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101bitterroot in the


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A publication of the Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the Ravalli Republic Newspaper.

ravalli republic

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Prudential Montana Real Estate • 120 South 5th Street, Suite 201 • Hamilton, MT 59840 • © 2011 Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities. An independently owned and operated broker member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates Inc., a Prudential Financial Company. Prudential, the Prudential logo and the Rock symbol are service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Used under license. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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4 - 101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012

Welcome to the third edition of “101 Things to do in the Bitterroot Valley”! In the mid-90s, when we were coming to Montana for the first time, someone told us not to miss the Bitterroot Valley. She told us it was the “most beautiful valley in Montana”. After driving 1200 miles in Montana, we agreed with her. We loved it so much we bought property here and, in 2002, it became our permanent home. I look out my window every day at the incredible beauty of the Bitterroot Mountains and my heart is lifted. I never tire of this lovely landscape. As you browse these pages, we are certain that you will be intrigued with the variety of “things to do” in our beautiful valley and will yearn to explore the many opportunities. We encourage you to take a moment, slow down a bit, and sample the distinctive flavor and character of our valley’s many attributes, attractions, events and communities. When you arrive for your own tour of the Bitterroot Valley I suggest that your first stop by the Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information Center at 105 East Main Street in Hamilton. You will find the helpful and knowledgeable staff ready to supply you with state and local maps, visitor information, retail resources, lodging recommendations and real estate opportunities. You can also contact the Chamber at or. It is appropriate that we gratefully acknowledge the Ravalli Republic, who have partnered with us in this collaborative effort for the past three years. Carol Smith * Chairman, Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce Tourism & Marketing Committe

101 Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley

Published by the Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce Tourism & Marketing Committee, in cooperation with the Ravalli Republic newspaper, Carol SmithË Project Coordinator ÜjÁË+†ÍË ?ÁË jÄj™ Publisher Jim McGowan Editor Sherry Devlin Production & Design Dara Saltzman & Jodi Lopez Sales Project Frannie Cummings, Kathy Kelleher, Jodi Lopez, Justine Morris, Cheryl Tenold 101 Things to do in the Bitterroot Valley 2012 is a publication of the Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Ravalli Republic, a division of Lee Enterprises. Copyright 2012 by the BVCC and Ravalli Republic. Every effort has been made to make the information in this publication, as of the date of publication, as accurate and complete as possible. We apologize for any errors or omissions, they were not intentional. If you would like to have your organization or event considered for inclusion in the list of 101 Things, submit a paragraph of about 100 words, describing why someone should attend or visit your event or attraction

101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 5

101bitterroot in the


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TABLE OF CONTENTS Things to do in the great outdoors.............7 Things to do in the Wintertime..................15 Things to learn about the Historical Bitterroot Valley.........................17 Visual and Performing Arts.......................25 Things to do with kids...............................34 Other Interesting Things to Do.................40 Discover our Festivals and Events............46 Interesting Side Trips................................57 Bitterroot Communities.............................60 Calendar of Events....................................67

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For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection, but with Montana it is love.

— John Steinbeck

101 Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley


elcome to the beautiful Bitterroot Valley where the stunning peaks of the Bitterroot and Sapphire Mountains are anchored by the lovely tree-filled valley. The Bitterroot River flows north past charming and historic towns. There are many interesting things to do here, which are described in the pages of this publication, but the breathtaking scenery is the most impressive attraction of the valley. Hidden deep in canyons of the Bitterroot Mountains are idyllic lakes and fresh mountain streams. A hike to the top of a mountain provides a view of craggy snow-covered mountain peaks as far as the eye can see. Then realize that the Lewis and Clark and Nez Perce National Historic Trails which traverse the length of the valley carried travelers of the past on foot and horseback through the passes between the mountains. Located halfway between Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, the people of this valley will welcome you and share its lovely assets willingly. Take the time to pull off the highway occasionally to take in the beautiful views. Talk to the locals at the charming Farmer’s Markets. You will find a range of lodging accommodations, as well as gift shops, outfitters and delicious local dining options. The Bitterroot Valley will leave a lasting impression. You will want to come back, we promise you. Photo by Dave Erickson

101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 7


Photo by Patrick Chaplin


he Bitterroot Valley is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise! Towering mountains and open valleys offer sweeping vistas, pristine trout streams and powder-rich ski areas. You might see a hundred head of elk in a mountain valley or mountain goats and bighorn sheep looking down from rocky outcroppings. You can watch the sun set over a mountain range and waken to the peace of a mountain morning. Breathe in the crystal fresh air, look up at the brilliant blue sky and discover a landscape that invites you to explore every outdoor adventure you can imagine. 1. HIKE IN THE BITTERROOT MOUNTAINS The Bitterroot Mountain range runs along most of the border between Montana and Idaho and is the most striking feature of the Bitterroot Valley. It offers many choices for the avid hiker. For spectacular views of the massive cliffs and rock spires of Blodgett Canyon, hike along Blodgett Creek. For short hikes with scenic views, try the Bear Creek Overlook near Victor or Blodgett Overlook near Hamilton. For an easy and scenic hike, try the first three miles of Bear Creek Trail with its pools, falls and natural waterslides. For grand views of the mid valley and rugged crags of the Selway-Bitterroot

Wilderness, hike four miles to the summit of St Mary’s peak west of Stevensville, which has a fire lookout station. For a challenging trail hike, try Trapper Peak, the Bitterroot’s highest at 10,157’. Visit bitterroot for locations and descriptions of many hikes or visit any Forest Service office. Local bookstores also carry excellent guidebooks on local hiking adventures.

Photo by Patrick Chaplin

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2. RIDE A HORSE INTO THE LARGEST CONTIGUOUS WILDERNESS AREA IN THE LOWER 48 STATES The 1,340,000-acre Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness area is located in Ravalli County, Montana, and Idaho County, Idaho. It is the third-largest wilderness area in the lower-48 states and borders the largest wilderness area, the Frank Church—River of No Return Wilderness. These wilderness areas offer solitude and pristine

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beauty. The rider will seldom see another person along the trail. What lies before you is a mind boggling 4.2 million acres of wilderness. This land base retains its wild nature and harbors healthy populations of trout, salmon, wolves, lynx, black bears, elk, mule deer, moose and mountain lions. The Wilderness contains sheer walls, cliffs, tumbling waterfalls, and subalpine lake basins. It is a favorite spot for backpacking and horseback riding. Selway Adventures,; and Storm Creek Outfitters, offer guided day rides. 3. CAMP IN THE BITTERROOT MOUNTAINS ACCESS Summer is a great time to visit the National Forest. ABILITY There are 26 developed campgrounds, hiking on more than 1,500 miles of trails, fishing for brook and rainbow SOLUTIONS, INC. trout in crystal-clear Alpine lakes, boating, biking, horseback 235 riding andLane more. Many species Kurtz • Hamilton, MT of wildlife including deer, elk, bighorn sheep, mountain 406-363-9780 • 877-396-2559 goats and moose, plus many varieties of smaller animals and birds can be seen. OneElevators popular campsite is Three Frogs ➻ LULA Campground at Lake Como featuring new campsites, Home Elevators fire rings,➻picnic tables and more. A site at Lake Como can accommodate groups as large as 75 with a large ➻ Incline Platform Lifts wood pavilion, barbecue area, fire ring and picnic

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tables. Contact the Darby Ranger District at (406) 8213913 or visit 4. FOLLOW THE BITTERROOT BIRDING & NATURE TRAIL From Lolo Pass to Lost Trail Pass, you can explore 25 prime birding and nature viewing sites following in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark and generations of Salish and Nez Perce peoples. Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge serves as trail headquarters and is a good place to start your adventure. With a variety of habitats ranging from wetlands and river bottoms to forested terrain the trail provides a range of birding experiences and opportunities. Be sure to take your binoculars. For a map and additional information on birding in the Bitterroot Valley

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Blue Heron Photo by Patrick Chaplin

5. EXPERIENCE LEE METCALF NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE From the air, the ponds at Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge resemble a necklace of dazzling jewels. Tundra swans glide into the ponds along the road. Osprey and bald eagles nest here; white-tailed deer bound across a meadow. Cattails rustle with blackbirds, wrens, and American bitterns. Wood ducks nest in quiet sloughs. A great horned owl peers from his nest. Take the refuge

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road where it bisects the two ponds; drive slowly and view the wonders of nature from your car. Or walk the trail through the cottonwood forest to the Bitterroot River. There are 2 1/2 miles of nature trails. In fall, the refuge is open to hunting. Lee Metcalf is located just north of Stevensville. Call (406) 777-5552 or visit www. 6. EXPLORE DRAMATIC BLODGETT CANYON Blodgett Canyon, the Bitterroot’s Yosemite, is the most scenic of the glacially carved canyons in the Bitterroot Mountains. Massive vertical cliffs loom high above. Peregrines and white-throated swifts wing across the silver-gray cliffs. The shrubs are lively with lazuli buntings, juncos, MacGillivray’s warblers and Townsend’s solitaires. Western tanagers call from the treetops. Dynamic natural forces shaped the Bitterroot Birding and Nature Trail which winds through the lush canyon. The glacially-carved canyons are home to herds of nimble mountain goats. Blodgett is a local favorite, perfect for day hikes or packing your backpack for an overnight adventure. There is a picnic area by the creek and a campground at the trailhead. Call (406)3637100, or visit

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Bitterroot Climbing Festifal Photo by Ravalli Republic

7. TRY ROCK CLIMBING IN THE BITTERROOT CANYONS The canyons of the Bitterroot are becoming increasingly popular as climbing destinations in Montana. Many canyons on the west side of the Bitterroot Valley offer outstanding rock climbing. Hundreds of new lines have been opened up in the granite slabs of Mill Creek

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101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 11

Canyon which offers some of the best collection of moderate climbs in western Montana. Numerous multipitch climbing routes and amazing views distinguish Kootenai Canyon which is generally well bolted and has a number of mixed routes that include both gear placements and bolts, and most routes end at a bolted anchor, allowing for a safe rappel from the route. Mill Creek Canyon has several long, multi-pitch climbs, but also has a wall featuring bolted sport routes. Roaring Lion, Blodgett and Lost Horse Canyons are also excellent for climbing. Blodgett Canyon is famous for its towering buttresses, including the 1,200-foot-tall Flathead. Visit

with grills, fire rings, picnic tables, a boat ramp and dock, and drinking water. Water levels for boating are reduced after August 1, as water is released into the West Fork of the Bitterroot River to feed the valley’s irrigation system. Painted Rocks is southwest of Conner. Visit www.fwp. 10. DISCOVER OUR STATE WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREAS Threemile and Calf Creek Wildlife Management Areas are upland grasslands and ponderosa pine forests. Threemile, east of Florence, is 6,089 acres and Calf Creek, east of Hamilton, is 2,333 acres. They were created to provide winter range for elk and compatible recreational opportunities for the public. Threemile provides a mixture of motorized access and walkin hunting opportunities for elk, mule deer, ruffed grouse, and black bear. Hunting at Calf Creek is by foot, horseback, or mountain bike, and the primary quarry is elk. The most likely observations for birders are songbirds and raptors. Call (406) 542-5500 or visit

Lake Como Swimming Beach Photo by David Erickson

8. GO SWIMMING AT LAKE COMO The deep waters of Lake Como are fed by snowcovered peaks towering to 10,000 feet above the lake. The headwaters offer an invaluable source of pure, good water. The swimming area at Lake Como has a sandy beach and is roped off from the rest of the lake. Summer weekends are busy with motorboats, jet skis, and swimmers. The best birding and nature viewing are spring and summer weekdays. A trail which leads west along the lake, past the waterfall and into the wilderness, has six interpretive signs on natural history. You can also circle the lake—a seven-mile hike. Campsites have been recently improved. For information on usage visit 9. LAUNCH A BOAT AT PAINTED ROCKS RESEVIOR Painted Rocks State Park, located on the West Fork of the Bitterroot River, offers boating and fishing in Painted Rocks Reservoir. The surrounding pine forest provides a quiet, secluded setting. A herd of Big Horn Sheep are often seen peering down from the colorful cliffs from which the Park derives its name. There are 25 campsites

Floating the Bitterroot River Photo by Ravalli Republci

11. FLOAT THE BITTERROOT RIVER Brimming with wildlife and steeped in history, the Bitterroot River winds its way north between the Sapphire and Bitterroot Mountains until its confluence with the Clark Fork River near Missoula. Western tanagers fly across the river like a splash of sunset. Bank swallows nest in high cutbanks. A great blue heron flaps by. Mayflies dance above the ripples. In the fall glow of yellow cottonwoods, the river drops lower as young ospreys try their wings. Morning mists on the river lift to reveal the glory of the Bitterroot Range. Bald eagles, hawks, mergansers, whitetail deer, even moose can be seen along the way. Ancestral home to

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the Salish Indians, the Bitterroot carves a path followed by Lewis and Clark in 1805-06 and by the Nez Perce on their tragic 1877 journey. A float trip down the river usually includes a shore lunch. For information on local outfitters, call the Chamber at (406) 363-2400 or visit

Photo Provided Jenny West 12. FISH A BLUE RIBBON TROUT STREAM The Bitterroot River is a freestone, blue ribbon river which

flows north for almost 100 miles from its headwaters at the upper end of the valley just west of the Continental Divide until converging with the Clark Fork River near Missoula. Fish for trout including Rainbow, Brown and West Slope Cutthroat. The Bitterroot is notorious for very heavy aquatic insect hatches. More than any of the other area rivers, the Bitterroot is the place to fish for big trout on dries during the spring skwala hatch. Catch and Release fishing is practiced, as no fish have been introduced into the Bitterroot River since the 1940’s and all fish caught are wild. Get a copy of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Park’s current regulations at any local fly shop. Call (406) 542-5500, or visit 13. HUNT FOR BIG GAME With endless access to 1.6 million acres of public land in the Bitterroot and Lolo National Forests, the Bitterroot Valley is a hunter’s dream. Trophy class big game in the Bitterroot includes elk, deer, moose, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, black bear and mountain lion. For upland birds the hunter has a choice of wild turkey, grouse and pheasant. Waterfowl hunting is a bonus. Taking a guided hunting or fishing trip with a local outfitter can make a vacation more productive and educational. They have the expertise that can only be gained with many years spent in the valley. For information on local

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outfitters, call the Chamber at (406) 363-2400 or visit 14. OBSERVE WILDLIFE AT THE TELLER The Teller Wildlife Refuge is a wildlife paradise along nearly four miles of the Bitterroot River. This private, non-profit organization maintains 1,200 acres of farmland and river bottom dedicated to the conservation of western Montana’s finest native riparian habitat. In partnership with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, The Teller opened approximately 40 acres for public enjoyment. This beautiful area and an approximate mile long trail loop known as the Teller Trail can be used for hiking, bird watching and fishing the Bitterroot River. Visitors may observe numerous mammals and birds. Limited hunting for whitetail deer, waterfowl and pheasant is also available. Call (406) 961-3507 or visit

Highway is an scenic alternative. The gentle beauty of the Bitterroot River and the rugged summits of the Bitterroot and Sapphire Mountains contribute to a magnificent ride through this historic valley. The local bike shops are the best source of information about biking in the valley. If you didn’t bring your own bike on your Bitterroot visit, Red Barn Bicycles, (406) 369-0487 or, rents road and mountain bikes. Valley Bicycles and Ski rents mountain bikes, (406) 363-4428 or e-mail 16. FOLLOW THE TRANSAMERICA BICYCLE TRAIL Every year, primarily between April and September, hundreds of cyclists from across the country pedal the 75 miles between Lost Trail Pass and Florence along Highway 93, one small section of the 4,250 miles of the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail. This remarkable route was designed for the 1976 Bicentennial and continues to be one of the most popular coast-to-coast bicycle routes ever developed. The Bitterroot segment takes the rider along the same path taken by Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery and the Nez Perce Indians when they were forced from their homelands. For a map of the trail, go to For a great blog with lots of practical advice on traveling the Trail visit 17. GO ON A PHEASANT HUNT Fetch Inn Lodge offers quality pheasant and other upland game bird hunting on 800 acres of prime upland habitat adjacent to the Bitterroot River. The terrain varies from open cropland and grasslands to wooded creek and river bottoms. Deer, elk, moose, bear, grouse ducks and geese share their terrain with the game birds. The Lodge sits in a spectacular setting at the edge of the largest wilderness in the lower 48 states. Hunters can use one of the champion German shorthair pointers from the Fetch Inn kennels or bring their own. Call (406) 363-5111 or visit for information about packages.

