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Fly Fishing in Montana

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Fly Fishing in Montana

Montana is known for its big skies, big mountains, and big trout. A Montana vacation or weekend getaway in Missoula for many people must include fly fishing. Let the rhythm of the river flow into you as you cast the fly into the water. Breathe in the fresh air and take in the beautiful landscape. There are few places in the country as majestic as Montana, and perhaps no where with as many rivers filled with trout.

Our Montana b&b sits on the edge of the Bitterroot Valley, between Missoula and Lolo. Gazing at the spectacular views of the Bitterroot River and surrounding mountains will begin to relax you as soon as you arrive; it will also compel you to get out and engage with what you see. We will feed you a delicious, filling breakfast at our Missoula bed and breakfast, give you a picnic basket for your lunch, and send you on your way. There are several good fly fishing outfitters and guides in the Missoula area whom we happily recommend to our guests. The guides have been fishing in Montana most of their lives; they know the rivers, and they know where to find the fish.

Remember to bring layers of clothing for your time on the river. Weather in Montana can be quite varied and unpredictable.

Missoula Bed and Breakfast celebrates the Bitterroot Valley

Montana
The magnificent Bitterroot Valley spreads south from Missoula towards remote Horse Creek Pass. The Bitterroot River runs down the middle of the valley that is framed by the Bitterroot Mountains on the west and the Sapphire Mountains on the east. Native Americans used this valley for generations as a natural corridor in their migrations, and the Lewis and Clark Expedition passed through here. Indeed, there is much history in this valley, which is home to the first European settlement in the state of Montana; be sure to take time to visit the St. Mary’s Mission and Fort Owen State Monument in Stevensville.

Opportunities for outdoor recreation in the Bitterroot Valley are endless. From fly fishing to horseback riding, mountain biking to llama treks, there is sure to be an activity that is just right for you. There are numerous hiking trails through the pristine Bitterroot National Forest, and forest service roads that lead to remote waterfalls. Ask us about some of our favorite ways to get out and enjoy it when you stay at our Bed and Breakfast Missoula.

Our Missoula Montana Bed and Breakast is located southeast of Missoula, just off Highway 93 – the core of the Bitterroot Valley Scenic Drive. Fortify yourself with our home cooked breakfast and then hit the road. The beauty of the Bitterroot Valley will awe you, and the historic towns will charm you. Head for the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge and look for nesting osprey and other wildlife. Or keep going south to Lost Trail Pass, where you will find good hiking.

No matter what you do, we feel certain that you will grow to love the Bitterroot Valley as much as we do here in our Montana bed and breakfast.

Missoula Bed & Breakfast and the Missoula Art Museum

It can be pleasant to take a little trip to our Blue Mountain bed and breakfast. Here you can enjoy the serenity of our peaceful and scenic location and still be close to the city, where you can enjoy the arts. Our Missoula lodging is nestled on twenty acres of wildlife habitat that is adjacent to National Forest. There are trails leading from our door into the wilderness, and you are almost sure to spot some kind of wildlife while staying here. At the same time, a short drive takes guests into the heart of Missoula, with its museums, cinemas and fine restaurants.

John Armstrong at Missoula Art Museum

John Armstrong at Missoula Art Museum

Take some time on your next trip to our Missoula bed and breakfast to visit the Missoula Art Museum. The work of Master Printer John Armstrong is on exhibition until May 23. According to the MAM website, the 21 most recent works selected by curator Stephen Gleuckert “bring to the forefront the artists sensitivity, intuitive color sense, consistent instinct for compositional resolution, and ever present spirit of experimentation.” In addition, the museum is showcasing over forty five pieces by various artists who have used the Armstrong-Prior Print workshop in Phoenix, Arizona. Armstrong’s influence on this body of work is apparent, and underscores the spirit of collaboration that pervades the Armstrong-Prior Print workshop. Look for works by Rudy Autio, Philip Curtis, Dorothy Fratt, Karen Jilly, Virgil Ortiz, Vernon Patrick, Akio Takamori, and Patti Warashina.

Photo courtesy of the Missoula Art Museum.

Exploring the Lewis and Clark Trail

The Lewis and Clark Expedition came through these parts, and retracing their foot steps on the Lewis and Clark Trail is a great activity while you are staying at our Missoula MT bed and breakfast. Drive US Highway 12 from Missoula to Lewiston, which follows the original trail taken by the expedition. There are many signposts that tell the story of the explorers along the way. You will learn that Colt Killed Creek is so named because it is where members of the expedition were forced to kill a colt in order to survive. Fortunately, you can ask the innkeepers at your blue mountain bed and breakfast for a picnic basket, which you can fill in town.

