Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

10 of Our Favorite Things to do in Missoula This Winter

The things to do in Missoula during the long winter months is an extensive list of everything from outdoor adventure, to getting a relaxing massage, or kicking back and tasting a local brew. Montana in the winter is a magical time of year when the world becomes a playground and excuses to cozy up and enjoy a good meal are highlighted! Missoula is no exception with its world-class places to explore. Winter surely does not dull the adventurous spirit of this Montana town!

You’ll find the ultimate in comfort and coziness this winter at our Missoula bed and breakfast. Our small mountainside retreat is a romantic winter getaway full of casual elegance. From here you can take in the views of the Missoula Valley and surrounding mountains. Located just minutes away from all the shops, dining, and outdoor adventure but feeling like a world away this is your perfect escape this winter. Your stay with us will be a memorable and relaxing one! If you want the best place to enjoy a quintessential Montana vacation, book your room today! Continue reading

Learn About Missoula Montana’s Nature

Missoula Rocky Mountain Elk Visitors Center

Learn about Missoula, Montana’s nature from three local places.  First, step into Elk Country at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Elk Country Visitor Center.  The Visitor Center is more than just a museum; it’s an experience that reveals the beauty, diversity and importance of elk country across North America. They are open year-round and admission is FREE!

Opening and securing public access is a key component of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s mission. Since 1984, the foundation has opened, secured or improved public access to more than 911,000 acres of elk habitat across the country for hunters, hikers, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation continually seeks ways to enhance hunter opportunity by working with landowners, US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, state agencies, and conservation partner groups. Their public access tools include land projects, easements, land exchanges and contributions.

Missoula Smokejumpers logo

Next, find out about smokejumpers.  They are highly trained specialists who parachute into remote areas of national forest to fight the spread of wildfires.  The nation’s largest training base for smokejumpers is located right here in Missoula. The remodeled (1992) visitor center at the depot offers updated displays, dioramas, and videos related to suppressing fires.

Guided tours are given of the parachute loft and training facilities.  Open Memorial Day through Labor Day from 8:30 am to 5 pm.  The tour lasts about forty-five minutes to an hour.  The minimum time to visit the depot without a tour is twenty minutes.  Admission is free, but they accept donations.

The Smokejumper Center is located at 5765 West Broadway Street in Missoula, Montana.  Take the Airway Boulevard Exit and follow the signs to eh Smokejumper Base located a half-mile west of the airport.

Missoula Montana Natural History Center take 2

Next, you can visit the Montana Natural History Center.  Their mission is to promote and cultivate the appreciation, understanding, and stewardship of nature through education. Founded in 1991, MNHC was the brainchild of a group of educators who were involved in various efforts to educate both kids and adults about the natural history of western Montana, and who decided to unite those efforts into one environmental education organization.

The Montana Natural History Center was originally housed on the University of Montana campus, then moved to Fort Missoula, and at last has a permanent home at 120 Hickory Street, near McCormick Park in the heart of Missoula.

The Montana Natural History Center provides nature education programming for people of all ages through summer camps, kids’ activities, Visiting Naturalist in the Schools, Master Naturalist certification courses and Field Days, evening lectures, Field Notes on Montana Public Radio, Center Visits, and more.  They welcome visitors to stop by and learn a lot about Montana’s natural history!

Guests of Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast in Missoula are conveniently located to all three fun, educational places. Hosts Brady and Elaine prepare a fresh, delicious gourmet breakfast each morning.

Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging

Missoula’s Zoological Museum

Missoula, MT

Visit the fascinating Zoological Museum at the University of Montana the next time you're at our Missoula Bed and Breakfast.

Many people aren’t aware that one of the largest zoological collections representing the Northern Rocky Mountains is right here in Missoula. The Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum at The University of Montana is home to more than 24,000 specimens of vertebrates. It is definitely worth a look.

The museum began over 100 years ago, in the 1890s, and contains collections that date from the 1860s to the present. There are Skins and Skulls collections, collections of Complete Skeletons, Tanned Hides, Specimens in Alcohol and Mounted Specimens.

Exhibits include An Ornithological Perspective, which highlights the vast ornithological collections housed in the museum. Off-campus collections include several Bull Elk at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in Missoula, and the Hornaday – Smithsonian Bison Exhibit in Fort Benton, Montana.

It may not be for everybody, but if you’re interested in this sort of thing, you won’t find a better collection in Montana.

Check it out the next time you’re staying at our Missoula Bed and Breakfast, or make a special trip to town to see it. It is located on the second floor of the Health Sciences Building. For additional information, please see Zoological Museum.

Montana is Elk Country

A few hundred years ago, the elk of North America numbered in the millions. Over hunting caused their population to dwindle to fewer than 100,000 around the turn of the 20th century. Thanks to conservation efforts, the elk population is stable at around one million today. Most live in the western United States, including the land surrounding Missoula, and we’ve been known to spot them from our Missoula Montana Bed and Breakfast.

bugling wapiti

A bugling elk.

These majestic creatures migrate between low valley pastures in the winter and high mountain grazing grounds in the summer. Calfs are born in the early summer, and mating takes place towards the end of the summer after antlers have regrown on the males. A herd of elk is a magnificent site.

The Elk Foundation’s Elk Country Visitor Center is located about 10 miles north of our Missoula Bed and Breakfast. It’s worth a look, if for no other reason than to gawk at the display of impressive elk mounts that resides there. Feel the weight of elk antlers, learn to identify animal tracks, and listen to the bugling call of elk, among other activities.

Visitors are also invited to walk the trail that meanders around the 22-acre property. It’s unlikely that you’ll spot elk there, but there is a good chance you’ll see other wildlife: owls, wild turkeys, bald eagles, and white-tailed deer are frequently seen there.

The Visitor Center is open year-round, daily through the end of the year. Admission is free. More information is available at Elk Country Visitor Center.