Missoula bed and breakfast

10 Great Places for Birdwatching Near Our Missoula Bed and Breakfast


Birdwatching near our Missoula bed and breakfast is a fun and interesting way to get out and see the surrounding area! This Montana town is already well known for its abundant opportunities for hiking, biking, rafting, and more. Birding is yet another way to get out and experience the stunning scenery here. Missoula is a great place for serious birders looking for rare migrant species and is also an ideal place to get started as a beginner and learn all about this exciting and fun activity. The habitats here range from riparian estuaries and wetlands, to dry mountainsides, to deep forestland. Because of the variety of homes for birds, there is a great diversity of species to be found!

Our Missoula bed and breakfast is located next to 20 acres of wildlife habitat part of which is the Blue Mountain Recreation Area where you can work on your birdwatching skills just steps from our lodging. Let our tranquil mountainside retreat be your escape this season! From here you can look out from the deck to see the Bitterroot River and Valley below. Our Missoula bed and breakfast reflect the rustic beauty of the area and in your cozy and comfortable room, you can unwind after a day of birdwatching and exploration. If you want a memorable and relaxing vacation to Missoula this season, book your stay with us today! Continue reading

The Most Romantic Things to do in Missoula

The list of romantic things to do in Missoula includes everything from outdoor pursuits, to incredible places to eat, to checking out the excellent museums of this amazing town. You and your sweetheart can watch an awe-inspiring sunset after an adventurous day of hiking then end the day with an intimate meal at one of many great restaurants. In this year-round city there is always something new to do, see, and explore with the one you love, which makes it that much better!

Come on out to our Missoula bed and breakfast for the romantic getaway you’ve been dreaming of! At our mountainside retreat, you can escape and unwind surrounded by nature with sweeping views of the Bitterroot River and the valley below. Our cozy and casual accommodations are just what you need to rejuvenate. Here you can feel the tranquil seclusion you long for, all the while being just minutes from downtown and many of the must-see attractions. If you want an unforgettable vacation to Missoula, full of romance and adventure, book your stay with us today! Continue reading

Find The Best Skiing Near Missoula

Finding skiing near Missoula is not a difficult task as there are a plethora of incredible places throughout the area. There are world-class ski resorts that offer incredible terrain, acres of trails, as well as spectacular views of the famed big sky country. If you are dreaming of finding fresh powder to ski or snowboard through this winter, those dreams can become a reality by checking out the best skiing near Missoula! You can be amongst the most sought after ski areas in the world just 20 minutes from downtown or enjoy the gorgeous drives from Missoula to the many other ski resorts in the area.

After a day on the slopes, you’ll need a cozy and relaxing place to warm those toes and sip hot chocolate. Our Missoula bed and breakfast is the ultimate winter getaway for you! Set on a mountainside, our lodging offers the serenity you’ve been searching for. With views of the Bitterroot river below and surrounding forests, you’ll feel as if you have stepped into your own mountain retreat.  The rustic surroundings are reflected in the woodsy decor without compromising luxury and comfort. If you are ready for the perfect place to escape to this winter, book your room today! Continue reading

Visit The Missoula Art Museum This Fall

The Missoula Art Museum is a not to be missed stop when visiting this amazing Montana town! Located in historic downtown this free (that’s right, free!) museum showcases a diversity of thought-provoking work from both local and international artists. This Missoula treasure is a great place to spend an afternoon and enjoy a bit of culture on your trip here! Drawings, paintings, sculptures, photographs and more fill the spacious exhibition areas and is sure to be a highlight of your time here. After a visit to the Missoula Art Museum, you gain a better grasp of the issues, hopes, and thoughts of Montana locals.