Photo by Donnie Sexton

15. BIKE THE BITTERROOTS, TRAVEL THE OPEN ROAD Mountain biking is a growing passion in the Bitterroot Valley. There are many miles of paved and unpaved roads as well as trails and single tracks to ride and explore. Every east-west road down the length of the valley takes the rider to a mountain trail. Many riders prefer road biking. A new paved bike path parallels US 93 for 45 miles from Lolo to Hamilton. The Eastside

18. RIDE OFF-ROAD IN AN ATV Traveling through the mountains by four-wheel, allterrain vehicles Is a great way to view the rugged scenery and abundant wildlife for which the Bitterroot is known. There are two designated ATV trails--Overwhich Falls Trail, which has some advanced riding and leads to a beautiful falls in the back country; and Chain of Lakes Trail, which starts easy, and gradually becomes more advanced. This trail overlooks several mountain lakes and is located in a proposed wilderness area. Many species of wildlife can be seen such as elk, mule deer, white tailed deer, moose, coyotes and bald eagles. For

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more information, go to Skalkaho Lodge, html, offers an all-day ATV excursion with lunch and dinner. Enjoy a picnic lunch along the way and dinner at the Skalkaho Steakhouse at the lodge. 19. GOLF UNDER THE BIG SKY The 18-hole Hamilton Golf Course in Hamilton was designed by Gary Jacobson and features 6,545 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72. Long listed as one of the best public courses in the northwest, it has a course rating of 72.3 and a slope rating of 120. It was established in 1924 on land once owned by Montana Copper King, Marcus Daly. Clubs and carts are available for rent. (406) 363-4251.The 9-hole Whitetail Golf Course facility in Stevensville features 2,859 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 35. Call (406) 777-3636. The 9-hole golf course designed by Jason Allen at the Montana Pro Golf facility in Florence features all the hallmarks of Montana golf. Call (406) 273-3353. Spectacular views of both the Bitterroot and Sapphire mountain ranges surround each of the courses. 20. SPORT SHOOTING FOR TRAP The Hamilton Trap Club promotes trap shooting and has an excellent Five-Stand range. It is open Sunday

and Wednesday afternoons. Visitors can pay daily fees; shells are available for purchase. It is located on Hamilton Airport Road in Hamilton. Visit www. The Whitecar Rifle Range is located on Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks land west of Hamilton. Its six shooting ranges are open to the public Wednesday through Sunday 52 weeks a year. Visit www. Both clubs offer matches and classes. 21. HAVE A PICNIC AT RIVER AND HIERONYMUS PARKS A walk through River Park in Hamilton reveals wood ducks in quiet sloughs, nesting great horned owls and osprey. Enjoy a picnic overlooking the river where you might see a majestic moose. Hieronymus Park, on the north edge of Hamilton, has a fishing pond frequented by waterfowl, and picnic tables on the south side. Corvallis Canal runs along the side of the park and warbler species and black-headed grosbeaks can be there. Osprey, bald eagles and moose are also commonly seen. Spotted sandpipers, common mergansers and American dippers can be seen along the river. River Park offers the choice of wide, accessible paths by the river and narrow foot trails through 65 acres floodplain forest. At Hieronymus Park, the trails are unpaved but wide and easy to follow.

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101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 15

THINGS TO DO IN THE WINTERTIME Photo Provided by Carol Smith

Sheltered between two mountain ranges, winters in the Bitterroot Valley are usually mild due to the temperate climate. Snow seldom accumulates more than six inches in the valley, while the annual average snowfall at Lost Trail Powder Mountain ski area is 300 inches of pristine powder. Winter sports enthusiasts find many outlets for their passion, including alpine or Nordic skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and ice skating. Visitors come to

the Bitterroot in the winter to enjoy the activities and the scenic beauty. Imagine a soft snowfall and crisp, clean mountain air as the backdrop for your Christmas vacation. Go on a brisk horseback ride in the freshly fallen snow or take an invigorating snowmobile expedition through the glistening winter wonderland. Winter in the Bitterroot Valley is a special time indeed.

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22. DOWNHILL SKIING AT LOST TRAIL POWDER MOUNTAIN Lost Trail Powder Mountain is one of three ski areas in the US that borders two states, in this case Montana and Idaho. Named for the trail where Lewis and Clark lost their way on the Continental Divide, the friendly relaxed atmosphere boasts real ‘cowboy’ skiing. There are gentle beginner trails, long intermediate runs and challenging moguls, along with glades and drops for experts, all covered with over 300 inches of snowfall annually. Five double chair lifts and three rope tows move skiers over 1,800 acres of serious powder. The area’s highest point offers views of at least seven mountain ranges. Low ticket prices, short lines, outstanding trails, and lots and lots snow distinguish this local favorite. Lost Trail features over 50 marked trails on 1800 acres across two mountains. It has a vertical drop of 1,800 feet; its longest run is 2.5 miles. A PSIA ski and snowboard school serves all levels and ages, and the rental shop has skis and snowboards. The day lodge offers great food and drinks. Visit

Skiing at Lost Trail Powder Mountin Photo by Patrick Chaplin

Cross Country Skiing at Chief Joseph Photo by Ravalli Republic

23. CROSS COUNTRY SKIING THROUGH THE BACK COUNTRY Backcountry skiing starts at any Forest Service road or trail head. A good source for backcountry skiing information in the Bitterroots is www. Just a mile from the Chief Joseph trailhead, a beautiful log cabin is available for guests to eat their lunch or warm up by the cozy fire. Color maps are available at the trail head and at many local businesses. Visit on the club, trails and other events. The Lake Como Recreation Area is becoming a very popular year-round recreation haven. Como Trails Club grooms approximately 30 miles of cross-country ski trails on the south side of the lake. The trails are groomed for skate and classic skiing and offer a variety of terrain and difficulty levels. Visit http://comotrailsclub.weebly. com. 24. SNOWMOBILING THE SKALKAHO & CHIEF JOSEPH PASSES With some of the most scenic groomed trails in Montana, the Bitterroot and Sapphire Mountains of the Bitterroot Valley offer the perfect destination for snowmobilers. Many species of wildlife can be seen such as elk, mule deer, white tailed deer, moose, coyotes and bald eagles. The Skalkaho/ Rye Snowmobile Trail offers spectacular scenery and over 50 miles of groomed trails. Explore areas unreachable by car, across pristine wilderness and enjoy the natural beauty of the mountains. Visit

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THINGS TO LEARN ABOUT THE HISTORICAL BITTERROOT VALLEY Carriage rides at the Daly Mansion during Daly DaysPhoto by Donnie Sexton

The Bitterroot Valley is rich in history. It was the home of the Salish tribe of the Flathead nation when the Lewis and Clark Expedition crossed Lost Trail Pass from present-day Idaho to connect with the route through the Rocky Mountains. The historic trail was frequently used by the Nez Perce when traveling to and from their buffalo hunting grounds. Famous trappers like Kit Carson, miners packing

their gold, traders and other early adventurers also used the trail. The first white settlement in Montana was at St. Mary’s Mission. Fort Owen was established on the site in 1850. A number of museums and other structures throughout the valley tell the story of these early inhabitants. Visit a few of them to learn more of the history of Montana and the Bitterroot Valley.

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25. LEWIS & CLARK NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAIL When the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery entered the Bitterroot Valley near Lost Trail Pass in September, 1805, they found a Salish Indian camp. Though the Indians were short of food, they shared what they had, trading fresh horses to the Corps. The Expedition traveled along the east side of the river up the length of the valley. They proceeded to what they named Travelers’ Rest on the south bank of Lolo Creek, where they rested and prepared for their journey on to the Pacific Ocean. As the party began crossing the mountains on horseback, it became obvious that the hope of finding a northwest water route was a false one. The expedition had to make its way on the Lolo Trail over Lolo Pass across the vast Bitterroot Mountains, already covered with snow in September. On their return trip in July, 1806, Lewis and Clark once again reached Travelers’ Rest where they separated. Lewis and a small group went north to explore the shorter route; Clark headed south

up the west side of the Bitterroot River with Sacajawea, her baby, 20 men and 50 horses. They continued with great difficulty due to the high and rushing waters of the streams flowing out of the mountains into the river. They were finally able to cross the river and reached the Sula basin, site of the previous year’s Salish meeting. From there, they crossed the Continental Divide and moved onto the Big Hole. For an excellent description of the journey, visit expedition.html. The path taken by the Corps of Discovery has been designated by Congress as the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. 26. NEZ PERCE NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAIL The Nez Perce Indians, on their historic flight from the U.S. Army in 1877, traveled slowly southward up the Bitterroot Valley from Lolo Pass to Lost Trail Pass. The path of their journey was designated by Congress in 1986 as the Nez Perce National Historic Trail. Hundreds of Nez Perce men, women, and children, along with their livestock, traveled over 1,170 miles on a four-month journey marked by

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hardship, victories, and defeat. They traveled from their homelands in the Pacific Northwest in search of a new place to call home after being forcefully removed from their traditional homelands. By the end of the journey, Chief Joseph was the only chief left to carry out the painful duty of surrendering which he did to save the lives of the cold and starving men, women, and children who remained. Visit 27. HISTORIC ST. MARY’S MISSION In 1841, 48 years before Montana attained statehood, Jesuit missionary Fr. Pierre Jean DeSmet established St. Mary’s Mission at the request of Salish and Nez Perce Indian Tribes. It was the first church and the first pioneer settlement in the Pacific Northwest. Fr. Anthony Ravalli, Montana’s first physician and pharmacist, arrived in 1844. However, this “terrestrial paradise,” as Ravalli described it, was a mission under siege, harassed persistently by the Blackfeet. Nine years later when they abandoned the mission, the exhausted priests, in poor health and dispirited, left St. Mary’s Mission Photo by Donnie Sexton

St. Mary’s Mission and Museum Celebrating

“The Year of Father Ravalli”

St. Mary’s Mission “Where Montana Began”

SUMMER FEST July 6 & 7 2012 HOT AIR BALLOON FESTIVAL Sponsored by Blacksmith Brewery

COW PIE BINGO July 7, 2012 Sponsored by Historic St. Mary’s Mission ANNUAL SALISH PILGRIMAGE September 16, 2012 Mass at 2pm followed by potluck dinner FOUNDERS DAY CELEBRATION September 23, 2012 Honoring Fr. Anthony Ravalli, S.J. 2 pm Flag raising ceremony & re-enactment BBQ available by Knights of Columbus STEVENSVILLE’S COUNTRY CHRISTMAS December 7, 2012 Historic Chapel Open House from 7pm to 9pm OPENING DAY CEREMONY April 16, 2013 St. Mary’s Mission Opening Day Celebration Mass celebrated in the Historic Chapel. Flag Raising Ceremony by the Stevensville FFA Chapter Refreshments and Guided Tours

West end of 4th Street, Stevensville • 777-5734

for more info visit:

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with heavy hearts. In 1866, Father Ravalli returned to St. Mary’s and built a new church not far from the original site which he designed and decorated. The history of early Montana and the Bitter Root Salish Indians is preserved in the carefully restored buildings and tipis in the Mission and Salish Encampment. Fr. Ravalli’s log cabin and pharmacy are restored to the 1879 era and furnished with items handmade by Fr. Ravalli. The visitor’s center contains a museum, gift shop and art gallery. St. Mary’s is located in Stevensville. Call (406) 7775734 or visit

saw the potential to capitalize on trade with the Indians and emigrants and agreed to pay $250 for the physical remains of mission. His property became, for a number of years, one of the most important commercial centers in the Northwest. Period furnishings and artifacts found during digs on the grounds of the stoutly palisaded trading post are displayed in the restored rooms of the east barracks. Fort Owen is listed on the National

28. FORT OWEN STATE PARK Fort Owen, a 250-by-125-foot adobe and log trading post, grist mill, and farm complex was built at the site of St. Mary’s Mission. In the fall of 1850, a 32-year-old former army supplier from Pennsylvania named John Owen journeyed by oxcart to the Bitterroot Valley. Having heard of the valley’s attractions which men surveying for the railroad called “the valley of perennial spring”, and aware of its importance as a crossroads, Owen

The Daly Mansion Photo by Donnie Sexton



EERS H C unlimited A Montana State Liquor Store ONE STOP FOR ALL YOUR PARTY NEEDS!

Ice • Beer • Mixes • Wine • 700+ Products

“Bitterroot Valley’s Largest Liquor Agency Store for over 30 years” Home Delivery in the Hamilton area. 376 S. First, Hamilton • 363-3751 Across from Best Western Inn MONDAY - SATURDAY 9:30am-6:30pm



FOOD ALL AND DOGS VENDORS ON ON LEASH SITE New South Fork • JD Webb & The Downstate Ramblers • Spring Thaw Will Williams & Gravel Road • Gravely Mtn • Blue To The Bone Pinegrass • The Callendars • Kids In Bluegrass • Darby Sireens Mike & Tari Conroy LOCATION 10 MILES SOUTH OF Featured Northwest Pioneers HAMILTON, MT Fiddlin’ Jimmy Widner-Darby, MT Jerry Myers - Council, ID HIGHWAY 93 Leon Hartless, Pocatello, ID MILE MARKER 37 Bob Greer - Nampa, ID 163 FOREST HILL RD Forrest Clark - Clinton, MT

Adults $10 for weekend 12 and under: $5 for weekend Camping $10 for weekend

MORE INFO: 1-406-821-3777 •

101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 21

Register of Historic Places. Fort Owen State Park is located near Stevensville. Call (406) 542-5500 or visit For an excellent history of Owen and the Fort visit asp?ArticleID=3150 . 29. DALY MANSION & MARGARET DALY ARBORETUM Copper King Marcus Daly purchased the original homestead in 1886 where he and his wife, Margaret, built a Queen Anne style Victorian as their summer residence. In 1910, after his death, Margaret renovated the mansion to its present GeorgianRevival style, designed by the famous Montana architect, A. J. Gibson. The home, which has been completely restored and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has over 56 stunning rooms, with 25 bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, and seven fireplaces. The three-story, 24,000-squarefoot mansion is surrounded by 50 beautifully landscaped acres. The Margaret Daly Memorial Arboretum features a variety of trees, tennis court,

swimming pool, greenhouse and laundry building. Call (406) 363-6004 or visit 30. RAVALLI COUNTY MUSEUM The building which houses the Ravalli County Museum was designed by prominent Montana architect A.J. Gibson in 1900. The historic brick building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, served as the county’s courthouse until 1979 and is now the home of this important

Senior Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame at the Ravalli County Museum Photo by Ravalli Republic

Visit Yesterday...Today. Visit the summer home of Copper Baron and Millionaire Marcus Daly, his wife Margaret and their four children.

Tours May through October 10am to 3pm on the hour.

$9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for children, 6 & under free

251 East Side Highway, Hamilton

363-6004 •

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northwest regional museum. Current exhibits from the permanent collection include the Natural History Room, Military Room, A Walk through the Bitterroot, and the Lewis and Clark Discovery Rooms. The National Senior Rodeo Hall of Fame and extensive archives including over 36,000 Ernst Peterson negatives and prints are also included in the important collections. Rotating exhibits include local and traditional art. Traveling exhibits are also frequently on display. The museum is located at 205 Bedford Street in Hamilton. Call (406) 3633338 or visit


31. ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH In 1895, the city of Hamilton emerged when Marcus Daly, a Butte “Copper King”, chose the area for his residence. When Daly promised land for church construction, his lawyer Charles Crutchfield and wife Lena, stepped up. From their efforts emerged this lovely English Gothic structure, much as we see it today. Daly’s wife Margaret, a devout Episcopalian, was another patroness of the church. The ceiling of the church is a model of an

inverted Noah’s Ark. In 1997, six beautiful stained glass windows were commissioned to celebrate the church’s centennial. Services are held each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Tours are available following services or may be scheduled by calling (406) 3633025. Visit

St. Paul’s, Hamilton Photo by Ravalli Republic

Bitter Root Valley Historical Society 205 Bedford Hamilton, MT

2012 - Signature Events: Phone: 406.363.3338 Bitter Root Day An Afternoon of Cowboy Music & Poetry McIntosh Apple Day

Art & Treasures Appraisal Event Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday - 10am - 4pm Thursday - 10am - 8pm / Saturday - 9am - 1pm 205 Bedford Street, Hamilton 406.363.3338 : Ravalli County Museum : ravallimuseum

Victor Heritage Museum Historic Northern Pacific Depot Main & Blake, Victor • (406) 642-3997 P.O. Box 610, Victor, MT 59875

OPEN Memorial Day through Labor Day, Tue - Sat 1-4pm


Summer Theme: Early 1900s at the Victor Depot Extended Hours July 27-28 During Victor School All Classes Reunion July 28, 1-4pm: Reception with Dwane Clarke - N.P.R.R. Telegrapher August 11 - Ribbon-Cutting - Highway 93 - Victor August 26, noon - 3pm: Ice Cream Social October 6, Open 9 - noon: Victor Homecoming Dec. 3, 5-9pm: Chocolate Tasting & Silent Auction Purchase a history of Victor, “Bitter Root Trails IV” at the Victor Heritage Museum gift shop.

