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.
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.
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.
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.
St. Francis Xavier Church is the tallest church of Missoula built-in 1892 by the architecture, Mr. Blanchard, under the observation of the priest Father Diomedi. The interiors are of the church as much as mesmerizing as the exteriors. There are beautiful paintings that are more than 100 years old, the paintings were painted by the brother of the Society of Jesus and a kitchen helper when they had free time. So if you are in the city do not miss out on visiting this church and seek some blessing.
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.
The Clark Fork River cuts through Missoula, at the confluence of the Bitterroot and Blackfoot Rivers, where five mountain ranges meet in western Montana. A fascinating city that bridges the gap between the urban and the outdoors, Missoula is the state's second‑largest city, outranked only by Billings. Clark Fork River is the lifeline of the city, a scenic waterway that attracts fly-fishers and paddle-boarders in equal measure. The historic downtown is a charming collage of classical 20th-century buildings, dotted with many fine restaurants, art galleries, and shops. The acres of leafy forests nearby mean ample opportunity for hiking excursions, while the Art Museum of Missoula and Historical Museum offer cultural nourishment. Missoula sustains a vibrant live music scene as well, spurred by the youthful populace of the University of Montana, another architectural landmark of the city. The best time to visit is in summer when the city plays host to various events like the International Choral Festival, the River Roots Music Festival, farmer's markets and outdoor film screenings.
Beat the summer heat and rekindle your childhood excitement with a trip to Splash Montana. Situated against the backdrop of the idyllic Montana countryside, this is where you can enjoy splashing around in the pools, as well as take in the breath-taking views that surround the park. Ride the winding slides, mount an inflatable raft and brave the waves of the wave pool, or simply work on your lap timing at the professional pool at this spectacular water-park.