Our Missoula Bed and Breakfast is the perfect spot to unwind this fall. Our quiet mountainside retreat will leave you feeling rejuvenated and renewed. Located just minutes away from downtown, our Montana bed and breakfast feels like a world away from the hustle and bustle of life right now. At our cozy and comfortable inn, you’ll be surrounded by mountains with phenomenal views of the valley and Bitterroot River below. If you are looking for the ultimate fall getaway, book your stay today! Continue reading

A Glacier National Park day trip from Missoula

Glacier National Park is a highlight for many who travel to Montana. With its towering snow-capped mountains,  clear lakes, and sweeping forest vistas, it is definitely a must-see destination. Missoula is only a 3-hour drive from this national treasure and the day trip up is part of the fun! Stopping along Route 93 up past Flathead Lake and to all the interesting towns and attractions in between will surely be an exciting way to spend a day!

After a day trip up to Glacier National Park and back we will be here to welcome you to our Missoula mountainside retreat. Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast is the perfect spot to relax, recoup, and reconnect. We sit next to 20 secluded acres of National Forest land with amazing views of the valley below. If you are ready to get away from it all at our tranquil and romantic inn, book your stay today! Continue reading

9 Best Missoula Breweries to Visit This Summer

A list of the best Missoula breweries can be extensive understanding that this Montana town has a long and varied history of brewing beer. To the locals, Missoula is a beer town. The early start of the best Missoula breweries began in the late 1990s to the early 2000s. This town is a craft beer pioneer, serving hop beers 10 years before they became widespread and as well known as they are today.

A summer day in Montana calls for a delicious beer to be enjoyed and savored. Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast happens to be nearby some of the best Missoula breweries. Let our mountainside retreat be your summertime oasis while enjoying the better things that life has to offer, like beer! If you are looking for a summer escape into the mountains amongst gardens and views of the breathtaking Bitterroot River, book your stay with us today! Continue reading

10 Incredible Missoula restaurants That Need Your Support This Summer

Montana is often thought of as a meat and potatoes kind of place with being in the middle of American cattle country. But Missoula Montana is a definite exception to that rule! Missoula restaurants serve up everything from extremely local fare to amazing international cuisine. However, due to the pandemic, many of these special places have had to completely close down or get creative in order to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

These Missoula Restaurants are a beloved part of this small community and need your help now more than ever before. It’s time to give back to this town that we all love and want to see thrive in the future.

While you are here supporting the local economy come stay at our locally owned bed and breakfast. Our mountainside retreat is the perfect romantic getaway this summer. While exploring all this town has to offer and supporting local restaurants let us be your home away from home for your stay! Book your room at Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast today Continue reading

10 Fun Things to do in Missoula This Summer

As we face a crossroads with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all wondering how and when to move forward. As businesses and economies slowly start the process of reopening, it’s important to focus on the many opportunities we do have for getting out and socially distancing responsibly. Luckily, there are plenty of fun things to do in Missoula, including things that will keep you safe and healthy throughout the summer. At Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast you’ll have ample opportunity to relax and reset. Located just outside of Missoula our secluded mountainside inn will be your tranquil sanctuary.

It has been important to stay at home in order to stop the virus from spreading, but after so much time spent indoors there comes a time for a change of scenery, routine, and self-care. Plan yourself a much-needed vacation, enjoy some of the best things to do in Missoula, and book a stay at our peaceful Missoula Bed and Breakfast today! Continue reading

Getaway to Our Missoula Bed and Breakfast This Summer

This spring season you may find yourself needing a place to get away from it all. Our Missoula Bed and Breakfast is just the place you’re searching for. Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast is set up to be your tranquil mountain retreat. Located just outside of Missoula, we offer a peaceful view of the Bitterroot River from above as well as the beautiful Missoula Valley.  Our secluded location on 20 acres of wildlife habitat is the perfect sanctuary. If you are looking for the best place to distance yourself away from everything, book your room at our Missoula Bed and Breakfast today! Continue reading

Montana: Native Plants and Native People

Springtime is truly beautiful here at Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast in Missoula, Montana.  The wildflowers bloom from late March through early July.  Their significance is linked to Montana’s Native people in a variety of ways.  The following six plants are basically found during the second wave of blooming here on the mountain (April-May).

ponderosa and balsamroot  5-23-03 090 smallBalsamroot leaf  P1010229 small










The following activity is a fun way for Montana students (or anyone) to learn more about Montana’s native plants and people.