To become a member or for more information on the Victor Heritage Museum please contact: Suzanne 363-3165 • Joann 363-1509 • Angie 642-3924 •

101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 23

32. STEVENSVILLE MUSEUM The Stevensville Museum preserves the early growth of the Bitterroot Valley. Displays of artifacts, pictures and information panels describe the history of the Salish Indians, the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery expedition through the valley in 1805-1806, the establishment of the earliest mission in Montana, the development of Fort Owen as one of the earliest trading posts and the history of Stevensville. Displays of an early kitchen, wash-room, parlor and school are furnished with authentic items. The museum is located at 517 Main St, Stevensville. Call (406) 777-1007 or visit

Chocolate Tasting at the Victor Museum Photo by David Erickson

33. VICTOR HERITAGE MUSEUM The Victor Heritage Museum is housed in a quaint log building that was once the Victor Depot. Anyone with an interest in Native American history or the traditions fashioned by railway, religion, and ranching in the west should visit the Victor Heritage Museum in Victor. Information on little known aspects of frontier life, early religion, churches and schools is on display. Other displays feature many relics and remnants of the past, including railroad memorabilia, mining information, Native American exhibits, schools, churches, business, ranching, natural resources and everyday life. The museum is located in downtown Victor. Call (406) 642-3997 or visit 34. THE DARBY PIONEER MEMORIAL MUSEUM The Darby Pioneer Memorial Museum was originally one of the first hand-hewn homestead

cabins built in the area. This museum houses an extensive collection of home and business artifacts saved by the many pioneer families of the area, as well as work implements of the early settlers, preserved in impeccable condition. Handwritten documents and letters, official papers and deeds of purchase, church and school documents take the viewer through the history. A photo of the cabin at its original site is on display at the museum, along with a large number of local early day photographs and memorabilia. The museum is located on Main Street in Darby. Call (406) 821-3753. 35. DARBY HISTORICAL VISITOR CENTER Darby is home to the historic Darby Ranger Station Visitor’s Center and museum located next door to the current Ranger Station. Between 1965 and 1990 this building was used by the Bitterroot Hot Shot Fire Crew. Built in 1937 by the Civilian Conservation Corps the building was restored in 1991. Staffed by volunteers Memorial Day through Labor Day, the museum provides educational and interpretive information to the public along with forest service maps, wood permits, recreation information, and weather/road reports. Historic Forest Service items are also on display in the building, and picnic tables are located outside. The center is located at 712 North Main, in Darby. Call (406) 821-3913, or visit 36. HISTORIC FOREST RANGER & GUARD STATIONS The historic Alta Ranger Station, built in 1899, is the oldest surviving Forest Service Ranger Station. Located on the West Fork of the Bitterroot River, this one-room log cabin with a sod roof gives visitors a feel for the rigors and hardships faced by the earliest rangers. The Alta Ranger Station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The East Fork Guard Station near Sula is a rustic, historic cabin on the East Fork of the Bitterroot River. It offers easy access to fishing, hiking, horseback riding and nature viewing. The Bitterroot National Forest offers visitors a unique recreational experience at one of its many rental cabins and lookouts. Three rental lookouts provide stunning views of the surrounding Sapphire, Bitterroot, and Anaconda Pintler mountains. Six rustic cabins

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offer a serene and relaxing getaway. For more information on how to rent one of the lookouts or cabins, Call (406)363-7100, or visit www.fs.usda. gov/bitterroot.

37. DRIVE THE HISTORIC EASTSIDE HIGHWAY There are 83 buildings or Historic Districts in Ravalli County listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A number of important ones can be seen on a drive along the scenic Eastside Highway which has served the valley since the 1800s. It was the primary roadway between Florence and Hamilton before US 93 was constructed. Highlights of the drive include the Whaley Homestead in Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge, the Stevensville Feed Mill, St. Mary’s Mission, the Martin Cramer home and the Etna School (now a private home), the Methodist Episcopal Church South in Corvallis (no longer serving as a church) and Riverside (the Daly Mansion). In Corvallis, a charming Victorian structure that was once an old home and is now a Christmas shop, was built from a catalog package. Look for historic sites such as Fort Owen and Tammany Castle, Marcus Daly’s stable.

McCarthy Lookout Photo by Ravalli Republic

• FREE Breakfast Buffet with Fresh Waffles • 24 Hour Indor Pool, Sauna, Spa & Fitness Center • Free High Speed Wireless • Conference Facility For All Occasions • Pet Friendly

101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 25

VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS Ailey II dance ensemble at the Hamilton Performing Arts Center Photo by Ravalli Republic

Many artists, inspired by the beauty of the Bitterroot’s forests, mountains, lakes, rivers and wildlife, have made this area of Montana their home. The strong arts culture in the region has created an innovative environment that enhances the special and unique characteristics of the valley. While the primary reason most tourists come to the

Bitterroot Valley is to experience the grandeur of the landscape, the arts and heritage that tourists experience while they’re here can greatly add to their enjoyment of the experience. The vibrancy of our communities makes the Bitterroot Valley an attractive place to visit.


Think of a place you’d like to be...

Art in the Park July 27 & 28, 2012 • 9am - 5pm 2ND & BEDFORD Lots of arts & craft vendor booths! For more information call Mary Lockwood @ 821-4678

Between Heaven & Earth THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE & ENERGY WORK Carol Sanders

Swedish Massage...Deep Tissue...Trigger Point Therapy Energetic Re-alignment...Reiki...Quantum...Mish Mash

It’s Not Just a Massage Anymore!


Himalayan Salt Lamp Sales

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38. VISIT ONE OF THE VALLEY’S MANY ART GALLERIES With two new galleries opening on Hamilton’s Main Street by June 2012, the Bitterroot art scene is buzzing. Every piece at Art Focus, www., in Hamilton is unique and created by Montana artists. Frame Shop & Gallery,, in Hamilton offers local artists a spacious and tasteful

Art Focus Art Gallery, Hamilton Photo by Ravalli Republic

Please join us to celebrate the announcement of our 2012-13 Season!

June 1, 2012 ¥ 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Signal Square Building 127 West Main Street in Hamilton

space for exhibitions of original art. A new gallery in Hamilton, Impressions Artisan Gallery, will feature some of the valley’s finest artisans. The other new shop, In Search of Art Ltd., will offer works by iconic western artists. Ponderosa Art Gallery, www., south of Hamilton has a unique variety of original paintings, sculptures, and woodcarvings. Young artists are in the spotlight at Stevensville’s River’s Mist Gallery of Fine Art. 39. ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE OF LIVE ARTS! From October through April, the Bitterroot Performing Arts Series presents an annual series of nationally and internationally recognized professional performing artists across all arts disciplines, including a variety of music genres, dance, and theater. Performances take place at the Hamilton High School Performing Arts Center. The Bitterroot Performing Arts Council also provides educational outreach experiences for local students and the adult community. Tickets to the series can be purchased individually or as a season subscription. Error! Hyperlink reference

Thank You, Montana

Some of the money we receive from the license plate renewals has been used to support the Bitter Root Land Trust. We have given them financial support in obtaining Conservation Easements that directly impact the water quality entering the refuge. We also support the MT Natural History Center to enable students & adults to participate in educational trips at the refuge.

Continue helping us support the refuge by renewing your refuge license plate! For more info:

101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 27

not valid. more information, call (406) 363.7946 or visit the box office at 127 West Main Street, Suite 3, Hamilton. The lineup for the new season can be reviewed at the BPAC’s website, www. 40. ATTEND A MONTANA A CAPPELLA SOCIETY CONCERT The Montana A Cappella Society is a vocal ensemble from the Bitterroot Valley who perform without instrumental accompaniment. The Society performs regionally, promoting awareness and appreciation of the art of a cappella. These nonprofessional singers create their own unique blend and signature sound. Typical selections range from Renaissance madrigals to vocal jazz, classic love songs, patriotic, folk tunes and toe-tapping gospel. With an invitation to perform invited to participate in the prestigious Cork International Choral Festival in May, the group has received international recognition. For more information about the Society and a listing of performance as well as available CDs, go to

A capella performance, Downtown Hamilton Photo by David Erickson

41. ENJOY THE THEATRE AT THE HAMILTON PLAYHOUSE The Hamilton Players has provided live theater in the Bitterroot Valley for over thirty years. The goal is to bring high-quality theater to the community while fostering local talent and providing the opportunity for children to develop life-skills through their involvement in theater arts. They produce five or more full scale productions each season, as well

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as two Children’s Workshops and a host of on and off-site special events. This year’s schedule includes “The Sound of Music” and “The Diary of Anne Frank”. The Hamilton Playhouse is located at 100 Ricketts Road in Hamilton. Call (406) 375-9050 or visit 42. MONTANA SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKS The Hamilton Players will once again bring Montana Shakespeare in the Parks to the Bitterroot with a performance of Hamlet. Montana Shakespeare in the Parks has been touring Montana and elsewhere since 1973, with performances of professional outdoor theater. An outreach program of Montana State University, this is the only completely professional touring theater program in the state that produces Shakespeare’s plays and the only company in the state that offers its performances free to the public. Call (406) 375-9050 or visit www.

artists from all corners of Montana showing oil paintings, watercolors, pastels and classic bronzes. Join the artists Friday night at 6:00 pm on Friday evening for a reception with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a no-host bar. On Saturday there will be demonstrations and quick draws. Sunday from 10:00 am on, there will be painting and sculpture demonstrations and plein air painting around the pond and by the Bitterroot River. Admission is free. Call (406) 961-3887 or visit

43. ARTISTS ALONG THE BITTERROOT The exceptional beauty of the valley entices artists of many genres to make their home here. The Bitterroot is filled with skilled artisans creating beautiful, unique and often functional works that reflect the beauty of our surroundings. Their mediums include painting, sculpting, woodworking, leatherwork, fused glass artistry, fine art jewelry, pottery, and photography. Many of those artists participate in the annual Artists along the Bitterroot Open Studio Tour which is May 31June 3. An opening night reception on May 31th will be held at Picturesque, 126 Main Street in Hamilton from 6-8pm. Studios will be open June 1-3, from 10:30 am-6 pm. All events are free to the public. Many artists’ studios are open by appointment throughout the year. Call (406)5310853. Tour maps can be downloaded at www. 44. MONTANA PROFESSIONAL ARTISTS ASSOCIATION The Montana Professional Artists Association Show and Sale will be held on June 8-10, at the Bitterroot River Inn & Conference Center in Hamilton. This important show features noted

Plein air Painting along the Bitterroot Photo by Ravalli Republic

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Photo by Sherry Chidwick

Agritourism involves any agriculturally-based operation or activity that welcomes visitors to a farm or ranch operation. It includes a wide variety of activities, including picking fruits and vegetables, navigating a corn maze, feeding animals, riding horses, tasting honey, learning about wine, beer or cheese making, shopping in farm gift shops and farm stands for local produce or hand-crafted gifts, or staying at a B&B on a farm. All of these activities are available in the Bitterroot Valley. 45. TAKE A BREWERY TOUR In a state that boasts more than two dozen commercial craft brewers, second largest in the US, the Bitterroot Valley is becoming a craft beer mecca with four of those microbreweries, two of them new this year. Located in an historic building at 101 Marcus Street in Hamilton is the Bitter Root Brew Pub, It offers live music on Thursday and Saturday nights and great

food every evening. Higherground Brewing Co., which opened a few months ago at 518 N. First St. in Hamilton serves delicious wood-fired pizza with its delicious microbrews. With its checkerboard floors it has a cafe feeling. An old buggy salesroom and blacksmith shop at 114 Main Street in Stevensville was transformed into the Blacksmith Brewing

Wildwood Brewery, Stevensville Photo by David Erickson

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Company, It offers live music on Wednesday and Saturday evenings. Wildwood Brewery, the valley’s newest, is a craft beer brewing facility located at 4018 Highway 93 North in Stevensville. All serve delectable fresh microbrews made on the premises. 46. TOUR A MONTANA WINERY OR TASTE HARD CIDER The beautiful Bitterroot Valley is blessed with plentiful fertility and mild weather, perfect for cellaring the wines we enjoy so much. A visit to the tasting room at Hidden Legend Winery, 1345 US Highway 93 N in Victor,www.hiddenlegendwinery. com, is a rewarding experience. Wines are made from local ingredients gathered from the fields and mountain valleys surrounding Hamilton. The winery uses local Montana honey and berries to handcraft pure honey mead, dark mead, three berry meads, and spiced meal. Trapper Peak Winery, located just off of U.S. Highway 93 south of Darby,, takes pride in producing affordable wines such as a cabernet

sauvignon and a Petit Syrah of impressive quality. Rising above the valley is beautiful Trapper Peak for which the winery is named. Montana CiderWorks,, is a bonded winery near Conner that offers exceptional English-style Ciders crafted from Bitterroot Valley apples and other local fruits. Traditional cider is a naturally fermented beverage made from apple juice. They offer tourism tastings by appointment. 47. VISIT HULS DAIRY TO SEE AN ULTRA MODERN The Bitterroot used to be dotted with dozens of commercial dairies; today only six remain. Huls Dairy, located at 1769 Simpson Rd near Corvallis is the largest, milking 380 cows. A family operation since 1908, Huls at one time sold milk to the Cheese Factory in Corvallis and the Creameries in Missoula and Hamilton. None is in operation today so Huls milk is now sent to Bozeman to be processed. Huls’ fascinating, state of the art operation has a carousel and anaerobic digester that produces energy for the dairy and the grid.

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The digester also produces an excellent mulch, called Afterburner Boost, which can be purchased at the dairy. For a tour and directions. Call (406) 961-8887 or visit

Photo by Patrick Chaplin

48. LIFELINE FARM IS LIKE TAKING A VISIT TO SWITZERLAND Lifeline Farm is composed of Lifeline Dairy, with a

herd of about 400 Brown Swiss cows, bulls, calves and steers; and Lifeline Produce, which grows vegetables, herbs and flowers as well as caring for around 20 sheep and selling their lambs. Long revered by the Swiss as an excellent, dual-purpose breed, the Brown Swiss produce rich milk, which is used on the dairy to make cheese, as well as delicious beef, which is sold throughout Montana. The dairy also “recycles” many feeds by raising pigs which are then sold as pork cuts and in home style sausage. Lifeline’s cheeses are hand-crafted and delicious. Lifeline Farm Inc. is located at 2533 Pleasant View Dr., Victor. For a tour and directions, Call (406) 642-3873 or visit 49. TOUR A HISTORIC FEED MILL IN HAMILTON Lakeland Feed and Supply operates a mill at 110 Mill Street in Hamilton that has been there since the 1930’s. Much of the milling equipment from that period is still in use. Using many local grains, the mill makes animal feeds of all kind. This is a fascinating look at how the feed for your horses, cattle, sheep, chickens, and many other animals

Award winning wines and meads made in Montana from local ingredients. Perfect for gifts or souvenirs. Visit our tasting room and gift shop today!

FREE Tasting & Tours Tasting Room Open Tues - Sat 11am-6pm

Located on Hwy 93, 3 miles north of Hamilton 363-MEAD (6323) •

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is made. It is also a great opportunity for children to learn how traditional methods can be combined with the latest scientific knowledge to create leading-edge products. Visitors are welcome to schedule a tour of this award-winning mill at (406) 363-2334. Learn more at 50. INTRODUCE YOUR FAMILY TO THE BEAUTIFUL ALPACA Alpacas are animals that produce a luxurious, warm, lightweight, hypoallergenic fiber. Bitterroot Alpaca breeders use their alpaca fiber at their stores and summer farmers markets to showcase the many creative products produced with alpaca fiber. Learn about the newest, earth-friendly, sustainable, livestock industry in the Bitterroot Valley by visiting an Alpaca ranch such as Montana Suris,, in Corvallis; Rockin’ L Alpacas in Victor; or Split Mountain Alpacas, Pronk Avenue and Yumedono Alpacas,, in Stevensville. Alpaca Hill Drygoods at the Montana Suri Alpaca Ranch offers a wonderful variety of alpaca socks, garments and accessories at their ranch store. Your family will love these shy, inquisitive creatures that will capture your heart with their big brown eyes. Call any alpaca ranch for a tour. 51. VISIT AN EMU RANCH Wild Rose Emu Ranch, one of two Emu ranches in Montana, is home to approximately 120 emus. Emus are prehistoric birds originating in Australia. They have no wing muscles, so they cannot fly, but an emu can run 35-40 miles per hour for short distances. Some scientists speculate that the emu has remained essentially unchanged for 80 million • Organic Cheddars & Jacks • Fresh Cheese Curds • Organic Brie & Feta • Organic Meats & Sausages • Organic Butter • Fresh “Cream on the Top” Organic Milk Ê


Farm Store

2424 Meridian Rd., Victor, MT 59875 • Store Hours: M-F 11-6pm, Sat 11-4pm Between Victor Steakhouse & Victor Merc off Hwy 93

FreshÊCheeseÊCurdsÊ CreamÊonÊTopÊMilkÊ FarmsteadÊOrganicÊBeefÊ&PorkÊ

years. Emu ranching has taken agriculture to a new level. Emus, a 95% usable bird, provide a healthy red meat, remarkable oil for the skin, strong, supple leather, silky and bristly feathers and 5 ½” dark green eggs. The ranch is located at 284 Rose Lane, Hamilton. For more information or for a tour, call 363-1710 or visit

Wild Rose Emu Ranch Photo by David Erickson

52. VISIT A FRIENDLY HORSE RANCH Visit TNT Paints & Performance Horses, Cowkids for Christ Youth Horsemanship program and Willing Servants, Inc. all at one, friendly spot. Meet Whizdom, the Senior Breeding Sire, who is a 23-time State, Regional and National Reining Champion. Occasionally he can be seen preforming bridle-less. The Cowkids for Christ Youth Horsemanship program has taught over 300 kids to ride and “speak horse”. Emphasis is placed on developing leadership skills, setting appropriate boundaries, Bible memory verses, personal responsibility for care and management of animals. In 2008, a horse rescue and re-homing Alpaca - A mild flavored lean meat No routine antibiotics or synthetic hormones


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101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 33

project, Willing Servants, Inc., was started. It’s a great place to learn about horses. The ranch is located at 640 Gold Creek Loop near Hamilton. Call (406) 363-2898 to arrange a visit.

