Missoula Bed and Breakfast Guest Rooms

More than just your average bed and breakfast, our private guest rooms look out over the gardens, forest, surrounding mountains or valley below. Each bed and breakfast room is furnished with a beautifully crafted, king or queen-sized bed with down comforter and fine linens. A private bath with jetted tub and shower, a sitting area and other amenities give each a plush, yet comfortable and relaxing feel.

The name and decor of each Missoula Lodging room reflects in some way the flora, fauna, history and culture of the West- and the Missoula area, in particular.

Treasured family heirlooms and travel experiences of hosts, Brady and Elaine, are reflected in the decor of the entire Inn which includes the main house, Hawk Hill House, and the log outbuilding, Lewis and Clark Lodge.

The Syringa Suite and Rose Room are located in the main house, while the Sagebrush Suite and Bitterroot Room are located in the neighboring Lodge.

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Bitterroot Room

The Bitterroot Room offers spectacular scenery and comfort, all within a cozy, log cabin-like atmosphere. Its name honors Montana’s state flower, which was of particular importance to Native people within this area. Reflected through photos and art work, this theme takes a person back to Montana and the western region during the 19th and 20th centuries. Inside, a person can look forward to snuggling down in the queen-sized log bed, or enjoying a whirlpool bath while reflecting on a time when tribes such as the Salish, Kootenai, Blackfeet and others, as well as mountain men and explorers, soaked in area hot springs. This particular room truly allows guests the opportunity of “going back in time,” while still feeling spoiled with all the luxuries of the present day- a wonderful Montana escape!  Information about the area’s tribal people, as well as beautifully haunting melodies of Native American flute (on CD) are available for guests to enjoy.

This quaint room offers guests a queen-sized log bed with pillow-top mattress and down comforter.  It features picture windows, a private outdoor deck with bistro table, beautifully tiled two-person whirlpool tub/shower, heated tile flooring, air conditioning and TV for DVD’s and music (access to small fridge in common area). A large, eastern window overlooks the Bitterroot River, visually taking guests along the very route that Meriwether Lewis took on his return trip in 1806. A private outdoor deck offers the same view among Ponderosa pines.

Room Ammenities

The History of The Bitterroot

Blue Mountain is part of the larger Bitterroot Mountain Range, which to the east looks out over areas where the Bitterroot flower once flourished along the path of the Bitterroot River.  In the Salish language, “Spitlem Seukn” means water of the Bitterroot and it was in this homeland, among the sagebrush and pines, that various tribes harvested the roots of this delicate, pink flower for both food and medicine. The Salish tell of their tribal spirit helper, Old Man Coyote, who was entrusted by the creator to look out for the welfare of the people. It was Coyote who taught early people how to use the resources of the land, bringing them bison as well as knowledge of healing plants such as the Bitterroot. A Salish legend tells of a starving old woman who was visited by a spirit bird. The bird told the woman that a new plant would be formed from the red of his wings and the silver of her hair. This plant would give her people strength, although its taste would bare a bitter reminder of a people’s tears born out of worry and hunger.

The Bitterroot became Montana’s state flower in 1895 and is truly significant to the Missoula and Bitterroot valley areas. Normally, the plant blooms in late May or June, but Captain Lewis was able to collect it on July 1, 1806 due to a late blooming season. From Travelers’ Rest, just four miles south of here, a specimen journeyed some 3,000 miles by horseback, boat and stagecoach before reaching the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. After the plant was revived from a dried out root, botanist Frederick Pursh, gave it the scientific name of Lewisia rediviva, which honored Meriwether Lewis and the plant itself for its remarkable regeneration capabilities.

It is no wonder that such a plant is able to carry over its nutrient value and was prized by area people. The Flathead, Kalispell, Pend d’Oreille, Spokane and Nez Perce gathered in Missoula valley to dig the Bitterroot. The plant was sought early in the spring before the roots became woody and bitter.

The life-sustaining properties of The Bitterroot were recognized by many people in the area. Early mountain men and pioneers sometimes traded the Indians for the Bitterroot; a little over a pound (3-4 days worth of work) was enough to sustain a person through the winter and was comparable in trade to the worth of a horse! The importance of root gathering in this area was so great that it often caused tribal conflict. The Blackfeet were well known for their raiding parties, in fact Missoula’s Hellgate Canyon earned its name from trappers who knew of the area’s reputation as an “open graveyard” that was once littered with the bones of war fare.

The Missoula area offers a window into the valuable stories of our past. Careful observers will come to understand that in many ways, this place of the Bitterroot still belongs to the echo of Salish horses and the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, to the cry of the hawk, and the evening song of the coyote.

