each with their own attractions, history and allure. First up we will be leaving Missoula east on I-90, where you will follow the Clark Fork River corridor as you pass through the narrow pine-tree lined valley known as “Hellgate Canyon” (most likely named as such because it was a favorite place of the Blackfeet Indians to ambush other tribes on their return trips from hunting buffalo on the Great Plains); till next week…..
If you’ve visited us before, Welcome Back! If not, we hope that you will someday get to visit this beautiful place we call home and get to explore the many wonders – of Western Montana.