Photo by Patrick Chaplin

53. FILL YOUR BASKET AT A LOCAL FARMERS MARKET The Bitterroot Valley brims over with Farmers’ Markets. Darby, Florence, Hamilton and Stevensville each have a weekly Farmers’ Market in season. The produce is locally grown and very fresh. Each week brings new choices— the first peaches of the season, blueberries, cabbage, beets, zucchini, peas, fresh vegetables, baked goods, jams and jellies. You can also find locally grown bedding plants, herbs, flowers and farmgrown seasonal fruits and vegetables, baked goods and handcrafted items. As the growing season progresses look for farmers who will be selling fresh herbs, vegetables and fruits in season. Hamilton’s market is the largest with more than 120 vendors. See the Calendar of Events for starting times and locations

Mountain View Orchards, (406) 961-3434, also near Corvallis, produces over 20 varieties of applies. Call for hours and directions. Go to mcintoshcider@ Popular local apple varieties include Macintosh, Spartan, and Honey Crisp. You can visit the farm stands throughout the growing season; visit the orchards in September and October. Call for hours and directions. For information on local food producers visit producer%20directory.html. 55. MSU-WESTERN AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH CENTER The Western Agricultural Research Center is one of seven research centers comprising the Department of Research Centers in the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station of Montana State University. Each center addresses agricultural needs for its unique area of the state. Western Montana has a varied agricultural community, with small to mid-sized acreages which are conventionally and organically farmed. Research at the Western Agricultural Research Center involves irrigated agriculture and rangeland weeds. Program areas include Soil Science and Agronomy, and Biological Weed Control. Western Ag Research Center is located at 580 Quast Lane, 3½ miles NE of Corvallis. Call (406) 961-3025 or visit http://

54. BUY AT THE SOURCE AT A FARM STAND OR ORCHARD Shop for fresh fruits and vegetables at Moeller’s Farm Stand south of Corvallis (406) 961-3389, (open seven days a week during the growing season); and Homestead Organics Farm Stand, (406) 363-6627, south of Hamilton (open Tuesdays and Thursdays). For fresh cider and fruit, try Frost Top Orchard near Corvallis, (406) 961-1509. Hamilton Farmers Market Photo by Donnie Sexton

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Canyon HIdeaway in Claudia Driscoll Park, Hamilton Photo by David Erickson

The Bitterroot Valley is a great place to be a kid! The children of Ravalli County are raised in one of the most beautiful valleys in the most beautiful state in the nation. They are surrounded by love, learning, fun and the grand pioneer spirit that settled the Bitterroot Valley. In addition to the attractions listed below, be sure to take your children to the Memorial Day Parade in Corvallis, the Creamery Picnic and Western Heritage Days in Stevensville, Logger Days and Winterfest in Darby, Daly Days, the Ravalli County Fair and Apple Day in Hamilton, which all have special appeal for children. 56. NATIONAL GET OUTDOORS DAY, FLORENCE Bring the family to Hideout Mountain at Florence Park on June 9 for National Get Outdoors Day. There are clinics for children and their parents on biking, hiking, fishing, tennis, birding and art. In the afternoon, take a family bicycle ride, a short family hike up Kootenai Creek, or head to Chief Looking

Glass Fishing access for a family fishing outing. You can use your new tennis skills on the Florence Park tennis court or visit the Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge for wildlife observation, photography, hunting, fishing, environmental education and interpretation. Budding artists can participate in “Plein air” water color media, all supplies available. Visit 57. TAKE YOUR KIDS TO PARSONS PONY FARM Parsons’ Pony Farm,, teaches children of all ages to ride a friendly, gentle pony at their location near Florence. There is no lower age limit, only an upper weight limit of 100 lbs. The young riders are invited to help groom and saddle their pony. Then they are helmeted, fitted to stirrups, and assisted by an experienced wrangler for a memorable 1.5 hour trail ride. All riders are helmeted and accompanied on the ride. Adults are welcome to walk the trail with the wranglers

101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 35

Ranch Tours Raw Fiber for Sale Scarves, Hats, Socks, etc “Paca-poo” Compost Breeding, Boarding & Sales

3060 Mack Smith Lane, Stevensville, MT 59870 406.529.1868 •

Your Beading Headquarters

Beads • Supplies Jewelry • Gifts 2130 N. 1st • Hwy 93 • Hamilton • 363-3215

Photo by Donnie Sexton

and riders, or wait at a nearby comfortable shaded picnic table. Be sure to bring a camera! 58 .VISIT A FASCINATING DOLL MUSEUM IN FLORENCE A sign hanging outside the light yellow house with brown gingerbread-like eaves gives away the treasure awaiting visitors inside “The Dollhouse.” More than a thousand dolls are displayed in antique glass cases in the showroom of Theresa’s Dolls and Gifts, located along the Eastside Highway in Florence. There are dolls made of wood, porcelain and vinyl; dolls with three faces, dolls whose hair grows and others with a music box inside. They are from Germany, Japan, New Zealand and Canada, representing all ethnicities and emotions. Some are nearly two centuries old. Some resemble American presidents, Hollywood

213 Main Street Stevensville, Montana 59870 - 406-360-3698

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actors, royal families and fairy tale characters. The Dollhouse is located at 5908 Eastside Highway Florence, MT. Call (406) 273-6332.

The RR Bed“n”Breakfast is an exclusive destination positioned in the heart of Montana’s beautiful Bitterroot valley. The destination property offers acres of rolling hills, streams, rock and majestic mountains. With its access to National forest trails, the Bitterroot River and plenty of fresh mountain air, this location is an incomparable natural setting for your enjoyable stay.

1906 Ranch House

59. BECOME A STAR AT HAMILTON PLAYERS THEATER SCHOOL Hamilton Players is offering three theater schools for students grades K-12 this year. Summer Session I for K-12th grade, will be held July 9-14; Summer Session II, with selected enrollment for 4-12th grades, is August 6-10; and the Fall Session for K-12th grade, begins September 17. Each session ends with a performance. Unlike other summer theater camps that focus solely on condensing a showcase performance into one week of intense rehearsal, the Players’ theater school will focus on fundamental performance skills, improvisation, introductory theater etiquette, and basic technical skills. The Hamilton Playhouse is located at 100 Ricketts Rd., Hamilton. Call (406) 375-9050 or visit

Log House

The last best place in the Bitterroot Valley! • Breakfast • Nature Abounds • Guided Excursions • A River Runs Through It • Private & Group Accomodations


1305 Skalkaho Highway Hamilton, Montana 59840

Photo by Ravalli Republic

60. YOUTH HISTORY DAY CAMP -MONTANA PEOPLE & PLACES The Daly Mansion Preservation Trust will be hosting its annual Youth History Day Camp. Located at the Daly Mansion, 251 Eastside Hwy, Hamilton, this year’s camp is entitled Montana People & Places. This day camp experience is for youth entering 4th grade in the fall of 2012 through 8th grade. Camp dates are Monday through Thursday, June 25-28. Times are 9 am to 3 pm with extended evening hours on Thursday. Led by local educators and

Mansion staff, the camp will include hands-on activities, a day at the Ravalli County Museum, leading younger children in 19th century lawn games, and participation in historic reenactments. Cost of the camp is a $25.00 non-refundable registration fee, and a $75 camper fee. Lunches are included. For registration information, call 363-


101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 37

here are many things to love about Montana.

Add one more to your list... Photo by Perry Backus

6004 ext. 3#. 61. WALK IN THE FOREST WHEN THE MOON IS FULL Once a month, when the full moon is bright enough to make shadows, it seems safe to venture out into the dark. You can smell the flowers, feel the wind, hear the water, and sense the wildlife. The walks are based on Francis Hammerstrom’s book, “Walk When the Moon is Full “, about the nature walks she and her children took every month under the full moon. Interpreters and naturalists accompany the “Moon Walks” participants at various locations. Each walk has a different theme. The programs begin at 7:00 pm on the Saturday nearest the full moon from June through October and last approximately 1.5 hours. For program dates and locations check the Calendar of Events, call the (406)363-7100 or visit . 62. SUMMER READING PROGRAMS AT OUR LOCAL LIBRARIES Register for the Bitterroot Public Library’s Summer Reading Program, “Dream Big, Read”, at the library, 306 State Street, Hamilton. “Wild Wednesday” performances will be held on the west lawn beginning June 20. Creation Stations are held on Tuesday. Story times occur throughout the year, on Wednesday for preschoolers and Friday for babies and toddlers. Come on August 8th for





406.721.5600 • 800.525.5688


406.721.5600 • 800.525.5688



38 - 101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012

Marcus Plaza, Hamilton 375-9946


TRENDZ by TRINA Featuring GIFTS & DECOR in a charming setting Come in - browse and enjoy a delicious lunch or dessert crêpe, seriously good coffee, salads & smoothies!

real. good. food.

the Water Games Celebration! Call (406) 363-1670 or visit The Darby Community Public Library’s Summer Reading Program Dream Big begins Tuesday May 29th, with a celebration and refreshments beginning at 4 pm. The Darby Summer Reading Program is open to all community members regardless of age. Enjoy special events, receive prizes and Dream Big and Read this summer. Call (406) 821-4771or visit Register for the North Valley Public Library summer reading program, “Dream Big-Read!”, and the garden and conservation club at the library beginning June 12. Presenters, activities and field trips will occur throughout the summer and can be found at our website www. or by calling the library

Tues-Sat 11-6 • 210-0868 • Hamilton

Corner of Marcus & Skeels, next to Serendipity Boutique

Name Brand Clothing at outlet prices! “Kids in the Garden” at the Daly Mansion Photo by Ravalli Republic

at (406) 777-5061. Located at 208 Main Street, Stevensville.

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63. CAMP INVENTION SCIENCE CAMP Camp Invention is sponsored by the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame which promotes science education for children entering Grades 1-6 in the fall. The camp will be held on June 11-15, 2012. There are three Certified Teachers, as well as Teacher Helpers, Camp Counselors and Junior Counselors. Children are challenged in a fun way, and exhausted by the end of the day! The weeklong summer enrichment program is held from 9 a.m.-3:30 pm. Camp Invention puts on a new unit each year, and always includes an “I Can Invent” segment where kids make their own prototype inventions from old gadgets and appliances. The

101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 39

camp takes place at Hamilton Middle School, 209 South 5th St., Hamilton. Sign up online at www. 64. VISIONS OF SUGARPLUMS DANCE IN THEIR HEADS Several excellent dance companies in the valley nurture the talent of local children, including Ballet Bitterroot,; Dance EFX,; Groovz Studio of Dance,; and River Street Dance Theatre. Two holiday productions offered to the public will delight young and old alike. The Ballet Bitterroot production of “Dreams of Nutcracker” and River Street Dance Theatre’s performance of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas “ will be held in December at the Hamilton Performing Arts Center. 65. HARRY POTTER’S WORLD— RENAISSANCE SCIENCE, MAGIC & MEDICINE In 1997, British author J. K. Rowling introduced the world to Harry Potter, and a literary phenomenon was born. Millions of readers followed Harry to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

where he discovered his heritage, encountered new plants and animals, and perfected his magical abilities. The magic in the Harry Potter books is partially based on Renaissance traditions that played an important role in the development of Western science, including alchemy, astrology, and natural philosophy. The exhibition will be on display at the Ravalli County Museum between December 20, 2012 and January 26, 2013. The

Ballet Bitterroot’s “Dreams of Nutcracker” Photo by David Erickson

For info & show dates

Box Office


100 Ricketts Rd

2012-13 SEASON

Hours: M-F, 1-5pm Ticket prices June 2012: The Sound of Music August 2012: Wally’s Cafe $15 adults October 2012: The Diary of Anne Frank $8 kids February 2013: Sweeny Todd April 2013: The Women June 2013: Anything Goes August 2013: Nunsense November 2013: TBA (K-12 musical production)

AUTHENTIC JAPANESE SWORDS ART & ANTIQUES Restoration Services Appraisals, Sales & Acquisitions

Quality, live theatre for over 30 years!

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40 - 101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012

OTHER INTERESTING THINGS TO DO SummerFest in Stevensville Photo by David Erickson

66. CAMPING? YES. ROUGHING IT? NOT QUITE Glamping, or glamorous camping, is the newest trend in vacations. Imagine camping in comfort on a mountainside among towering trees, with a mountain stream nearby and spectacular views. In a rustically elegant tented cabin, snuggle in your comfortable bed piled high with heavy quilts to keep you toasty warm. Awake to the aroma of rich coffee and freshly baked bread. After a hearty

354 Cooper Lane, Hamilton, Montana 59840


AM & PM services every Sunday 10:45 & 6:30 Bible Study and Prayer Meeting every 6 PM AWANA from Sept. thru middle of April Pastor Darrell Schoppa

breakfast choose a guided horseback ride or hike, fishing or photography tours or just relaxing in camp with a good book. Savor a delicious lunch on the trail or in camp. In the evening enjoy fantastic hors d’oeuvres followed by a sumptuous gourmet meal, paired with just the right wine. The Bitterroot glamping season is July 1 through September 12. Call Storm Creek Outfitters at (406) 821-3115 or visit


June 17th - Proclaimers Concert June 18-22 - Vacation Bible School

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Quality Custom Framing featuring local contemporary artists

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101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 41

Competitions,, are held in the Bitterroot Valley. These intelligent athletic horses and riders test their skills against wily cattle. The Big Sky Trotter Association’s annual point show, http://, highlights the Missouri Fox Trotter horse, drawing competitors from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Missouri and Montana. The Montana Quarter Horse Association,, has two annual events here and several BTPSA Team Penning and Sorting events are held in the fall. All events are held at the Sapphire Event Center, 1750 Eastside Hwy, near Corvallis. For event dates, see the Calendar of Events or visit “Glamping” Photo Provided

67. HAVE THE WEDDING OF YOUR DREAMS Spectacular views, beautiful sunsets, unique settings, charming lodges and great prices make the Bitterroot Valley a wonderful place to plan your Destination Wedding or renew your wedding vows. The relaxed atmosphere of Montana will appeal to all your guests. It can be as elegant or as casual as your own tastes. Find just the right location, create the perfect atmosphere, savor local wine and cuisine, and make that special day unforgettable. For more information about local wedding choices, attend the Wedding & Event Fair, on January 12, 2013, at the First Interstate Center, Ravalli County Fairgrounds, in Hamilton. For assistance in planning your own special, laidback Montana wedding, call Creative Solutions, (406) 546-7727. 68. EXPERIENCE A WESTERN HORSE SHOW Five nationally sanctioned Cutting Horse

69. REACH FOR THE CLOUDS IN A HOT AIR BALLOON Each flight in the Mountain Butterfly hot air balloon is a unique experience that will be a lifelong and treasured, memory. One moment the basket of this beautiful balloon will hover inches above the grass; the next, it will be flying smoothly over the rolling terrain. You might brush the crowns of Ponderosa Pine trees; find yourself just below the clouds, or cruising above them. All flights begin at sunrise, as this is the coolest and most stable time of the day. You should be airborne for no less than one hour, but it could be longer as appropriate landing sites are not always available for our convenience. Finding them is part of the fun. Call (406) 777-3858 or (406) 777-0520 to schedule a flight. 70. ATTEND A PRESTIGIOUS COOKING SCHOOL The Taste of Home Cooking School is America’s leading cooking school program. Over 700

HOSTS Mark & Deborah Rogala

4359 West Fork Road, Darby, MT 59829 406-821-4631 •

Taste of Home Cooking School Photo by Ravalli Republic

42 - 101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012

people attend the Taste of Home Cooking School in Hamilton. Culinary specialists give a two hour demonstration with step-by-step instructions on how to create satisfying and flavorful dishes. Guests receive helpful cooking tips and techniques, receive a gift bag and a Taste of Home cookbook, and are entered to win one of many exciting door prizes. The event will be held on September 22 at the Bitterroot Performing Arts Center at Hamilton High School. Tickets can be purchased through the Ravalli Republic which is sponsoring the show. For more information visit Cooking-Schools. 71. DISC GOLF? IT’S A WALK IN THE WOODS! In Disc Golf, you play a course that has baskets and “tones,” instead of holes, and toss a Frisbee into each. All you need is a Frisbee and good handeye coordination. Spiritwood, a private course with public access, is a beautiful 22 hole Disc Golf course, set in the pines, with many interesting and challenging holes. There is a short a kid’s course which is also a good warm-up for the experienced

player. The course is on the national PDGA listing and hosts four tournaments each year. Competitors come from all over the country. The 26th Annual Spiritwood Open Disc Golf Tournament will be June 9. Open daylight hours, seven days a week.

