The Bitterroot Valley is a grand and unmatched playground for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels.  With its main river and numerous mountain tributaries and exceptional access to the largest intact wilderness in the contiguous U.S., the valley offers endless choices for all-season recreation.


The Bitterroot is famous for its blue ribbon fly-fishing and convenient river access. High-water levels arrive usually toward the middle to end of June, when most people find it wise to stay off the river (check with one of the fly-fishing shops or outfitters). Otherwise, the flow is great for floating and fishing, and in mid-August the joy of low water begins, with lazier boating and tubing.

Pick up an illustrated Bitterroot River map, with trails and put-ins, at local shops.

Wapiti Waters

Home of Fly Fishing Outfitter Jack Mauer. Find discussions and links for western Montana stream flows, current conditions, forecasts, and hatches.

Stacks Image 559

Paddling Montana
—Hank & Carol Fisher


Hiking trails abound, leading up every mountainside and canyon. Choose one compatible with your skills and go exploring. The vistas are breathtaking, the camping is wild, the swimming and fishing superb.

Several books will be your guide—check Chapter One Book Store. And pick up wilderness maps at the any of the local National Forest Offices.

Hiking the Bitterroots

—Mort Arkava

Bitterroot Mountain Summits

                      —Michael Hoyt

Hiking with Mario in Montana’s
Bitterroot Mountains

                    —Mario Locatelli


This area is known for its great downhill, cross-country, and skate skiing. Lost Trail Pass touts some of the consistently best downhill powder conditions in the country. Both Chief Joseph and Lake Como include miles of groomed backcountry terrain for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and skate skiing.

The adventurous can take to any of summer’s hiking trails on skies or snowshoes.

Snowmobiling abounds.


A paved bike path connects all the towns along the highway. There are two large reservoirs for canoeing and water sports, two public golf courses, and plenty of sunshine!

For those who like to poke around town, Ravalli County’s string of small communities each have their own special mix of historic downtown shops and restaurants. Scout out antiques, art and local artisans, museums, bakeries, cafés, micro breweries . . . there is something for everyone.

In the summer, enjoy a scenic drive over Skalkaho Pass on HWY 38, a winding mountain dirt road over the Sapphire Range, where you can visit Georgetown Lake or the little mining town of Phillipsburg, known for it's sapphire mines. Sift through buckets of dirt to find your own precious stones.

Any time of year, you can pop over Lost Trail Pass and Chief Joseph Pass into the Big Hole Valley, where you can visit the historical National Big Hole Battlefield and browse the museum. Soak in the Jackson Hot Springs. Explore the wonderful old ghost town buildings in Bannack, the original territorial capital of Montana.

Wildlife abounds in the Bitterroot Valley. Birdwatching is a valley pastime. Amy’s guests are always amazed by the large variety of birds they see, and the numbers of deer, elk, big horn sheep, and occasional moose that are common here. Her guests have reported seeing black bear, mountain lion, coyote, fox, even wolf.

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