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Sagebrush Suite

The suite looks out over the beautiful Missoula Valley, allowing for expansive views of the city, river and of one the first ranches in the area. The room’s log interior is reminiscent of an earlier era, tying the Inn to a past history of family homesteads and ranching.  Although this room does not include a private deck, guests are welcome to enjoy one of the six outdoor areas, each with tables. One of the nicest things about Blue Mountain is the fact that There is plenty of space and privacy to go around! After that long day on the trail, you can look forward to a soak in your private jetted tub, something that would make a cowboy with his old-time wash basin more than envious. And when it is finally time to “hit the sack,” you can lie in the comfort of your log bed, watching the stars and listening to an old cowboy version of “Silver On The Sage.” When dawn comes, you will find yourself still nestled beneath the cozy down comforter, anticipating a fresh cup of coffee and the events of the day.

The lovely, Victorian feel of the room is complemented by rich area rugs and a cherry sleigh bed. The antiques, books, and decor include family heirlooms as well as European travel memories, allowing guests an opportunity to traveling back in time among beauty, poetry, comfort, and turn of the century elegance.

The Rose is an elegant room with hard wood flooring, a queen-sized sleigh bed, pillow-top mattress and down comforter. The private bath includes granite tile, a shower and one-person jetted tub. The sitting area has Victorian era furnishings and a view of the hillside through sliding glass doors. A television for DVD and music use is provided. The outdoor deck offers guests a forest view and bistro table.

 

Room Ammenities

The History of The Sagebrush

Sagebrush, which is part of the sunflower family, has long been associated with cowboy territory and like the tumble weed, has become a symbol of the West. There are in fact several different species of sagebrush and nearly all have held significant religious and medicinal value for Indian tribes within the Western region. The Kootenai tell of their cultural hero, Coyote, having smoked a type of sage as tobacco. Many tribes continue to use it in traditional purification rituals.

There are a number of sagebrush varieties native to Montana but only rabbit brush, a distant relative of true sagebrush, grows on Blue Mountain’s hillsides. In the Bitterroot Valley however, early settlers commented on this tall, dense plant which continues to thrive on some of the more arid hillsides and offers wildlife such as deer, elk and grouse an important winter food source.

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Rose Room

The Rose Room overlooks the entryway garden, which from spring to fall is in bloom with lovely shrub and wild roses, iris, honeysuckle and other flowers. In winter, the snow powders the pines in a shimmering white, a view that any warm summer’s day would envy. The deck is adjoined by the hillside and is particularly beautiful in spring when the fragrant, wild lilacs (Syringa) bloom and the forest flowers blanket the ground. On a summer’s day, guests can enjoy a glass of lemonade and a good book in the air conditioned room, or outside on the deck. In winter, a cup of tea or hot chocolate is in order, either on the deck or from the comfort of one’s room. If that doesn’t warm the body and soul, then a luxurious bath in the relaxing jetted tub certainly will.

The Rose is an elegant room with hard wood flooring, a queen-sized sleigh bed, pillow-top mattress and down comforter. The private bath includes granite tile, a shower and one-person jetted tub. The sitting area has Victorian era furnishings and a view of the hillside through sliding glass doors. A television for DVD and music use is provided. The outdoor deck offers guests a forest view and bistro table.

Room Ammenities

The History of The Rose

The wild rose, of which there are several species in Montana, was considered as one of the choices for our state flower and is the national emblem of neighboring Canada. Like the Bitterroot flower, the wild rose was noted by The Lewis and Clark expedition at Travelers’ Rest, just a few miles south of here.

In general, the rose has been used both in America and Europe for its many health and beauty benefits. Among Native people, the wild rose was used primarily for medicinal and spiritual reasons rather than as a food source. The Nez Perce, for example, hung rose sprigs on a baby’s cradleboard in order to drive away ghosts. The flower was also woven into legends of Coyote, the spiritual helper of a number of tribes within the region.

From spring through summer, the gardens and hillsides of Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast are in bloom with wild or domestic roses of one variety or another. Two of the most beautiful wild shrubs on Blue Mountain’s hillsides are the chokecherry and serviceberry. As part of the rose family, they welcome the spring with a bounty of white blossoms and are followed in pink by the wild rose.

Whether wild or domestic, the rose has been a symbol of love and royalty throughout the course of Western history, and within its symbolic beauty, it will surely bloom for gardener, poet, and lover for years to come.