Redsun Labyrinth in Victor Photo by David Erickson

101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 43

The course is located south of Missoula off Hwy 93. Three miles south of Victor, turn west on Bear Creek, left on Red Crow, south then straight onto Fred Burr, right into Spiritwood Rd. For information, call 531-2707, email or visit 72. FIND YOUR INNER SELF WALKING THE REDSUN LABYRINTH Four miles west of Victor is the amazing Redsun Labyrinth. The 800 year-old pattern for this eleven circuit labyrinth is in Chartres Cathedral in France. It took nearly 25 tons of fieldstones to lay out the spiral design which is 108’ in diameter. The berm is landscaped and includes 200 lavender plants. Labyrinths have been used for 4,000 years. This ancient sacred tool can be a walking meditation or prayer. By quieting the mind and concentrating on the breath, walkers feel a sense of calm. The walk takes about 1/2 hour. The labyrinth can also be used for ceremonies. Call (406) 642-6675 or visit 73. SATISFY YOUR SWEET TOOTH House-made gourmet chocolate is a featured product at several locally owned businesses in the Bitterroot. Big Sky Candy, 319 West Main Street in Hamilton,, makes chocolates, brittles, toffee, caramel, crèmes, truffles, and novelty items from scratch, the oldfashioned way. When you walk in the door, you’ll be greeted by the wonderful aroma of freshly made candy still cooking on the stove. Old West Gallery & Antiques, www.montanaoldwestgallery. com, at 202 South Main Street in Darby, is an old west candy store that offers over 600 kinds

A Rabbit Runs Through It!

Charbonneau’s Chocolate Factory Photo by David Erickson

of candy, chocolates, and fabulous homemade fudge. Customers from all over the world stop by Charbonneau’s Chocolate Factory, 755 Main Street, Stevensville, www.charbonneauschocolate. com, for their delicious chocolate grizzly bears, gummy bears and Montana Big Sky Country chocolate bars.

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74. TRY ONE OF THE VALLEY’S EXCELLENT FITNESS CENTERS A number of excellent fitness centers in the valley offer short-term passes for the visitor. At 472 Tammany Lane in Hamilton the Canyons Athletic Club, (406) 363-1555 or, features a 1,600 sq. ft aerobics room, a 1,200 sq. ft. spinning room, a 25 yd. pool, 2 indoor tennis courts, 3 racquetball courts, and classes of many types. The Iron Horse Athletic Club, (406) 363-0300 or, is located at 99 Marcus Street in Hamilton in a historic 1870’s building originally built as a grandstand for Copper baron Marcus Daly’s horse track. It has state of the art weight machines and cardio with TVs, steam rooms and saunas. Right to Bare Arms, (406) 8211100 or, at 502 N. Main in Darby has a 5,000 square foot facility with state-of-the-art cardio and weight machines, free weights, tanning, and sauna. All offer short-term rates to the out of

town visitor. 75. SOAK IN HOT SPRINGS FOR TOTAL RELAXATION The Lost Trail Hot Springs Resort south of Sula,, offers lodging, swimming and fine dining in a heavily forested mountain atmosphere. Hot springs feed the chemical-free outdoor swimming pool and hot tub which is covered in winter for year-round use. Lolo Hot Springs, www.lolohotsprings. com, was well known to the Indians long before the arrival of Lewis and Clark, who were among the earliest visitors. The resort offers cabins, RV Parking and campgrounds. Drive south past Painted Rocks Reservoir to visit Horse Creek Hot Springs Campground, located a short distance into Idaho. It has six campsites; one trailhead near the campground is for hiking and horse riding. A number of trails branch in all directions from the trailhead.



Mountain Butterfly

Hot Air Balloon Flights 777-3858 or 777-0520








Variety is the Spice of Life.

• Pasta • Steak • Seafood



163 South 2nd Street, Hamilton


T-F 11-2, W-Sat 5-9; SUMMER: M-F 11-2, T-Sat 5-9

101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 45

76. TREAT YOURSELF TO A NIGHT ON THE TOWN Are you in the mood to dine out? Tantalize your taste buds with any of the myriad of cuisines offered at our local restaurants, including sushi and tempura, homemade Italian sauces, Montana meats, freshly baked breads and garden fresh vegetables picked locally. You might catch a opening at the local theater, a rousing rodeo or a concert with a Grammy Award winning artist. Many of the bars, restaurants and breweries offer live music on a regular basis. Refer to the Calendar of Events in the back of this publication to see what is happening on the weekend of your visit. Visit www.

Main Street, Downtown Hamilton Photo by Donnie Sexton

Open Saturdays 10am - 3pm From a fever to a sprained ankle... First Choice offers you convenient more affordable medical care, plus fast service.


Corner of 3rd & State, Hamilton • 375-9555 702 SW Higgins , Missoula • 721-9543 Mon-Fri 8am-6pm Sat 10am-3pm

46 - 101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012

DISCOVER OUR FESTIVALS AND EVENTS Bitterroot Scottish Irish Festival Photo Provided by Eileen Baumgardner

The Bitterroot Valley is often referred to as the Valley of Festivals. Its residents find much to celebrate. Most events reflect the heritage of the valley. Highlights of our annual festivals and events are listed below in calendar priority. 77. MONTANA MULE DAYS, June 8-10, 2012 Montana’s largest mule and donkey show has over 100 classes including log pulling, driving classes, western pleasure, trail classes, team penning, and costume class. Competitors and visitors come from at least six states. Saturday afternoon features a performance by the Mulettes, men dressed as women on mules; Sunday features the Packers Scramble. Camping is available on the grounds. Commercial booths and food is also available. There is a covered grandstand and family entertainment. The event takes place at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds. Call (406) 777-2331 or visit

78. WESTERN HERITAGE DAYS, June 22-23, 2012 ‘Saddle Up’ for the Western Heritage Parade that will kick off Western Heritage Days in Stevensville. There will be demonstrations, sidewalk attractions and sales in the stores along Main Street. Historic home tours will be conducted with team and wagon rides, barn yard games, a great parade, a unique Chuck Wagon Cook-Off, Arts and Crafts Show, and tours of St. Mary’s Mission. Saturday Night get in the swing with music, beer garden and lots of food. Western Heritage Days is located in downtown Stevensville, St. Mary’s Mission and Stevensville Museum. Call (406) 777-3773 or visit 79. NATIONAL SENIOR PRO RODEO, June 2930, 2012 The Bitterroot welcomes cowboys from across the country to the National Senior Pro Rodeo.

101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 47

The competitors are all over 40 years of age, but they still love to compete in the uniquely western sport of rodeo. The high level of competition at this national event makes it exciting for rodeo fans and contestants alike. They may be seniors, but they can still compete with the best. The event includes bareback riding, barrel racing, bull riding and calf roping, ribbon roping, saddle bronc riding, team roping and steer wrestling. The Ladies Breakaway gives the women a chance to shine. The event takes place at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds Arena. Call (406) 363-3411 or visit 80. SUMMERFEST, July 6-7, 2012 Dance to the music of local bands, savor the flavor of local beer and marvel at the beauty of hot-air balloonists floating into the sky. Eight or more balloonists from around the west converge on the Bitterroot Valley for this free event created and sponsored by Blacksmith Brewing Company. There will be belt sander racing, horse shoe tournaments, and a BBQ rib cook off. In the evenings, enjoy the Balloon Glow when pilots of the tethered balloons ignite their burners simultaneously, causing the colorful balloons to glow in the dark. Balloon flights are available to the public throughout the festival. All balloon events are weather permitting. The event location is the St. Mary’s Pavilion in Stevensville. Call (406) 777-0680 or visit http:// 81. ELITE BULL CONNECTION, July 14, 2012 Hang on to your seat as professional bull riders handle two thousand pounds of meanness and muscle, with one hand tightly fastened to the bull with a long braided rope, while trying to stay mounted for at least eight seconds. The ride has


Friday, June 22nd 5-9pm & Saturday, June 23rd 10am -10pm

been called “the most dangerous eight seconds in sports.” Voted the best elite bull riding event of 2010, nationwide, it features Elite Professional Bull Riders and top bucking bulls from Priest Creek, Hofer and Hale Bucking Bulls. Food, beer, bands and rodeo make this an exciting day. The event takes place at the Richard Cromwell Rodeo Grounds in Darby. Visit www.southvalleyevents. com.

Photo by Patrick Chaplin

82. RIDE DE ROOT, July 14, 2012 The Ride de Root bicycle ride covers 100 miles. Riders will take Highway 93 north out of Darby, turn right just south of Hamilton and ride along the beautiful back roads of the valley’s east side, past the towns of Hamilton, Corvallis, and Victor. Along the way they will enjoy breathtaking views of the Bitterroot Mountains, ride past apple orchards and

Stop in and

Say Hello while in town!


Historic Home Tour Wagon Rides & Barnyard Games

LIVE MUSIC with Cabin Fever and County Line

Bitterroot Valley Elks Lodge • 203 State St., Hamilton, MT


48 - 101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012

farm lands and through charming communities. From Stevensville, riders will cross Highway 93 and head south along the roads west of Victor and Pinesdale which provide fabulous vistas of the Sapphire Mountains. After passing through Hamilton, riders return to Highway 93 for the final 17 miles to Darby, where a delicious barbeque awaits. Call (406) 529-7887, email heidigraham@, or visit html.

Saturday, July 14th, 2012 Darby Arena Gates Open at 4:30pm Tickets $12 pre-event available at any Farmers State Bank $15 at the gate $20 reserved (500 seats) LIVE MUSIC with the Country Boogie Boys Portion of the proceeds go to

83. TOUR OF THE BITTERROOT, July 15, 2012 This cycling event, sponsored by the Bitter Root Land Trust, is focused on getting people out biking in the beautiful landscapes of the Bitterroot Valley. This year’s Tour of the Bitterroot will focus on noncompetitive events for all ability levels. You can try the 46-mile Skalkaho Mountain Tour, get the family out for the Sleeping Child Family Challenge, bring the kids down for the Dirt Road Derby or have a great time volunteering and enjoying the after-party at Red Barn Bicycles. Participants take pledges for the Land Trust to earn prizes. Call (406) 375-0956 or visit 84. DARBY LOGGER DAYS, July 20-21, 2012 Darby Logger Days,, celebrates the skill and bravery of those who work in the time honored tradition of logging. Nineteen traditional logging events, including axe throwing, pole climbing, log roll and cross cut sawing are held. Competition for the timber sports begins at 10 a.m. There are activities for mini-Lumberjacks, food vendors, a beer tent, and competitions

Thank you to our major sponsors: Farmers State Bank | Double H Hats Jerry Wessels Tire Center | Lakeland Feed Montana Livestock Auction | Triple W Equipment Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital Trapper Peak Ranch | Two Feathers Ranch Tim & Sara Southwell

Darby Logger Days Photo Provided by Darby Logger Days

101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 49

anyone can participate in. Kick up your heels and dance in the moonlight Bitterroot style both Friday and Saturday evenings to a live band. The event is held at Connor Field, 365 South Main Street in Darby. On Saturday, be sure to head over to Darby City Park for the Strawberry Festival for angel food cake, home-made ice cream and heaps of luscious strawberries. Call (406) 381-5114. 85. DALY DAYS, July 27-28, 2012 Downtown Hamilton and the Daly Mansion celebrate Hamilton’s heritage with Daly Days. Step back in time on July 28th at the Daly Mansion and experience life as it was at the turn of the 19th century. Festivities on the Mansion grounds include demonstrations, antique farm equipment and cars, music, pony rides for the children, Daly family home movies, tours, and more. Admission is $5.00 per person and children under 12 are admitted free. Call (406)363-6004 or visit www. Downtown Hamilton and other locations in the valley will bustle with activities and events for this festive occasion, including a street dance on Friday night. On Saturday, there will be sidewalk sales, a vintage car show, vendors, food, music, Kiss the Pig Contest, and Dutch Oven Cook Off. Visit or call (406) 375-1900. 86. LAKE COMO TRIATHLON II, July 28, 2012 During Daly Days, the Lake Como Triathlon will challenge and inspire you in this beautiful mountain lake location, the Bitterroot National Forest. Triathletes regard Lake Como, as a perfect place to have a triathlon. The event is limited to 100 racers. The 1,500 yd. swim is in ice-melt Lake


Como, wetsuits highly recommended. The 12.6 mi. mountain bike race is on Forest Service Roads and three single tracks. The overall elevation change is 2,280. The 7.7 mi. run is a scenic single-track trail run around the perimeter of the lake. There are waterfalls and a bridge at midpoint; the trail ends on the dam.

Lake Como Triathalon Photo by Donnie Sexton

87. BITTERROOT MICROBREW FEST, July 28, 2012 The Bitterroot Brewfest is a tasting event that offers over 45 microbrews and select wines from Montana and the Northwest, as well as food, fun and live music. The cost is $20.00 for three tastes and a commemorative glass. Live music this year will include opening band, Stan Anglen and Headwater (Country Rock) from 4-6 p.m., and headliner band, The Tom Cats (60’s-90’s Dance Rock), from 7-10 p.m. Held in conjunction with Daly Days, this signature event will be one you’ll


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Northwest, as well as a special performance by Kids in Bluegrass. Also featured are 5 individual Pioneers in Northwest Bluegrass. The festival is located 10 miles south of Hamilton, Mt., just off Highway 93 at mile marker 37 (163 Forest Hill Road). Bluegrass Gospel on Sunday morning. Food and vendors on site. All dogs on leash and bring your lawn chairs. Adults- $10.00 for the weekend, 12 and under- $5.00 for the weekend and camping is $10.00 for the weekend. Call (406) 821-3777 or visit 89. CREAMERY PICNIC 100TH ANNIVERSARY, August 3-4, 2012 The Creamery Picnic is a family oriented celebration featuring homemade ice cream, games, music and delicious food. In 1907, local dairymen formed a cooperative creamery which produced ‘Gold Bar’ butter and ice cream as some of the state’s outstanding dairy products. When fire gutted the creamery in 1911, the manager told the community that if they could rebuild the business in 30 days, he would host the biggest celebration the town

Hartimes Bluegrass Festival, south of Hamilton Photo by Donnie Sexton

88. HARDTIMES BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL, July 27- 29, 2012 This is an affordable family-friendly music festival with lots of shade in a beautiful location. Performing will be 10 great bluegrass bands from around the






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had ever seen. They did and the Creamery Picnic was born. There were public speakers and a free lunch, which included ‘Gold Bar’ ice cream and butter and all of the buttermilk the participants could hold. Since then, the annual Stevensville Creamery Picnic remains a part of the community. Call (406) 777-3773 or visit http://creamerypicnic. com.

The Renaissance Faire Photo by Ravalli Republic

90. THE RENAISSANCE FAIRE, August 10-12, 2012 The Hamilton Players’ Renaissance Faire is an epic re-imagining of a historical Renaissance market place. There will be costumed vendors, specialty handcrafts, traditional food, demonstrations, hourly performances, and games, along with lords, ladies, wenches, pirates, and even fairies! Enjoy the Pirate’s Booty Beer and Wine Garden, and plenty of fun games and activities for families. This event is truly unique. Costumed participation is encouraged. The event is located at Claudia Driscoll Park, Hamilton. Call (406) 218-8149. 91. RIVERFEST, August 11, 2012 Join the Bitter Root Water Forum at Kiwanis River Park to “Celebrate Our River” at Riverfest. A variety of educational opportunities for children and families will include live animal presentations (the red fox was last year’s biggest hit). At the interactive tables, guests will learn about the importance of the local riparian area. Though riparian areas make up only 4% of Montana’s land base, they

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are the most important wildlife habitat in the state. Later, enjoy live music from Joan Zen, local beer on tap, and great food served by Tailgate Bistro. For more information about the BRWF visit www.