Directions: Use the Photos, I.D. Clues and Fun Facts to help you identify each plant by name.

WORD BANK: To which photo and clues do I belong?  (Answers at the very bottom of the page, by number)

1.  Arrowleaf Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza Sagittata)

2.  Arnica (Arnica Montana/Chamissonis)

3.  Chokecherry (Prunus Virginiana)

4.  “Indian” Paintbrush  (Castilleja linariaefolia)

5.  Western Pasqueflower (Anemone patens or nuttalliana)

6.  Wild Lupine  (Lupinus Angustifolius)


Let’s Begin…

A.  Can you name me? (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

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I.D. Clues:

-I have 5-6 large bluish-purple petals, ferny leaves and am soft to the touch.

-I only have 1 flower per stem and am about a foot tall.

-I bloom after the buttercups and shooting stars, but before the Arnica, Lupine and Chokecherry.

-I come in eight different species here in the western U.S..

Fun Facts:

-I am South Dakota’s state flower and am often called by the name of prairie crocus.

-I contain alkaloids that can irritate your skin and digestive track.

-Native people have used me for various things.  The Blackfeet made a poultice out of me to cure wounds.

The Blackfeet honor me with the name Napi or Old Man (cultural hero, creator, sometimes trickster). (“Pasque Flower”)

-My name “Pasque” comes from an old French word for Easter.  In some places I bloom near Easter and was once used to color Easter eggs. (“Pasque Flower”)

-After I’m done flowering, I grow a silky “head of hair” which has given me the nickname “Old Man of the Mountain.”


B.  Can you name me? (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

Paintbrush flower  IMG_7217 small, crop







I.D. Clues:

-I am between 15-60 cm tall.

-I come in about 200 different species which means there are many shades and varieties of me.  Often it’s hard to tell each a part.

-I am called by many different common names.  Most describe my brilliant color in some way or hint at me being similar to a tool an artist might use.

-One of my names is shared with a colorful butterfly known as the Painted Lady.

-My other names include painted cup and prairie fire since I’m often a bright red, redish-orange or redish-pink color.

Fun Facts:

-You can find me from 1,000-3,00 feet in elevation- as far north as Alaska or as far south as the Andes mountains in South America.

-I am Wyoming’s state flower.

-I am pollinated by hovering insects and humming birds that don’t need a place to sit or land while feeding.

-My actual flowers are hidden by brightly colored bracts which are usually tender and sweet to eat.

-In Glacier Park, I am sometimes found sporting a pinkish-violet color.  Once in a while I’m even found dressed in white.

-My roots and green parts can be toxic so some Native people mixed my edible parts with other greens or ate parts of me in moderation.

-Some Native people used me as a source of dye.

-The Chippewa used me to treat rheumatism (joint and muscle pain).

– Several tribes, including the Blackfeet, made a rinse from me so they would have glossy hair.

-When I grow in soil that is high in selenium, I can be toxic.

-I’ve earned a name as a parasitic plant because I can steal the nutrients from the roots of other plants.  (Craighead, Craighead, and Davis 170)

-I like to live near lupine and sage brush because I can take on their alkaloid properties.  That way, I taste bitter to animals like deer.


C.  Can you name me? (1,2,3,4,5,6)

Balsamroot  5-23-03 120 small






I.D. Clues:

-I am a type of large, wild sunflower.

-I bloom in late spring to early summer and am found in the western states (Oregon, Montana, Colorado, etc.)

-I have a long stem that measures 20-60 cm tall.

-You often find me in sunny, open areas and often under ponderosa pine trees.

-My leaves are large and to some people look like a spear point.

Fun Facts:

-Every part of me can be eaten.  The Salish, Kootenai and Nez Perce people peeled my immature flower stems.  They then ate the tender inner portion like one would eat celery, raw. (Hart 37)

-My large, starchy roots are big and full of sticky sap.  Native people in the area crushed my roots, taking out the fibrous material and then used the rest.  The root was sometimes burned as incense.  If eaten raw, my roots can make a person feel nauseated.  The same thing is true if one drinks too much tea made from my roots.