Lolo Pass, one of the most treacherous mountain crossings in the whole of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, is also the site of intersecting Indian Trails. The travelers in 1805 and 1806 were happy to soak in the Lolo Hot Springs, just as you will be today. You may also enjoy wandering through the DeVoto Cedar Grove, where the Lewis and Clark journals were first edited by Bernard DeVoto.

The scenery along the Lewis and Clark Trail is breathtaking at this time of year. We welcome you at our Missoula Bed and Breakfast, where we think you will be considerably more comfortable than were those early, brave explorers.

Montana Ghost Towns

Ghost towns exist in every culture, but some of the most interesting ones are right here in Montana, not far from our Missoula lodging. We are fortunate that the Montana Department of Fish and Wildlife took over management of the dying town of Bannack and the surrounding area in the 1950s. Thanks to their foresight, Bannack State Park preserves an important part of the state’s history.

Prospector John White founded the town of Bannack in 1862 after discovering gold in Grasshopper Creek. Folks rushed to the area as news of the gold spread, hoping to secure their own claim. So many people came that Bannack was named the first Territorial Capital of Montana, although it held on to that title for only a year. Although the huge reserves of gold that folks hoped to find continued to elude the prospectors, a hardy few doggedly remained in the area, experimented with various mining techniques, and managed to make a living. In the 1930’s, however, the population began to steadily dwindle. Now a state park, Bannack today is visited by people from all over the country and the world. Over sixty structures remain standing, most of which can be explored. Spend a day exploring the old town, and get a taste for what it was like to come to this wild and beautiful place in the 1860s, with dreams of gold in the heart.

Come May, the park is open daily from 8am until dusk, and after Memorial Day the hours are extended until 9pm. The informative Visitor Center is open weekends. The park makes a great day trip from our Missoula Mt bed and breakfast – pack a picnic and have fun.

Bed and Breakfast Missoula Mt: Spring into Arts

The Arts are waking up in Missoula, along with the bears in the mountains. Singer/spoken word artist Bill Harley, known to all Montana public radio listeners for his work on the children’s show “Pea Green Boat”, will be performing at the University of Montana’s University Theatre on Sunday, May 17, at 2pm. His performances at that venue in 2007 were taped and ultimately won him a grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for Children. The whole family is sure to enjoy his upcoming show.

The fine arts are also thriving. This past weekend, the University of Montana School of Fine Arts honored Monte Dolack and his wife, Mary Beth Percival, for their contributions to the community of Missoula. Saturday night’s “Odyssey of the Stars” recognized the couple as two of the most influential Montana artists of their generation; their art has developed and changed with them over the years, and their influence has been wide-reaching. The artists’ most recent works will be open for viewing at their studio on the next First Friday art gallery open. Smaller versions of their art can be found on the notecards available at our Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast.

There is something for music lovers in Missoula this week too. Jazzoula, a series of concerts featuring local jazz musicians, is the prelude to the University of Montana’s Buddy DeFranco Jazz Festival next weekend. Even locals are sometimes surprised by how much talent is hidden in the region. In fact, innkeeper Elaine used to be an active band member with Andrew Goodrich, one one the featured guests at the Jazz Festival this year. Maybe Elaine will surprise us with a performance of her own at the inn!

Plan to stay in our bed and breakfast Missoula, Blue Mountain B&B, and explore some of what Missoula’s art community has to offer this spring. We grew up in this area and it is important to us to support our local artists and community.

Wildlife Film Festival in Missoula

montana-wildlifeStay at our bed and breakfast Montana while you take in some films. Animal lovers and film enthusiasts will be flocking to Missoula MT in early May for the 32nd Annual International Wildlife Film Festival. This longstanding event was the first of its kind in the world, and has helped raise awareness of wildlife and conservation issues for decades through film and media. The festival has been called the “Sundance of the wildlife film genre”, and is sure to be both entertaining and fascinating. It kicks off with a Wildwalk Parade “Howl at the Moon!” at noon on May 9th, and continues until the “Best of Festival” screening on May 16th. Many of the festival events will be at the historic Roxy Theater, restored by the International Wildlife Media Center which recognizes the importance of preserving local history as well as wildlife — everything is connected. Stay at our Missoula Mt bed and breakfast while you attend the festival. Come early or stay late, and take advantage of the pristine wilderness around Missoula.