92. BITTERROOT SCOTTISH IRISH FESTIVAL, August 24-26, 2012 Ce’ad Mil—a hundred thousand welcomes! The beautiful grounds of the Daly Mansion in Hamilton provide the perfect shaded setting for the Bitterroot Scottish Irish Festival the last weekend in August. Traditional Scottish and Celtic music, including bagpipes playing, spirited highland dancing and an Irish fling or two will entertain you. Vigorous Highland competitions, delicious and authentic Scottish and Irish foods and wares, historic and cultural demonstrations, and a Gathering of the Clans will hold your attention. James Hamilton, for whom the town of Hamilton was named, was Scottish; Marcus Daly was Irish; and A. J. Gibson, a descendent of this years’ honored Campbell Clan, designed the Daly Mansion, so what could be more appropriate than a Scottish-Irish Festival? For more information, call (406) 274-8886 or go to

Ravalli County Fair, Hamilton Photo by David Erickson

93. RAVALLI COUNTY FAIR, August 29-September 1, 2012 Western hospitality and community pride are abundant at the Ravalli Country Fair. Featuring bountiful exhibits, carnival rides eclectic vendors, agricultural displays, nightly entertainment and rodeo, the Fair is the biggest event of the year in

101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 55

the Bitterroot Valley. Locals have been competing for awards since 1893 with livestock, flowers, quilts, vegetables and more. Entertainment for 2012 includes: Patsy Cline, A Tribute, Pine Grass and The Big Sky Mud flaps along with Cowgirl Tricks, Kids Pedal Tractor Pull, Young Guns Wild West Park, Wild Science and Lou’s Petting Zoo. Everyone loves the fair – hope to see you there! , Call (406) 363-3411 or visit default.mcpx. 94. SCARECROW FESTIVAL, October 5, 2012 Stevensville’s Annual Scarecrow Festival, sponsored by the Stevensville Art and Sculpture Society, is a famously popular and unique outdoor event held on the first Friday and Saturday in October. The public casts ballots for their favorite scarecrow and cash prizes are awarded. A juried panel awards two Artistic Merit prizes. Other Main Street First Friday activities include a pumpkin carving contest, horse-drawn wagon rides, Oktoberfest accordion music, Main Street Open Houses offering refreshments and fun. Call (406)

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McIntosh Apple Day, Hamilton Photo by David Erickson

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95. MCINTOSH APPLE DAY, October 6, 2012 Hailed as the Biggest Bake Sale Under the Big Sky, the Annual McIntosh Apple Day Festival has apple butter bubbling over an open fire, apple juice being pressed, games for the children, and live music all day. Enjoy arts, crafts, food and produce from the Hamilton Farmers Market plus vendors from all over the state as well as the signature Bake Sale of over 700 made-from-scratch apple pies, Buffalo

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Chili, Caramel Apples and Apple Butter. Call (406) 363-3338 or visit 96. CHRISTMAS STROLL November 22, 2012 Join the festivities in downtown Hamilton to celebrate the Christmas season starting with the traditional Lighting of the Tree on Main Street in front of the Post Office. Listen to beautiful Christmas music sung by the Montana A Cappella Society, be charmed by lovely ballerinas from Bitterroot Ballet, shop in unique stores offering wonderful presents to put under your Christmas tree, and warm up next to the cheery burning barrels. Santa Claus will be there to bend an ear and pose for photographs. Call (406) 375-1900 or visit www. 97. A MONTANA COUNTRY CHRISTMAS, December 7-8, 2012 The Christmas Gift Fair is a great opportunity to shop for Made in Montana Christmas Gifts. It provides lots of local activities from arts and crafts to dining. Nativity sets will be displayed at St. Mary’s Mission. First Friday festivities include wagon rides, hot roasted peanuts, Parade of Lights, Christmas Story, Live Nativity, and Santa at St. Mary’s Family Center. The event will be located in various areas in Stevensville. Call (406) 777-3773 or visit www.

Photo by David Erickson

101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 57


Highway 93, headed north Photo by Donnie Sexton

98. ON THE LEWIS AND CLARK TRAIL AT LOLO PASS A 40 minute drive will take the visitor to a historic crossroads. The 51-acre Travelers’ Rest State Park is a place where visitors can say with certainty they are walking in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark. In the summer of 2002, a team of archaeologists uncovered evidence of the Corps of Discovery’s visit to the area, including a trench latrine tainted with mercury, fire hearths, and lead used in the repair and manufacture of firearms. The discovery makes Travelers’ Rest the only campsite on the

Lewis and Clark Trail with positive physical evidence of the expedition. The Park was the location of a campsite used by the Corps of Discovery from September 9 - 11, 1805 and again from June 30 July 3, 1806. For centuries Native Americans also used it as a campsite and trail junction. The history, culture and society of these tribes are a significant part of the programming at Travelers’ Rest State Park The spot is largely unchanged from the days of Lewis and Clark. This easy trip will take less than 40 minutes from Hamilton.

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99. HOLT HERITAGE MUSEUM The Holt Heritage Museum collection tells the story of cowboys, their equipment and the evolution of different saddles and tack. The display of memorabilia tells the story of Western Montana from the Salish/Nez Perce period to present day. Displays include western spurs, hats, and bootsmany of which had famous owners- and an Old Town Street scene. A replica of an old saloon is furnished with an antique back bar cooler, soda fountain and slab bar top. The grounds are decorated with tipis and various horse drawn vehicles. Take US 93 north to Lolo, turn left on Hwy 12 West ½ miles. For information, call (406) 2736743 or visit

100. THE BIG HOLE VALLEY, THE LAND OF 10,000 HAYSTACKS We have been A 90 minute drive takes the Bitterroot visitor to helping your frie nds the Big Hole Valley, site of the Big Hole National and neighbors fo Battlefield,, where, over Er-A P 1877, a camp of Nez Perce were 15 years. CalPl R P R Oon VAAugust LS!by 9,a pre-dawn co m Leot rHA shocked raid. By August 10, almost MILTe ON MORTG in Todhay AGE elp. you get 90 Nez Perce were dead, along with 31 soldiers pre-approve d to purchase yo Stop at the visitors’ center, which ur “new hand ome”volunteers. LITTLE TO with NO MONEoverlooks the battlefield. Drive on to Wisdom, www. Y DOWN! W Ask for Angela ore have been helpin, to see the strikingly beautiful g your friendsD aw an d n. neighbors scenery for over 15of this mountain valley which is framed 716 South 1sye ars t St . Cmailt , Ha ll o on r come inbyTothe Bitterroot Mountain Range, whose peaks NMLS# 317593, 29 day. 0759, 290647 soar to nearly 11,000 feet. The average elevation Take Advanta ge of the of the valley is 6,245 feet—nearly twice as high as Historical LowAsk fo Bitterroot Valley. Traveling through, you might Inter Arengstela or Dthe awnyourself . find caught up in a cattle drive or see the Rates N7O16W So!uth 1st S treet, H NMLS#3 a m beaverslide stackers for putting up hay that have ilt on 17593, 2907 59, 290647 changed little since the turn of the last century.




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101. DRIVE THE SKALKAHO SCENIC BYWAY TO PHILLIPSBURG The Skalkaho Highway winds up and over the Sapphire Mountain Range to Philipsburg along Montana’s Highway 38. Once a heavily used trail for Indians, it is one of Montana’s least traveled mountain roads. Highlights of the drive include the Sapphire Mountains Skalkaho Falls and Skalkaho Pass, and the historic town of Philipsburg. The town has a old Opera House and an excellent museum, seven antiques stores, fun old saloons and dozens of fine old buildings that reflect “P-burg’s” rip-

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roaring history as one of the West’s great mining centers. The Sweet Palace on Main Street is the grandest candy emporium in the great American West. Chocolate, fresh fudge and seventy-two flavors of saltwater taffy, pulled and wrapped by an antique wrapper as you watch, await you. One of the most popular attractions of the Philipsburg area is the sapphire mining offered to the public. Sapphires were first mined in the Rock Creek deposit about 1892. Philipsburg is less than two hours from Hamilton by the Skalkaho Hwy. For information visit For more tourism and visitor information, brochures and maps, visit a Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information Center. One is located at the Chamber Office at 105 East Main Street in Hamilton and open year-round. The Lost Trail Visitor Center, open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, is located at Lost Trail Pass, just north of the Idaho state line. You can also visit the Chamber’s Visitor Information website at www. for a complete listing of Ravalli County tourism businesses. Skalkaho Falls, on Skalkaho Highway Photo by Perry Backus

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Bitterroot Communities

Trapper Peak, Bitterroot Range Photo by Patrick Chapin

Florence The earliest settlers called the town “One Horse,� named for the creek that runs through it. In 1880 it was renamed for the daughter of A. B. Hammond. Hammond helped open the valley to the lumber industry. He also brought the railroad to the Bitterroot Valley for moving lumber, and he put together a

sawmill in a well-timbered area. The town of Florence pretty much grew up around it. There was another town, just to the north, named Carlton, which merged with Florence. It left its name to the school district, which is called the FlorenceCarlton School District.

101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 61

National Get Out Doors Day, Florence Park Photo Provided

Stevensville Montana began at Stevensville. The town was founded by the Italian priest Father Pierre-Jean DeSmet, who began St. Mary’s Mission in 1841, It was expanded by Father Antonio Ravalli, for whom the county is named. Father Ravalli sailed from Europe in 1843 to the New World, and became not only the priest to the Native Americans of the Bitterroot Valley, but also their physician and pharmacist, sculptor, architect and machinist for the little settlement. Memories of the magnificent interior of his parish church in Ferrara are recalled in the lovely Historic St. Mary’s Chapel. Father DeSmet came as a result of a request by native tribes for “Black Robes” to come to the area. He and Ravalli befriended the Indians, who helped them learn to survive in the Montana wilderness. John Owen built the Fort Owen Trading Post. The actual town of Stevensville was begun by two traders, John Winslett and J. K. Houk. They came off the Emigrant Road in 1863 and built the town’s first store. In 1864, a little group of settlers named the community Stevensville, after Isaac Stevens, the first governor of what was then the Washington Territory. The original town site was platted in 1879. Father Ravalli is buried in the cemetery at the Historic St. Mary’s Mission, which also offers a museum and restored original buildings, including Father Ravalli’s chapel, from the early history of the state. Victor A. S. Blake and his Shoshone wife came to the Bitterroot in the 1860s and were among the founders of

the town of Victor. Blake later became the first elected state legislator from Missoula County, out of which Ravalli County was later carved. Victor was originally named Garfield, after President James Garfield. It was later renamed after Chief Victor of the Salish tribe, whom the whites called the Flathead. Blake organized the Farmers State Bank in 1907. Soon thereafter, the town saw a business boom, and the bank helped support businesses in lumbering, mining, agriculture and education. Victor school had the county’s best school system, and became the first consolidated school district in Montana. The bank survived five robberies, the 1929 stock market crash and the Depression. When other banks

Downtown Stevensivlle Photo by Sherry Chidwick

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Redsun Labyrinth Photo by David Erickson

were closing their doors, Farmers State Bank continued in business, making loans sometimes based merely on faith and reputation, and kept the local economy going when much of the national economy dried up. It stared out in a corner of the St. John’s Drug Store and now serves two counties while providing a colorful and distinctive visual accent to downtown Victor. Corvallis In 1853 and 1854, John Mullan established a winter base from which to make observations towards creation of an overland route to the Columbia River. His party built four cabins at a large spring on what is now called Willow Creek. The original settlement near what is now Corvallis was first named Chaffinville by Elijah and Margaret Chaffin. They, along with the Slack and Mitchell families, formed the town. In 1865, the Willow Creek Town Company was founded and the town of Willow Creek surveyed. The Chaffins moved to Oregon, but returned in 1866 and named the present site of the town after the town in Oregon of the same name, ac-

101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 63

cording to one source. Another source states that the name means “Heart of the valley” and was given the town by a Frenchman named Herron. The agricultural land behind the town is some of the best in the valley, and construction of the big canal of the Bitter Root Valley Irrigation Company gave Corvallis the capability to bring hundreds of acres into production, Hamilton Unique among the villages of early Ravalli County, Hamilton was a planned town that began with wide streets and a defined economic center along its Main Street. It began when financier and copper king Marcus Daly came to the Bitterroot, having already made a fortune mining in Butte and Anaconda in the 1880s. In or about 1887, he bought some sawmills west of today’s Hamilton and in 1890 brought in two Minne-

sota planners, James Hamilton and Robert O’Hara, naming the town after one of them. Hamilton was incorporated in 1894. O’Hara became its first mayor. Hamilton’s population nearly doubled between 1907 and 1911, going from 1,800 to 3,000. (In the 2000 Census it was 3,705.) The town center was the intersection of Main Street and First, a.k.a. U.S. Highway 93. The Silver Coin Casino sits where the Hotel Hamilton originally stood. It was the first building in the downtown area. The original wood frame building was destroyed by a fire. The next year it was replaced by a two-story brick hotel designed by John Kent, who later designed the Montana State Capital. The new hotel boasted hot water heat, electric lights and bells, a barber shop, barroom, kitchen and parlors. The commercial blocks along Main Street include

Main Street, Downtown Hamilton Photo by Sherry Chidwick

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several buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places, identified by metal plaques telling about the history of the specific building. Of particular note architecturally are two older structures. One, the Ravalli County Museum on Bedford Street near Third, began existence as the county seat. When the county outgrew its confines, Hamilton citizens, working through the Historical Society, organized a campaign to save the structure and make it a museum. For the historically-minded, it’s a must-see. The other noteworthy structure is the building that houses the Hamilton fire department. It was, originally, Hamilton’s first city hall. Built in 1906, it also housed the public library and the fire department. The sole big change was the moving of the fire department truck doors from the front to the building’s State Street side.

Salish Indians (also called the Flathead). On Sept. 4, 1805, the expedition met a tribe of Salish on the East Fork of the Bitterroot River, in Ross Hole. The meeting was one of the first with the European-blooded Americans for the Salish. The tribe was more than friendly. They provided the expedition was badly needed fresh horses and helped them make their way over the huge Bitterroot Mountains, through Lolo pass, and down the Lochsa River, bringing them closer to the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean. Another early visitor was Ellis Hanover Ross, who worked for the Hudson Bay Company. He was on his way to Snake River country in March 1824, but got stranded with 55 Indian men, 89 Indian women and children in deep snow. They waited till spring to make it over Lost Trail Pass, and Ross called the Sula Basin

Darby Darby was named in 1888 by its Postmaster James Darby; and its overall architecture has a distinct western flair. Log buildings still stand as a reminder of the gold dust days. Darby’s Pioneer Memorial Museum was originally one of the first hand-hewn homestead cabins built in the area. Warm, friendly people will greet you at the unique shops, grocery store, post office, library, restaurants, saloons and lodging establishments. Highlights of this prime recreation area include Alta Ranger Station, Darby Pioneer Memorial Museum, Lake Como Recreation Area, Lost Trail Ski Area, and Painted Rocks Lake. With a population in 2007 of 853 people, the town is a quiet one with spectacular scenery and fabulous fishing opportunities. Visitors will enjoy the National Museum of Forest Service History located here. To pay tribute to its founding fathers, Darby hosts Logger Days each summer. Darby is a rural small town that is horse-friendly. The lifestyle is laid back. The pace is slow. There are so many activities to participate in and enjoy, because Darby is the gateway to nature’s playground. Darby’s elevation stands at 3,888 feet. Sula The Sula area, also called Ross Hole, was the site where the Lewis and Clark expedition first met the

Downtown Darby Photo by Donnie Sexton

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the “Valley of Troubles.” The area was named for the first Caucasian child, Ursula, born in the Ross Hole area. There is a painting by the great Western artist Charles M. Russell of a view from the pioneer home of James Wetzsteon. It now hangs in the Montana State Capitol building. West Fork The Bitterroot Forest Reserve was established in 1897, and in 1899 rangers Than Wilkerson and Hank Tuttle became its first rangers. At the no-longer present town of Alta, they built the Forest Service’s first cabin. Their job was to put out forest fires and improve the trails from Alta to Medicine Springs in the East Fork. A gold miner named George Orr and another miner named Hackett discovered the Monitor Silver Mine beyond the headwaters of the West Fork of the Bitterroot. It was near Owl Creek, a tributary to Idaho’s Salmon River. In 1900, Orr and copper king Marcus Daly had a road built to the mine, the farthest west of any road in the Bitterroots at the time. In 1925, Forest Service Supervisor J. W. Lowell

What is your MSU/Ravalli County Extension?  MSU Extension is  a cooperative partnership between Montana State  University, Montana Counties and U.S. Department  of  Agriculture. Become proficient at gardening by becoming a  Master Gardener  Learn  how  to  properly  apply  pesticides  through applicator training  Find out about a mystery plant or bug  Learn  to  be  a  good  steward  of  your  forest  property  Learn about proper feeding of livestock   Volunteer to make a difference in the life of a  child through 4‐H and mentoring  Find  resources  on  canning,  food  preservation  & free canning pressure gauge checks  Schedule a worksite wellness or nutrition class  for business, church or organization  Discover  4‐H  with  activities  like  camping,     photography, leadership and robotics    Contact us today at 375‐6611 or  215 S. 4th Street, Suite G, Hamilton 

flew over the National Forest and the tops of Trapper Peak, El Capitan and St. Mary’s Peak. Two years later, a 650-acre fire was observed from a survey plane, which dropped a map of the fire’s location to a lookout which used it in fighting the fire. Two years later, Charles Lindbergh, the first pilot to cross the Atlantic, flew over the Bitterroot Valley and mountains. He took photographs for National Geographic which appeared in that magazine’s January 1928 issue.