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Syringa Suite

Within the room, rich green carpet and beautiful stepping stones create a “garden pathway” that leads the eye outside and complements the room’s Asian decor. While you soak in your private tub, you will find yourself transformed to a Japanese mountain inn, as the open window bathes you in the sweet smell of pines and the sound of the waterfall beyond; tranquility for the mind, body and soul. To the north, large picture windows overlook a breathtaking Japanese water garden where koi swim among the water lilies and a spectacular water fall tumbles to the garden below. On the west, sliding glass doors open onto a deck that is nestled among wild flowers and ponderosa pines. A more traditional, American sitting area is all that gives away the true secret of this room as a Montana Bed and Breakfast.

The Syringa is our bridal “suite” and largest room. It has a vaulted ceiling, over-sized picture windows and a sitting area overlooking the Japanese lily pond and waterfall. The king-sized bed with mahogany finish, pillow-top mattress and down comforter have a lovely Asian feel.  The private bath offers guests the luxury of a two-person jetted tub, with Roman shower and rich marble flooring. There are two sink areas, a closet and fridge as well. Air conditioning in the summer and an electric fire place in winter give this room appeal during every season. There is a TV with DVD and music capability and a private outdoor deck (with a bistro table) that looks out over the forest.

 

Room Ammenities

The History of The Syringa

The sweet smelling Syringa, which is Idaho’s state flower, is part of the Hydrangea family. Its species name, Lewisii, honors Captain Meriwether Lewis, who collected it in this area along the Bitterroot River in 1806. The Syringa is also known as Mock-Orange, Bridal Wreath and Indian Arrowwood. Its straight stems were used by Native People in making arrows, while the leaves, roots and branches were used for medicinal purposes.

In late June, the lovely “orange blossom” fragrance of the Syringa fills the mountain air as swallowtail butterflies sip its nectar. It is fitting that the Syringa Suite looks out over the Japanese water garden, where varieties of Japanese hydrangeas bloom throughout the summer. In late June, these splendid garden varieties are paired with our native beauty which covers the hillsides in white, like a fragrant blanket of soft winter snow.

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Ponderosa Room

The Ponderosa Room’s decor truly takes a person “into the woods.” The trim work is done with blued ponderosa pine, milled from several trees right here on the mountain. Tools of the trade from days gone by are artistically mounted on several walls, telling a story of Swedish-American heritage that was linked to forestry and farming.  Many of the displayed tools belonged to Elaine’s great grandfather, Axel Emil Anderson, who worked as a log scaler in a sawmill before emigrating to America from Sweden. There are also many tools and family artifacts on display in the library, just next door. These belonged to Axel’s brother, Ole Anderson, who not only was a carpenter by trade, but was one of the very first guides, photographers and entrepreneurs in Yellowstone Park. A hand-made “pioneer” quilt hangs over the bed of the Ponderosa Room, a reminder of the hard-earned accomplishments made by those who came west in the early days. The quilt is a treasured wedding gift, made by Elaine’s P.E.O. sister, Sally Wright, in 2002.

The Ponderosa Room (located in the main house) is both welcoming and relaxing, offering a Western feel that is similar to the rooms over in the Lodge space. If Western decor fits your taste a bit more than Victorian (The Rose), or Japanese (The Syringa), then reserving the Ponderosa is a perfect alternative. The room offers a locally crafted, King-sized log bed with a pillow-top mattress, and down comforter. The bath is done in granite and tile and includes a one-person jetted tub/shower combination. From either the recliner or bed, a person can read, enjoy the view, or snuggle in and watch movies on the flat screen TV with DVD player. This room comes with a  small fridge, an air conditioning unit and an electric fireplace so that every season can be enjoyed to the fullest! Sliding glass doors open onto a private deck where one can sit and enjoy the amazing Missoula valley view, Bitterroot Root River and towering ponderosa pines

 

Room Ammenities

The History of The Ponderosa Pine

The ponderosa pine is Montana’s state tree and an important natural resource for the state.
Not only is the ponderosa important to the lumber industry, but it offers nutritional value to wildlife in many forms. Deer eat the needles, squirrels and many bird species, including quail eat the seeds. The crossbill has a bill that is specially adapted for reaching into the tree’s cones and the Clark’s Nutcracker has adapted an entire life style around the pine tree. It even has a special pouch under its tongue that allows the bird to carry seeds for long distances. The Clark’s Nutcracker is capable of hiding thousands of seeds in various caches and has an amazing memory for locating them later on. This adaptation allows the Nutcracker to breed in January or February because the young can feed off of winter stores. The Clark’s Nutcracker actually feeds off of a variety of different pine trees, but at our elevation here on Blue Mountain, the availability of seeds comes almost exclusively from the ponderosa pine.