Hiking in Missoula

There is great hiking in Missoula. In the Blue Mountain Recreation Area, enjoy the Maclay Flat Interpretative Trail.

It is a gentle stroll on a wide path that can also accommodate wheelchairs.  The trail takes you along the Bitterroot River and through adjacent meadows, with some great views of mountains around Missoula.

Blue Mountain Views

Blue Mountain Views

If you want to pick up a little knowledge while visiting our Missoula lodging, the Maclay Flat Trail also has 16 interpretive signs along the way describing the river system, wildlife, vegetation and archeology of this area.

There is wildlife in the area, and the observant guest has seen evidence of porcupine and beaver. Also look for wood duck nesting boxes attached to trees and for bluebird boxes on fence posts.

About a third mile down the trail, you reach a flat, grassy spot along the river – perfect for picnicking. There are also some fishing spots along this stretch of the river. We at the Blue Mountain Montana Bed and Breakfast will be happy to provide you with picnic baskets and coolers!

There is also great bird watching at Maclay Flat. During spring in Missoula look for lots of wildflowers and other plants. Hope to see you at our Missoula Inn soon!

Bed and Breakfast Montana: Aerial Fire Depot

Smokejumpers are highly trained specialists who parachute into remote areas of national forests to fight the spread of wildfires.

Smokejumper Suit Display

Smokejumper Suit Display

The nation’s largest training base for smokejumpers is located in Missoula. This is a great place to learn about wild land firefighting and smokejumping in particular. Tours of the working parts of the smokejumper base at 10 and 11 AM, and 2, 3, and 4 PM all summer long. Some of our favorite parts of the museum include the cool parachutes, the airplanes and talking with actual fire jumpers and hearing their stories.

This can be a good place to bring the family while staying at our Missoula lodging. The last guests that visited told
us their tour guide was led by an actual rookie Smokejumper and included a visit to the working Smokejumper facilities. If you have very good/bad timing, you might see the Smokejumpers suit up and board the aircraft to go to a fire!

If you are interested in learning more about what it takes to protect the wild areas around our Montana Bed and Breakfast, like the Rockie Mountains just North of us, the Aerial Fire Depot is a must-see for you. The tours are usually a great learning experience and fun for the kids. Adults will probably find the information about firefighting and national fire policy interesting. The tour takes about 45 minutes, is free of charge, and includes a visit to a real fire lookout.

Just one of many interesting excursions near our bed and breakfast Montana. See you soon!

Bed and Breakfast Montana: A Carousel for Missoula

“If you will give it a home, and promise no one will ever take it apart, I will build A Carousel for Missoula.” That was the promise Missoula cabinet-maker Chuck Kaparich made to the Missoula City Council in 1991. And now, in the heart of town, is a Carousel for Missoula. The Carousel stands as a stellar of community involvement.

Kaparich, who had spent many childhood hours on the carousel at Columbia Gardens in Butte, Montana, had already carved four carousel ponies and had purchased an antique frame in thousands of pieces. The City Council agreed and the journey for our community began. This Carousel is only 15 minutes from our Missoula lodging, and a must-see for families!

Woodworkers instruct young & old to create a community masterpiece

Woodworkers instruct young & old to create a community masterpiece

A board of directors was formed to facilitate organization and fund raising, Kaparich taught others to carve, mechanics began the process of restoring 16,066 pieces, painters were recruited, and Missoula began working together to create a treasure.

By Opening Day, May 27, 1995, over 100,000 hours of volunteer time had gone into the construction of 38 permanent ponies, three replacement ponies, two chariots, 14 gargoyles and the largest band organ in continuous use in the United States, all within a jewel box building.

The finished project

The finished project

School children collected over one-million pennies to adopt four ponies! Although this beautiful piece of work started for the kids, it enriched the hearts and souls of all that worked on it! The project continued with the Dragon Hollow play area right next door to the merry-go-round. It took just nine days to erect this expansive play structure through the hard work of volunteers. This children’s play land is in the heart of Missoula. It would be a great place to stop during some window shopping while staying at our Montana Bed and Breakfast and have a picnic or let the kids run wild for a little while you get off your feet.

We have always been proud community members and are looking forward to sharing the beauty and wonder of the Bitterroot Valley with you when you come to our Missoula MT Bed and Breakfast. See you soon!

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