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Get ready for a road trip packed with adventure. Learn to river surf, fly-fish, watch bison roam, mine for genuine Montana sapphires and wander through charming small towns.
ROUTE: MISSOULA > BIGFORK > KALISPELL > BROWNING > SEELEY LAKE > DRUMMOND > PHILIPSBURG > HAMILTON> MISSOULA
Known as the "Garden City" for its dense trees and lush green landscape, Missoula is nestled in the heart of the northern Rockies where five valleys converge. Missoula is a center for education, medicine, retail and the arts. Located at the base of Mount Sentinel and the banks of the Clark Fork River is The University of Montana. The 200-acre campus is one of the most beautiful in the nation and is home to 12,000 students. Fly fishermen, rafters, kayakers and canoers thrive on the nearby waters.
BIGFORK & KALISPELL
Plan ahead to play in, on or around one of the many lakes in western Montana. Flathead Lake—the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River—is open year-round and offers plenty of activities. Jump on a stand-up paddleboard, kayak, take a boat tour, fish or sail. Explore the charming small towns around the lake or discover outdoor adventure at one of six state parks. Be sure to grab delicious, locally grown Flathead cherries for a taste of Montana.
About 20 minutes from Kalispell is Bigfork. Bigfork is an exceptionally lovely, upscale, year-round resort village that is brimming with art galleries, fine restaurants, golf, high-end boutiques and live theater.
SEELEY LAKE & DRUMMOND
Drummond is a working agricultural area located adjacent to I-90. The traveler is permitted a glimpse of unadorned and unstaged life in a ranching region. The World Famous Bullshippers here are honest, hard working and friendly. A typical excursion down Front Street could include ranchers discussing the weather, hay crops or calving. You might even see cattle being driven to market, or there may be no traffic at all.
PHILIPSBURG & HAMILTON
The 1890s mining town has been renovated into National Historic Business District. Quaint shops, walking or auto tours and guides into the ghost towns are available. Georgetown Lake is 10 miles from Philipsburg and offers a beautiful mountain setting, fishing, boating and camping. Try some prospecting at the Sapphire Gallery or visit the Granite County Museum and Mine Exhibit, home of the Ghost Town Hall of Fame. Located nearby is Discovery Ski Area with beautiful views and uncrowded slopes.
The town of Hamilton is the central trade area for hundreds of small farms, ranches and orchards that fill the valley. Hamilton is home to the Daly Mansion built in the late 1800s for Marcus Daly, one of Montana's colorful "Copper Kings." Ravalli County Museum is located in the original Ravalli County Courthouse built in 1900. Saved from the wrecker's ball in 1979, it is now listed in the National Register of Historic Buildings and considered one of the finest museums for a town of this size.
An expert's brand of thrills served up in a local's hangout, Discovery is a terrific find that will remind you what skiing in Montana is all about! The north-facing Limelight lift offers some of the steepest lift-served terrain around, while the variety of beginner and intermediate runs on the Anaconda and north-facing Granite lifts provide great skiing for all abilities.