As a food source, another important part of the ponderosa is its inner bark which is eaten by porcupines and was also a staple for several Indian tribes at one time. The sweet, inner bark offered nourishment after a long winter and was usually peeled on cloudy, cool days when the sap ran well. The women were the ones to remove the bark of the ponderosa. For removal of the outer bark, a chisel-type implement, often made of juniper, was used. A different tool was used to separate the sweet, edible, inner bark from the outside layer. It is known that in prehistoric times, the Kootenai used a special scraper made from mountain sheep horn. By the 1890’s the Kootenai began creating more efficient spade-like scrapers out of K.C. Baking Powder cans.

Peeled-cambium tree scars can still be seen in the Bitterroot Valley and surrounding mountains and are actually protected under the National Historic Preservation Act (Bitterroot National Forest). “Culturally scarred” or peeled trees are distinguishable from trees scarred by forest fire in several ways. Peeled scars are usually found on large, centuries old ponderosa. A scar usually starts about 3 feet from the base of the tree and is usually large- sometimes up to 8 feet long and 2 feet wide. Indian Trees Campground, near Lost Trail Pass, offers people a chance to walk among some of these ancient scarred trees. The interpretive signs at the site are very well done.

The Journals of Lewis and Clark have several references to peeled trees… “…saw where the natives had pealed the bark off the pine trees… to obtain the sap and soft part of the wood and bark for food.” July 19, 1805 (Missouri River- near present day Helena)
“I made camp at 8 on this road  & particularly on this Creek the Indians have pealed a number of Pine for the under bark which they eat at certain Season of the year.” September 12, 1805 (Lolo Creek- just a few miles from our bed and breakfast)

Besides using the ponderosa’s inner bark, other parts of the tree were important to many tribes as well. For example, the pitch was chewed as gum by the Cheyenne and also used to basically plaster their hair in place. The Salish mixed pine pitch with melted tallow and applied it as a poultice. The Nez Perce used pitch to keep torches lit and as a glue and waterproofing agent. It was also the Nez Perce who showed Lewis and Clark how to make dugout canoes from ponderosa logs. Several American Indian groups ground the pine seeds into a meal for making bread and used the tree’s buds to make a medicinal tea for internal bleeding, fevers, and other ailments.

It is interesting to note that when the Lewis and Clark expedition came through this area, William Clark stated that the (ponderosa) “forms the principle timber of the neighborhood.” Notice Clark’s spelling of the word neighborhood and the fact that expedition members referred to this type of pine tree as “the long-leafed pine.” The tree actually goes by nine different nicknames that we know of, but was given its scientific name, Pinus Ponderosa, by Scottish botanist David Douglas (near Spokane, Washington).

There is still a large ponderosa at Travelers’ Rest State Park which is old enough to have “witnessed” the expedition’s encampment there on Lolo Creek some 200 years ago. Some of the oldest ponderosa pines have in fact lived up to 700 years and have grown over 200 feet tall, a ponderous species indeed! A variety of factors allow the ponderosa to be long-lived. Adult trees are very fire resistant, at least to fairly low-intensity fires. The fact that the lower trunk area is usually devoid of branches and the cambium layer is insulated by thick bark give it special resistance. In addition, a long taproot allows the ponderosa to access moisture on dry hillsides, also making the tree less prone to wind fall.

The bark of older ponderosa pines often looks quite different than the bark of much younger trees. It is this fact that has helped the tree earn so many different names. Loggers have used the name “blackjack” for younger trees, which usually exhibit a dark gray bark. The yellow or reddish-orange bark of a tree that is 125 to 150 years old is composed of many thin jigsaw-puzzle pieces. Nicknamed “yellowbellies” or “pumpkins,” on hot days the bark of these mature trees has a smell much like that of vanilla.

Even the inner wood of a dead ponderosa often turns a different color. When left standing, bluish patterns become apparent within the wood, something greatly prized by craftsmen. Look closely when you stay in the Ponderosa Room. The blued pine used in this room was harvested just behind the hill from trees affected by the presence of bark beetles.

There is nothing more magnificent than a ponderosa pine which has stood, possibly for centuries, in the same place over time. A beautifully gnarled old ponderosa such as this stands sentinel over the bed and breakfast and water fall. Its grandeur, reflected in the pond below, gives the illusion that the mountain it stands on, the sky it touches and time itself must go on forever- while somehow standing perfectly still. It is the gift of a life time to witness, even for a moment, such perfection and eternal balance.

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Guest Room Comparison Chart

Room
Bed Size
Occupancy
Fireplace
Jetted Tub
Private Deck
Pet Friendly
Bitterroot Room​
Queen
2
No
For Two
Yes
Yes
Sagebrush Suite
King
2
Electric
For Two
No
Yes
Rose Room
Queen
2
No
For One
Yes
Yes
Syringa Suite
King
2
Electric
For Two
Yes
Yes
Ponderosa Room
King
2
Electric
For One
Yes
Yes