-My large leaves were often used to wrap around Camas bulbs for cooking.  Leaf tea was used as a wash for poison ivy.

-Certain Native tribes would grind my seeds into a type of flour.  (Kershaw, MacKinnon, and Pojar 238)

-My roots or other parts were dried, steamed or baked in a roasting pit or cooked over an open fire.

-One name given to me by the Blackfeet was Ohm-ah-gahs (big turnip).  (Johnston 56)

-I’ve been used to make many oral as well as topical medicines for headaches, insect bites, wounds and other things.


D.  Can you name me? (1,2,3,4,5,6)

lupine  IMG_7214  small, crop








I.D. Clues:

-I grow wild, but am related to a tall garden flower that comes in many colors.

-I bloom from April to July depending on the location.

-Each of my leaves looks a bit like a Palm tree and is broken up into 5-9 finger-like segments.

-My flowers are pea shaped and about 1 cm long.

-My Latin name “lupus” means wolf.  People used to think I stole important minerals from soil. (They compared it to wolves that sometimes take livestock from a ranch for food.)  In truth, I put nitrogen into the soil and actually leave it richer than before.

-There are about 600 species or variations of me out there.  In the wild, I am usually found to have blue and purple hues.

Fun Facts:

-I’m an important food source for the larva of a rare type of blue butterfly.

-I’m known to be one of the top ten most important wild flowers for native bees.  Humming birds and marmots like me too.

-I am found in many states across the U.S. and can also be found in Canada.

-In certain quantities I am toxic to domestic animals and have been known to kill sheep.

-I am not toxic to white-tailed deer and certain other wildlife species. (“Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks :: Silky Lupine”)

-Some Native American tribes fed me to their horses and said it fattened them up, gave them energy and spirit.

-Several Native tribes used my leaves to brew tea.  After the tea cooled, it was given to a person who had an upset stomach.

-If a person eats too much of me, her or she can get sick.  In large quantities, a person will have convulsions, go into a coma and can die from me.


E.  Can you name me? (1,2,3,4,5,6)

arnica IMG_0322 small, crop








I.D. Clues:

-I am made up of a single stem and get to be 10-60 cm tall.

-My stems and my heart-shaped leaves feel slightly fuzzy.

-I am a type of sunflower, but smaller in size compared to most.

-I like to grow alongside others.  Together, we blanket small areas of fairly shady, moist, forest or meadow areas in yellow.

Fun Facts:

-In the Blackfeet language, I’m called Ota-kap-is-chis-kit-sima which means yellow flower.

-All of my plant parts are poisonous and I should not be eaten.  My flowers are the most potent part and cause a person’s body temperature to rise.

-Some people have used extracts of my flower for hair growth.

-My roots and flowers have been used by some to make washes, salves and poultices for the healing of sprains and swollen feet.

-No part of me should be applied to broken skin areas since I’m very toxic.  (Kershaw, MacKinnon, and Pojar 242)

-Mule deer like to eat me while they graze.

-You can find me blooming in late May or even into August depending on the locations.


F.  Can you name me? (1,2,3,4,5,6)

Chokechery  P1010244 small










I.D. Clues:

-I am considered to be a bush, shrub or tree of medium height but can get up to 25 ft. tall.

-My stocks are green, brown or redish-brown depending on the time of year.

-My leaves are light green in the spring and turn to a darker green in fall.

-I have strong, but sweet smelling off-white flowers that bloom in the spring (May-June).

-Each flowering clump is thick, elongated and made up of many small flowers.

-In late summer and in the fall, I grow berries that turn from red to almost black when they ripen.

-My single berries hold one seed, grow in strands and are about the size of a large huckleberry.

-My common name reflects the fact that my berries are bitter (they can make a person pucker, even when ripe.)

-My leaves and especially my single seed “cherry” pits are toxic to some animals if eaten raw.

-The Salish, Kootenai, Gros Ventre and Crow Indians made a tea from my bark for stomach ailments. (Hart 88)

Fun Facts:

-In late summer and fall, bears love to pull my branches to the ground and eat my berries.

