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Nature & Wildlife

Top Rated Attractions in Missoula

Search Radius (Miles)
Rattlesnake National Recreation Area

Located nearly 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) to the north of Missoula, this breathtaking natural area can be easily accessed from the city's main limits. Wander along the area's dramatic topography, where Douglas-lined pathways and slopes dotted with ponderosa pine trees blend beautifully with cascading waterfalls and babbling brooks. Keep your eyes peeled for the white-tailed deer that drinks its fill from the Rattlesnake Creek, as well as for mountain goats and grizzly bears that can be seen meandering along the dense thicket of wilderness. Nearly 73 miles (117.48 kilometers) of trails snake their way through the pristine wilderness of the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area, providing incredible opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts of every stripe - be it hiking, mountain biking, skiing, or horseback riding. Those who love fishing will also delight at the fact that Rattlesnake Creek is teeming with native species of fish, such as bull trout, mountain whitefish, and cutthroat trout, to name a few.

Mount Sentinel

Not far from the University of Montana, Mount Sentinel, also known as Mount Woody, watches guard over the charming city of Missoula. At a height of 1,958 feet (596.79 meters), this majestic mountain is most famous for featuring one of the city's most iconic landmarks, the letter M, on its western face. Marked to signify the end of a trail, now known as the 'M Trail', by the students of the University of Montana, this concrete structure has seen several transformations since it was first secured into the mountain's side in 1908. Today, it is commonly used as a lookout point by avid trekkers and provides panoramic views of the sparkling Clark Fork River, the valley, and the city spread out below. If you ascend further up the trail until you reach the summit of Mount Sentinel, the views get even more rewarding. Witness the magnificence of Mount Jumbo, across the Hellgate Canyon toward the north, while the south blesses you with views of the Bitterroot Mountains.

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation was founded by the four hunters Bob Munson, Bill Munson, Dan Bull and Charlie Decker in 1984. The foundation focuses on conservation and restoration of natural habitation. At the museum, you will find interesting wildlife exhibits, ranging from information about elk to photographs, as well as exhibits that illustrate and explain the foundation's conservation efforts and steps taken for the protection of future wildlife population. The foundation has programs where the children and all the visitors are also educated about the values and ethics of hunting.

Caras Park

Caras Park is tucked away in downtown Missoula on the banks of the Clark Fork River. While its a lovely spot for a peaceful stroll, the Park Pavilion is also known for the local events it hosts throughout the year, which range from casual weekend markets to lively brew fests. Come to see live music or enjoy a rest after meandering along the Riverfront Walking trail. There's always something to do at Caras Park.

Montana Snowbowl

Montana Snowbowl is the perfect place for all snowboarding enthusiasts who can enjoy skiing, lodging and countless outdoor recreation options all at one spot. It features different slopes that would please every visitor. High altitude and 25 feet of yearly snowfall are the reasons for its immense popularity.

Greenough Park

Greenough Park is pristine belt of untouched natural beauty tucked away at the heart of the city. Stretching out at a massive 42 acres (17 hectares), this park is rich in plant and animal life, and is popular bird watching and botanical study spot. Featuring numerous hiking, walking and biking trails, designated camping spots, picnic tables and a pavilion, there's much to be enjoyed for all outdoor-enthusiasts. The park also plays host to the annual Tweed Ride, wherein participants of the event, dressed in vintage attire, ride their bikes through a five mile course.

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