Old Sula Schoolhouse Photo by Ravalli Republic

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June 1 June 23 July 4-8 August 4 Aug 17-19 Aug 18-25

September 8th 2012

Salmon Riverfest Century Ride Salmon River Days 8th Annual

Blues, Brews & BBQ Sacajawea Heritage Days Lemhi County Fair

August 17-19

101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 67

2012-13 BITTERROOT VALLEY CALENDAR OF EVENTS Hamilton Farmers Market Photo by Donnie Sexton

FIRST FRIDAYS Every Friday year-round, 5:30 – 9 pm First Friday Stevensville First Friday Art Walk Series runs from May through October, (406) 777-3773 or First Friday Hamilton Downtown Hamilton, (406) 375-1900 or First Fridays at theMuseum at the Ravalli County Museum 205 Bedford St., Hamilton. For information: (406) 363-3338 or

FARMERS MARKETS Every Saturday, May 5 through mid-Oct 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

North Bitterroot Valley Farmers Market US 93 & Eastside Highway, Florence

Hamilton Farmers Market Coop Bedford, 2nd & 3rd Streets, Hamilton For info: (406) 961-0004 or hamiltonfarmersmarket.webs. com

Florence Farmers Market Caffe Firenze, Florence Every Tues. May 29 through Oct 25

Harvest Valley Farmers Market S end of Main Street, Stevensville

Darby Farmers Market Main Street Park, Darby

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MAY 2012 May 20, 5 – 8 pm Montana A Cappella Society Pint Night Bitterroot Brewery, Hamilton May 24, 6 pm Science in Wonderland Exhibit & Opening Night Reception Ravalli County Museum 205 Bedford St, Hamilton. For information: (406) 363-3338 or May 26, 10:30 am-12:30 pm Hamilton Farmers Market Entertainment Jen Adams May 28 Memorial Day Pancake Breakfast Corvallis School Lunchroom

Corvallis Memorial Day Parade Photo by Donnie Sexton

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101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 69

May 28 The Biggest Little Parade in America Downtown Corvallis May 28 Corvallis Community Carnival Corvallis High School May 31, 5 – 8 pm Danielle Oliver Performing Bitterroot Brewery, Hamilton May 31, 2012 6-7:30pm How Photography Frames our Perceptions: Katie Knight, Humanities Montana speakerRavalli County Museum, 205 Bedford St Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3338 or May 31, 6-8 pm Artists along the Bitterroot Reception Picturesque, Main Street, Hamilton For information: (406) 381-7898 or JUNE 2012 June 1, 5 – 7 pm Impressions Artisan Gallery Grand Opening Main Street, Hamilton June 1, 5 – 7 pm Bitterroot Performing Council Season Announcement Celebration Signal Grill, Main Street, Hamilton

For information: (406) 363-7946 or June 1-3 Custom Knife, Antique & Sporting Goods Show Hamilton Senior Center For information call (406) 821-9935 June 1-3, 10:30 am-6 pm Artists along the Bitterroot Studio Tour For information: (406) 381-7898 or June 1 – 30, 10 am – 3:30 pm Exhibit of Robert Neaves Montana Portraits Collection Daly Mansion 251 Eastside Highway, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-6004 or

June 2, 5 – 8 pm Tom Catmull Performing Bitterroot Brewery, Hamilton June 2, 6 – 8:30 pm Glacial Lake Missoula Moon Walk Willoughby Environmental Education Area Bitterroot National Forest For information: (406) 363-7100 or Click on “Learning Center” June 7, 5 – 8 pm Noah Peterson Performing Bitterroot Brewery, Hamilton

Jun 1-30, 10 am Monthly Art Exhibit Featured Artist-Ellen Jones Photography Darby Community Library, 101 South Marshall Street, Darby, For information: (406)821-4771 or June 2, 10:30 am-12:30 pm Hamilton Farmers Market Entertainment Louie Bond & the Texas Play Girl June 2 Bitterrodders Car Show Mildenberger Motors, Hamilton For information: (406) 642-6483

 Fresh Salad Bar Daily  Homemade Soup Daily

Photo by Donnie Sexton

Tomato Tues & New England Clam Chowder Fri

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We use fresh ground beef & sausage from Hamilton Packing Company. All meals prepared from scratch by Owner/Executive Chef, Ashley Hale. Most ingredients purchased locally.

303 Airport Rd, Hamilton MT  363-4478  T - Sun 7am-2pm

70 - 101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012

June 7, 6-7:15 pm Enhancing Life through Art, Susie Risho Humanities Montana speaker. Ravalli County Museum 205 Bedford St., Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3338 or

June 8-10 Montana Mule Days Ravalli County Fairgrounds, Hamilton For information: (406)777-2331 or

June 9 Spiritwood Open Disc Golf Tournament Fred Burr Road, Victor For information: (406) 961-4970

June 8-10 MT Professional Artists Show & Sale Bitterroot River Inn, Hamilton For information: (406)961-3887 or montanaprofessionalartistsassoc. com June 8-10 Western Montana Artisan Show First Interstate Center, Ravalli County Fairgrounds, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3411 Or

Bitterroot Flower Photo by Patrick Chaplin

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101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 71

June 9 Hamilton Golf Club Play the Pro Hamilton Golf Course, Hamilton For information: (406) 370-3677 Or email hamiltonrotaryclub@ June 9, 9 am – 12 pm National Get Outdoors Day Hideout Mountain at Florence Park Florence. For information June 9, 10:30 am-12:30 pm Hamilton Farmers Market Entertainment Andrea Harsell June 10, 5 – 8 pm Bitterroot Land Trust Pint Night Bitterroot Brewery, Hamilton June 11 Pint Night for the Bitterroot Land Trust Bitterroot Brewery, Hamilton For information: (406) 375-0956 June 11-15 Camp Invention, Hamilton Middle School 209 S. 5th St, Hamilton For information: (406) 363.2121 June 15-17, 22-24, 29-July 1 Hamilton Players Presents “The Sound of Music” Hamilton Playhouse, Hamilton For information: (406) 375-9050 or

Ravalli County Muesum Photo by Sherry Chidwick

June 16, 9 am-12:30 pm Bitterroot Day Ravalli County Museum 205 Bedford St., Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3338 or

Tranquility Bed & Breakfast

Clark & Cindy Willard


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June 16, 5 pm TNT Dinner & Auction The Teller, Corvallis For information: (406) 961-3507

72 - 101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012

June 19, 12 pm Tuesday at 12 Concert by Blue Melon Hamilton’s Legion Park

June 22-23 Western Heritage Days Downtown Stevensville For information: (406) 777-3773 or

June 21-24 Western Montana Quarter Horse Show Sapphire Events Center, Corvallis For information: (406) 239 – 3822

June 23, 9 am Rotary Scramble in the Root Hamilton Golf Course. Request an entry form or get more information at June 23, 10:30 am-12:30 pm Hamilton Farmers Market Entertainment Child Bloom Guitar Ensemble June 23, 11 am Western Heritage Days Parade Downtown Stevensville For information: (406) 777-3773 or

Hamilton Farmers Market Photo by Donnie Sexton

Personal & Business Banking • Lending • Investments

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June 23 Darby School’s Excellence Fund Dinner & Auction Rennaker Ranch, Darby June 25-28 Daly Mansion Youth History Camp 251 Eastside Highway, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-6004 or June 26, 12 pm Tuesday at 12 Concert by Jenn Adams Hamilton’s Legion Park June 28, 1 pm Daly Mansion Children’s Lawn Party 251 Eastside Highway, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-6004 or

June 28, 4 pm National Senior Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Ravalli County Museum, 205 Bedford St, Hamilton. For information: (406)363-3338 or

101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 73

June 28, 8 pm Bitterroot Community Band Performance Claudia Driscoll Park Band Shell, Hamilton June 29 Ravalli County Relay for Life Corvallis Event Center, Corvallis June 29-30 Senior Pro Rodeo Ravalli Co., Fairgrounds,Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3411 or June 29-July 1 Darby Bitter Root Reunion Darby Clubhouse, Park and Library June 30, 10:30 am-12:30 pm Hamilton Farmers Market Entertainment Barnaby Wild June 30, 4 pm Afternoon of Cowboy Music & Poetry Ravalli County Museum, 205 Bedford St, Hamilton For information: (406)363-3338 or Photo by Patrick Chaplin

Sapphire Mortgage Services Robin L. Bolin, Owner

Refinance • New Construction Purchases • Conventional 4039 US 93 North, Stevensville across from Les Schwab NMLS#283623 • Company NMLS#311330

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(406) 821-2007 • 4955 Sawmill Lane, Conner, MT

74 - 101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012

JULY 2012 July 1-31, 10 am Monthly Art Exhibit Featured Artist Kate Welty-Acrylics/Oils Darby Community Library, 101 South Marshall Street Darby. For information: (406) 821-4771 or

July 3, 12 pm Tuesday at 12 Concert John Floridis Trio Hamilton’s Legion Park July 4, 12 pm Hamilton Golf Club 4th of July Tournament Hamilton Golf Course, Hamilton

July 5, 7:30 pm Voices from the Little Big Horn Tim Lehman, Humanities Montana speaker Ravalli County Museum, 205 Bedford St, Hamilton. For information: (406) 363-3338 or

Photo by Patrick Chaplin

45 Microbrews and Select Wines from Montana & the Northwest

Saturday, July 28 • 3-10pm, Legion Park, Hamilton, MT Food, Fun & Live Music from

STAN ANGLEN & HEADWATERS 4-6PM; TOM CATS 7-10pm $20 for 3 tastes & a commemorative glass

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101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 75

July 5, 8 pm Bitterroot Community Band Presents Claudia Driscoll Park Band Shell, Hamilton

Forest For information: (406) 363-7100 or Click on “Learning Center”

July 6 Stars Guitars and Cars Downtown Stevensville For information: (406) 777-3773 or

July 8, 10 am – 4 pm Dolls, Toys & Teddy Bears Show & Sale Darby Community Library, Darby For information email:

July 6-7 Summerfest Hot Air Balloon Event St. Mary’s Pavilion, Stevensville For information: (406) 777-0680 or July 7 Airport Heritage Days Ravalli County Airport July 7, 10:30 am-12:30 pm Hamilton Farmers Market Entertainment Blue Melon July 7, 7 pm – 8:30 pm Bird Moon Walk, Bass Creek Picnic Area Bitterroot National

July 9 BitterRodders Car Show Mildenberger Motors, Hamilton For information: (406) 642-6483 July 9-14 Hamilton Players Summer Theater Camp Session 1: K-12 grades Hamilton Playhouse, Hamilton For information: (406) 375-9050 or July 10, 12 pm Tuesday at 12 Concert by Temper Airily Hamilton’s Legion Park

July 11 – Aug 29, 6 pm-8 pm Wednesday Evening Farmers Market 200 block of Bedford St, Hamilton For information: (406) 961-0004 or July 12, 8 pm Bitterroot Community Band Performance Claudia Driscoll Park Band Shell, Hamilton July 12-14 Summer Fest Bands Balloons & BBQ Grounds of St. Mary’s Mission Stevensville July 12-14 Big Sky Foxtrotter Point Show Sapphire Events Center, Corvallis For information: (406) 777-0577 July 14 Sell-a-rama sponsored by SVCG Darby

Photo by Patrick Chaplin

76 - 101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012

July 14 Elite Bull Connection Richard Cromwell Rodeo Grounds, Darby For info: (406) 544 – 5536

July 17-19, 9:00-12:00 am Hamilton Golf Club Junior Golf Camp Hamilton Golf Course, Hamilton

July 14 Ride de Root, 100 Mile Bicycle Ride Round trip from Darby to Hamilton

July 19, 8 pm Bitterroot Community Band Presents Claudia Driscoll Park Band Shell, Hamilton

July 14, 10:30 am-12:30 pm Hamilton Farmers Market Entertainment Bittersweet

July 20-21 Darby Logger Days South side of Darby For information: (406) 363-4432 or

July 15 Tour of the Bitterroot Cycling Event South of Hamilton For information: (406)375-0956

July 21 Strawberry Festival Darby City Park For information: (406) 381-5114

July 17, 12 pm Tuesday at 12 Concert by The Cantrells Hamilton’s Legion Park Photo by Patrick Chaplin


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salads sandwiches parfaits tapioca pudding

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July 21 “Kids in the Garden” Daly Mansion Gardens, Daly Mansion Eastside Highway, Hamilton





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101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 77

July 21, 10:30 am-12:30 pm Hamilton Farmers Market Entertainment Blue to the Bone July 24, 12 pm Tuesday at 12 Concert by The New Mike and Tari Conroy Band Hamilton’s Legion Park July 26 Exhibit Opening: Life and Limb: The Toll of the Civil War Ravalli County Museum 205 Bedford St., Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3338 or

July 26, 6:30pm Bitterroot Community Band Concert On the lawn of the Daly Mansion Eastside Highway, Hamilton

July 27, 4-9pm, July 28, 10am-6pm Bitterroot Valley Sportsman’s Expo First Interstate Center, Ravalli County Fairgrounds, Hamilton For information: (406) 241-4179 Or

July 27-28 Daly Days in Downtown Hamilton For information: (406) 375-1900

July 27-29 NCHA Cutting Event Sapphire Events Center, Corvallis For information: (406) 360 – 2169

July 27-28 BitterRodders Car Show Main Street, Downtown Hamilton For information: (406) 642-6483

July 27-29 Hardtimes Bluegrass Festival US 93, 10 miles south of Hamilton For information: (406) 821-3777 or

July 27-28 Art in the Park Main Street, Hamilton For information: (406) 821-4678

July 28, 10:30 am-12:30 pm Hamilton Farmers Market Entertainment Swingaderos July 28, 11 am – 4 pm Daly Days Activities at the Daly Mansion 251 Eastside Highway, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-6004 or July 28 Lake Como Triathlon south of Hamilton

Bitterroot Brew Fest Photo by Donnie Sexton

Fred Murry, Broker, GRI Lambros ERA 514 N. 1st Street Hamilton, MT 59840

Office: (406) 363-6668 Cell: (406) 369-7711 Fax: (406) 532-9650 Toll Free: (888) 734-7653 Email: Each ERA® Office is Independently Owned and Operated

July 28, 3 – 10 pm Bitterroot Microbrew Fest 200 block of Bedford Street, Hamilton For information: (406)363-2400 or

A Gallery of Unique Gifts


2 Street

M•A•R•K•E•T 175 S. 2nd St • Downtown Hamilton


78 - 101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012

July 31, 12 pm Tuesday at 12 Concert by The Big Sky Mudflaps at Hamilton’s Legion Park

August 2, 8 pm Bitterroot Community Band Presents Bittersweet Claudia Driscoll Park Band Shell


August 3-4 100th Creamery Picnic & Parade Lewis and Clark Park, Stevensville For information: (406) 777-3773 or

August 1-31, 10 am Monthly Art Exhibit Featured Artist-Gwen Bloedel – Photography Darby Community Library, 101 South Marshall Street Darby. For information: (406) 821-4771 or August 2, 6 pm-7:30 pm Lincoln & Liberty, Songs as Sound Clips from the Civil War. Bill Rossiter, Humanities Montana speaker Ravalli County Museum, 205 Bedford St, Hamilton. For information: (406) 363-3338 or

August 4 – 5, 9 am Bitterroot Open Hamilton Golf Course, Hamilton August 4, 10:30 am-12:30 pm Hamilton Farmers Market Entertainment John Schiever August 4, 1 pm Bitterroot Community Band Concert Stevi Creamery Picnic Lewis & Clark Park Photos by Donnie Sexton


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Hamilton 363-4700

101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 79

August 4 “An Evening under the Stars” In the tent at the Daly Mansion 251 Eastside Highway, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-6004 or

August 9, 8 pm Bitterroot Community Band Performance Claudia Driscoll Park Band Shell, Hamilton August 10-12, 10 am-7 pm Renaissance Faire Claudia Driscoll Park, Hamilton

August 4, 7 pm – 8:30 pm Bat Moon Walk Hieronymus Park, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-7100 or Click on “Learning Center”

August 11, 10:30 am-12:30 pm Hamilton Farmers Market Entertainment Bill LaCroix & Friends

August 4-5 Western MTQuarter Horse Show Sapphire Events Center, Corvallis For information: (406) 239 – 3822 August 6-10 Hamilton Players Summer Theater School Session 2: 4-12th grades Hamilton Playhouse, Hamilton For information: (406) 375-9050 or

August 11, 4 pm US 93 Ribbon-Cutting Garden Club Park, Victor Hamilton Players Photo by Ravalli Republic

August 7, 12 pm Tuesday at 12 Concert by Bitterroot Brass Hamilton’s Legion Park

August 11 Sell-a-rama sponsored by SVCG Darby August 11 South Valley Quilt Show Darby Clubhouse

80 - 101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012

August 11 The Teller - Ducks Unlimited Greenwing Event The Teller, Corvallis For information: (406) 961-3507 or

August 11 Bitterroot Water Forum “RiverFest” River Park, Hamilton

August 11-September 9 Annual Fall Classics Show Ponderosa Art Gallery, For information: (406) 375-1212 or August 14, 12 pm Bitterroot Community Band Concert Tuesday at 12 Hamilton Legion Park August 16 BBIA Taste of the Bitterroot Coach Tour of Homes For information: (406) 375-9711 Or August 16, 8 pm Bitterroot Community Band Presents The Five Valley Accordion Association Claudia Driscoll Park Band Shell, Hamilton

Bitterroot Water Forum “Riverfest” Photo by Ravalli Republic

Montana’s Dream finder Fully authorized Orvis Shop Guided Trips Scenic Tours Gifts & Home Accents

Rentals: Waders, Rods Boots

101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 81

August 17-19 BBIA Bitterroot Tour of Homes For information: (406) 375-9711 Or August 17-19 Montana Pioneer & Classic Auto Club Fall Tour Daly Mansion, Eastside Hwy, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-4449 August 17-19, 24-26 Hamilton Players Presents “Wally’s Café“ Hamilton Playhouse, Hamilton For information: (406) 375-9050 or August 18 Hamilton Farmers Market Coop Green Living, Healthy Living Fair Tapas World Jazz Ensemble Bedford, 2nd & 3rd Streets, Hamilton

August 19, 5 –8 pm Velocity Gymnastics Pint Night Bitterroot Brewery, Hamilton August 21, 12 pm Tuesday at 12 Concert by Bev Whelehon Hamilton’s Legion Park August 23, 8 pm Bitterroot Community Band Performance Claudia Driscoll Park Band Shell, Hamilton August 24-26 Bitterroot Scottish Irish Festival On the grounds of the Daly Mansion, Eastside Hwy, Hamilton For information: (406) 274-8886 or www.bitterrootscottishirishfestival. org

Photo Provided

82 - 101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012

August 25 Bitterroot Classic Triathlon Bitterroot Aquatic Center, Hamilton August 25, 10:30 am-12:30 pm Hamilton Farmers Market Entertainment Voodoo Horseshoes

August 31 Ravalli County Fair Parade Downtown Hamilton For information: (406) 363-2400 or

August 31 – September 3 Bitterroot Boogie Skydiving Extravaganza Ravalli County Airport

August 25 Hamilton Golf Club Luau Party Hamilton Golf Course, Hamilton August 29, 6 pm Montana Shakespeare in the Parks Presents “Hamlet” On the grounds of the Daly Mansion 251 Eastside Highway, Hamilton For information: (406) 375-9050 August 29-September 1 Ravalli County Fair Ravalli Co Fairgrounds, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3411 or Ravalli County Fair Photo by Ravalli Republic

Friday, July 27, 4-9pm Saturday, July 28, 10am - 6pm Ravalli County Fairgrounds, Hamiton


Fly Fishing Archery Guns & Ammo Dog Training Saddles & Tack Camo Clothing Outfitter & Guide Services ATVs, Campers and much more!