-In Western Montana, I flower in May and early June- right after the white Serviceberry bushes, but a bit before the white, lovely smelling Syringa.

-I am in the rose family.  Like the berries from wild roses (rose hips), my berries are an important source of vitamin C.  My berries should be dried or boiled to rid them of their toxicity before being used to make food.

-I was dried and then pounded into a flour-like material, stored in cakes and later used in soups or added to pemmican by certain tribes.  Pemmican (a mixture of fruit, meat and fat) was an important food source during the winter months.

-Many Plains tribes used my berries to make a red dye.  My bark was used as a green dye and also soaked in water and used to treat coughs and sore throats.

-My forked sticks were used to carry hot rocks for the purpose of cooking.  The rocks were dropped into animal skin bags filled with water which would then boil.

-My sticks were also used to roast wild game.  My wood does not burn or break easily and adds spice to cooking meat.  Some tribes used my sticks in tipi and bow making.

Bitterroot Room 1  bitterroot3-804x426





You can check your wild flower naming accuracy below under Answers

If you enjoyed this activity, take a few photos of wild plants and come up with your own clues.  If you need some reference ideas, please look at the bottom of the page.

Rose Room 1 rose 1-804x426 smallEach of our rooms, here at Blue Mountain B&B, is named after an important plant in the area.  Click on the following link to learn more about our Missoula Bed and Breakfast.


PHOTO CREDIT:  Room photos taken by Marcus Berg @uniqueanglesphotography, all others by Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast.

Questions or Comments:  Please email us: stay@bluemountainbb.com

Answers in order: (5, 4, 1, 6, 2, 3)


  Anderson, David. Wildflowers of the Rocky Mountains Pocket Flower Guide to Popular Varieties. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Blank, D. Linnell. Montana Wildflowers. Helena, MT: Farcountry, 2005. 

Craighead, John Johnson, Frank C. Craighead, and Ray J. Davis. Rocky Mountain Wildflowers from Northern Arizona and New Mexico to British Columbia. Norwalk, CT: Easton, 1985. 

Foster, Steven, and Christopher Hobbs. A Field Guide to Western Medicinal Plants and Herbs. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002.

Gabel, Audrey, and Elaine Ebbert. Mushrooms and Other Fungi of The Black Hills And Surrounding Area. Spearfish: Black Hills State UP, n.d. Print.

Hart, Jeff. Montana–native Plants and Early Peoples. Helena: Montana Historical Society, 1992.

Johnston, A. Plants and the Blackfoot. Lethbridge, Alta.: Lethbridge Historical Society, 1987. Print.

Kershaw, Linda, A. MacKinnon, and Jim Pojar. Plants of the Rocky Mountains. Edmonton: Lone Pine Pub., 1998. 

Moerman, Daniel E. Native American Ethnobotany. Portland, Or.: Timber, 1998. Print.

 “Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks :: Silky Lupine.” Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks :: Silky Lupine. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 May 2015.

“Pasque Flower.” – Medicinal Herb Info. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 May 2015.

“Plant of the Week.” Arrowleaf Balsamroot. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 May 2015.

Snell, Alma Hogan, and Lisa Castle. A Taste of Heritage: Crow Indian Recipes and Herbal Medicines. Lincoln, NE: U of Nebraska, 2006. 

Strickler, Dee. Forest Wildflowers: Showy Wildflowers of the Woods, Mountains, and Forests of the Northern Rocky Mountain States. Columbia Falls, MT: Flower, 1988.

Strickler, Dee. Prairie Wildflowers. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Robot Check. Web. 25 May 2015.

Tilford, Gregory L. Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West. Missoula, MT: Mountain Pub., 1997.

 Trees Of The Lolo National Forest. N.p.: US Forest Service, n.d.

Vanderberg, Frances. Salish Elder Storytelling. Travelers’ Rest, Lolo. 2012. Lecture.

White, Thain. Scarred Trees In Western Montana. Tech. no. 17. N.p.: Montana State U, 1954.

**The following sight was used to help create the above bibliography with ease!  http://www.easybib.com/cite/view