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101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 83

SEPTEMBER 2012 September 1, 10:30 am-12:30 pm Hamilton Farmers Market Entertainment Joan Zen

September 7-8 Garage-A-Rama sponsored by Friends of the Darby Library, Darby Clubhouse, Darby

September 8 Sell-a-rama sponsored by SVCG, Darby

September 1, 3 pm Bitterroot Community Band Concert Ravalli County Fair, Hamilton September 1, 7 pm – 8:30 pm Garden Moon Walk, MPG Ranch, Florence For information: (406) 363-7100 or Click on “Learning Center” September 1-30, 10 am Monthly Art Exhibit Featuring Shirley Anderson Sylvester, Darby Community Library, 101 South Marshall Street Darby For information: (406) 821-4771 or



The Rocking Over 30 beautiful, friendly alpacas

Photo Provided


Complimentary Tours Great Fun for the Kids Ranch store featuring a variety of alpaca products Come spend some time with these gentle creatures! Between Victor & Hamilton • Turn west off Hwy 93 at mile 56, 2.2 miles to the ranch! 1760 Red Crow Rd, Victor MT 59875 • 406-642-3085 • Your hosts: Erv & Mo Lischke

84 - 101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012

September 8, 9 am Sweathouse Half Marathon Email

County Fairgrounds, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3411 Or /

September 8, 10:30 am-12:30 pm Hamilton Farmers Market Entertainment Steel Toe Flos

September 22 Hamilton Farmers Market Harvest Fest & Giant Pumpkin Contest Entertainment – Bittersweet

September 8, 8 pm Broadway and Bubbly Concert, Hamilton Playhouse, Hamilton For information: (406) 375-9050 September 15, 10:30 am-12:30 pm Hamilton Farmers Market Entertainment Jen Adams September 16, 10 am Hamilton Golf Club Hackers Scramble Hamilton Golf Course, Hamilton

September 22 Ravalli Republic Taste of Home Cooking Demonstration, Performing Arts Center, Hamilton High School For information: (406)363-3300 or September 22 Hamilton Farmers Market Coop Harvest Fest & Giant Pumpkin Contest Bedford, 2nd & 3rd Streets, Hamilton

September 21-23 Sports Connection Gun Show First Interstate Center, Ravalli

Giant Pumpin Winner Photo by Bob Olsen

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101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 85

September 23 Founders Day Celebration St. Mary’s Mission, Stevensville For information: (406) 777-3773 or

September 30, 5 – 8 pm Oktoberfest Gone Pink Pint Night Bitterroot Brewery For information: (406) 375-1900

October 5 OctoberFest Gone Pink at First Friday Downtown Hamilton For information: (406) 777-3773 or

September 28 Trout Unlimited Banquet Bitterroot River Inn, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3485 or email


October 6 Hamilton High School Cross Country Meet & Community Run Grounds of Daly Mansion, Hamilton

September 29, 10:30 am-12:30 pm Hamilton Farmers Market Entertainment Sergio Ghersetti September 29, 7 pm – 8:30 pm Bark Beetle Moon Walk, Lake Como Bitterroot National Forest, For information: (406) 363-7100 Click on Learning Center”

October 1-31, 10 am Monthly Art Exhibit Featured Artist Muriel Parker, Watercolors Darby Community Library, 101 South Marshall Street, Darby For information: (406) 821-4771 or October 5 Scarecrow Festival, Stevensville For information: (406) 777-3773 or

October 6 Apple Day Demolition Derby Ravalli County Fairgrounds, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3411 or October 6, 9 am Gary Habeck Memorial Sorting Sapphire Events Center, Corvallis For information: (406) 961-1435

Stevensville Founders Day Celebration Photo by Laura Lundquist

86 - 101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012

October 6, 9 am – 3 pm McIntosh Apple Day Ravalli County Museum, 205 Bedford St., Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3338 or

October 6, 8 pm Bitterroot Performing Arts Series Performance, Hamilton High School For information: (406) 363-7946 or

October 6-7, 10 am Hamilton Golf Club 2 person Scramble Hamilton Golf Course, Hamilton October 13, 10:30 am-12:30 pm Hamilton Farmers Market Entertainment Dan Debuque October 13 Fall Festival Marketplace First Interstate Center, Ravalli Count Fairgrounds, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3411 Or October 13 Hamilton Golf Club Casino Night Hamilton Golf Course, Hamilton

Photo by Patrick Chaplin

SINCE 1997

Kent & Mary Lou Carl & Claudia Conner Hrebicek or


October 13, 20, 27 & 31, 10pm-3am Ghosts of the Museum Tours Ravalli County Museum, 205 Bedford St Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3338 or

102. BITE INTO A LEGEND When traveling through Hamilton, don’t miss the Bitterroot’s Best Burger, Salad and Take out. Nap’s Grill, located in downtown Hamilton, Montana, has been serving award-winning burgers in the Bitterroot Valley for over 15 years. This locally owned, family restaurant prides itself on its exceptional customer service and high quality ingredients. Our generous portions will guarantee that customers will not leave hungry!


Specializing in horse-drawn trolley and wagon rides.

Special events • Reunions • Weddings Commercially Sponsored Trolley Rides

M - Sat 11am-9pm • Sunday 11am-4pm 220 N.2nd Street, Hamilton, MT 59840


101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 87

October 19-21, 26-28 Hamilton Players Presents “Diary of Anne Frank” Hamilton Playhouse, Hamilton For information: (406) 375-9050

October 31, 4 – 6 pm Halloween Parade Downtown Hamilton For information: (406) 375-1900

October 31 Harvest Festival First Interstate Center, Ravalli Co. Fairgrounds, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3411 Or

October 20 Bitterroot Chamber Harvest Festival Bitterroot River Inn, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-2400 or October 26 Haunted Mansion Party & Sleepover 251 Eastside Highway, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-6004 or October 27, 7 pm – 8:30 pm Ghost Moon Walk at Lake Como Bitterroot National Forest For information:(406) 363-7100 or, Click on “Learning Center

Halloween Parade, Main Street, Hamilton Photo by David Erickson

Come in and Play our Old Time Music Machines! 200 S. Main St. Darby, MT (406) 821-4076

na! a t n o in M e c a l etest P • 35 Varieties of e w S old fashioned handmade fudge The GALLERY AND GIFTS

• Over 600 types of candies & chocolates • Sugar free chocolates & candies

• Handcrafted wood & iron works • Montana souvenirs • Bitterroot Valley’s largest selection of antiques and collectibles

something for everyone! OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 9:00 TO 5:00

RealDeal$ your dollar plus wants & needs • Party Supplies • Toys & Plush Animals • Sunglasses & Readers • Candles & Incense • Makeup & Hair Accessories • Housewares & Plastics • Silk Flowers & Arrangements • Mugs & Piggy Banks

Montana Huckleberry, Gifts for all ages, and framed western prints & collectibles! 111 South 1st st St. Hamilton, MT T 406.375.0695 95

Monday -Friday 10am - 5pm Sat 10am - 2pm

88 - 101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012


November 2-4 Holly Jolly Craft Show Daly Mansion 251 Eastside Highway, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-6004 or

November 10, 7 pm Hamilton Players Diva Pageant Hamilton Playhouse, Hamilton For information: (406) 375-9050 or

November 11, 7:30 pm Veterans Day Celebration Ravalli County Museum, 205 Bedford St, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3338 or November 15, 6 pm-7:30 pm Two Gals Gossiping Ravalli County Museum, 205 Bedford St, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3338 or November 16-18 Bitterroot Art Guild Holiday Show First Interstate Center, Ravalli County Fairgrounds, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3411 Or

Photo by Patrick Chaplin

November 22, 6 – 8pm Christmas Stroll in Hamilton Downtown Hamilton, For information: (406) 375-1900 or

101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 89

November 30-December 2 Sports Connection Gun Show Ravalli County Fairgrounds, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3411 or DECEMBER 2012 December 1-31, 10 am Monthly Art Exhibit Featured Artist - Kathleen Sheard, Fusion Glass Darby Community Library, 101 South Marshall Street Darby For information:(406) 821-4771 or December 3 Darby Holiday Market Darby Community Center, Darby

December 3 Christmas Bazaar St. Philip Beniz, Darby December 5 SAFE Silver Tea, Daly Mansion, Eastside Highway, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-2793 December 7-8 “A Montana Country Christmas” Downtown on Main St., Stevensville For information: (406) 777-3773 or www.mainstreetstevensville.comm December 15 Community Christmas Party Daly Mansion, Eastside Hwy, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-6004 Or

December 20, 6pm Opening Night Reception for Harry Potter’s World— Renaissance Science, Magic & Medicine Exhibit Ravalli County Museum, 205 Bedford St, Hamilton, For information: (406) 363-3338 or December 20-January 26, 2013 Exhibit Opening: Harry Potter’s World Renaissance Science, Magic & Medicine Ravalli County Museum, 205 Bedford St, Hamilton, For information: (406) 363-3338 or December 21 Winter Solstice Celebration Ice Skating Rink, Darby

Gordon Reese Cabin at Chief Joseph Ski Area Photo by David Erickson

90 - 101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012

December 27, 6-7:30 pm Beowulf a performance by Dave Caserio Humanities Montana speaker Ravalli County Museum, 205 Bedford St., Hamilton. For information: (406) 363-3338 or

JANUARY 2013 January 12 Wedding & Event Fair First Interstate Center, Ravalli County Fairgrounds, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3300 or

January 12, 8 pm Hamilton Players Presents “Forbidden Bitterroot”, Hamilton Playhouse, Hamilton For information: (406) 375-9050 or

Photo by Perry Backus



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101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 91

January 19 Health Fair, First Interstate Center Ravalli County Fairgrounds, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3411 or

February 9 Cowboy Ball First Interstate Center, Ravalli County Fairgrounds, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3411 Or

February 9, 8 pm Bitterroot Performing Arts Series Performance Hamilton High School For information: (406) 363-7946 or

FEBRUARY 2013 Month of February Ernst Peterson Photograph Montana Contest Ravalli County Museum 205 Bedford St, Hamilton, For information: (406) 363-3338 or February 2 Soroptomist Winter Golf Downtown Hamilton February 3-4 BBIA Home & Ranch Trade Show First Interstate Center, Ravalli County Fairgrounds, Hamilton For information: (406) 375-9711 Or

Ernst Peterson Photograph Montana Contest, Ravalli Co. Museum Photo by Ravalli Republic

Renewable Energy Power Systems

Oasis Montana Inc. designs, sells and installs (locally) renewable energy power systems using photovoltaic (solar electric) power and offers efficient and gas appliances. We provide residential, commercial, remote and utility-tied power systems, and also focus on solar water pumping. Our main customer base is in North America but we have happy customers all over the world.

For Northwestern Energy customers, we still have grants available for qualified clients.

406-777-4321 or 4309 for more information APPLIANCES SHIP OUT OF THE MIDWEST AND ARE NOT STOCKED LOCALLY.

92 - 101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012

February 15-17 Sports Connection Inc. Gun show First Interstate Center, Ravalli County Fairgrounds, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3411 Or

February 22-24 Hamilton Players Presents Sweeney Todd Hamilton Playhouse, (406) 375-9050

February 23 Ravalli County Fish & Wildlife Assoc.Banquet, First Interstate Ctr, Ravalli CtyFairgrounds, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3411 Or MARCH 2013 Mar 1-3, 8-10 Hamilton Players Presents Sweeney Todd Hamilton Playhouse, Hamilton For information: (406) 375-9050 or March 9 Spring Thaw Arts & Crafts Show First Interstate Center, Ravalli County Fairgrounds, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3411 Or

Gun show, First Interstate Center, Ravalli County Fairgrounds, Hamilton Photo by David Erickson

113 Years of Continuous Fellowship Visit the Historical St. Paul’s Episcopal Church


REAL • FRESH • WHOLE Serving Breakfast ALL DAY

From Basic Breakfast to Crepes

600 S 3rd Street (Hamilton’s Historical District) Family Oriented, Everyone is Welcome For Weddings, Programs, Tours, & Worship Services Times call 363-3025


FREE delivery in Hamilton

101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 93

March 23 Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Banquet First Interstate Center, Ravalli County Fairgrounds, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3411 Or March 23, 8 pm Bitterroot Performing Arts Series Performance, Hamilton High School For information: (406) 363-7946 or March 31 Community Easter Egg Hunt First Interstate Center, Ravalli County Fairgrounds, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3411 Or

Community Easter Egg Hunt, Hamilton Photo by Laura Lundquist





ies inTow P t esand a whole lot more!

Mon-Fri: 9am -6pm Sat: 10am - 5:30pm June - Christmas Sunday: 11am - 3pm Glacier Icons by Bert Gildart


Whole Pies for Purchase

Open 7 Days A Week Hours: 6am - 10pm 500 S. 1st, Hwy 93 • Hamilton

252 Main St., Hamilton • (406)363-5220 • FIND US ON • FACEBOOK

94 - 101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012

APRIL 2013 April 5-7 My Kids Closet Sale First Interstate Center, Ravalli County Fairgrounds, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3411 Or April 6, 8 pm Bitterroot Performing Arts Series Performance Hamilton High School For information: (406) 363-7946 or April 13 Ravalli Republic Indoor Garage Sale First Interstate Center, Ravalli County Fairgrounds, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3411 Or Photo by Patrick Chaplin


DINING 11am - 10pm everyday • SPORTS BAR HOURS 11am - 11pm everyday • CASINO 8:30am - 11pm everyday •

Taylor Made Smiles "Simply the Best"


375-0007 Voted Best Wine Selection! Sprits, Beer, Wine, Mixers at competitive prices



now accepting new patients 7am Appointments Available

Call Michael E. Taylor, Dentist


101Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2012 - 95

April 19-21, 26-28 Hamilton Players Presents “The Women “ Hamilton Playhouse, Hamilton For information: (406) 375-9050 or

MAY 2013 May 3 Farm Fair First Interstate Center, Ravalli County Fairgrounds, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3411 Or First Friday Pie in the Sky Auction Rocky Mountain Bank, Stevensville

For information: (406) 777-3773 or May 4 Cinco De Mayo Children’s Celebration at the Hamilton Farmers Market Coop Bedford, 2nd & 3rd Sts, Hamilton For information: (406) 961-0004 or

Photo by Patrick Chaplin

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May 11 Daly Mansion Mother’s Day Tea Daly Mansion, Eastside Hwy, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-6004 Or May 12 Cake Walk for Mother’s Day by SAFE Hamilton Farmers Market Coop Bedford, 2nd & 3rd Streets, Hamilton For information: (406) 961-0004 or http://hamiltonfarmersmarket.webs. com

May 17 SAFE Crystal Ball Bitterroot River Inn, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-2793 May 17-19 BGMS Gem & Mineral Show First Interstate Center, Ravalli County Fairgrounds, Hamilton For information: (406) 363-3411 Or

All events, dates and locations are subject to change. Submit your event to the Chamber Calendar of Events by sending an email to Include the date, times, title of the event, the location and a source for more information. This Event Calendar is a service of the Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce Tourism & Marketing Committee for the Bitterroot Valley.

Photo by Patrick Chaplin

Interior of the Daly Mansion, Hamilton Photo by Donnie Sexton

advertiser index 2nd Street Market ............................................... 77 Black Rabbit RV Park ......................................... 43 A Forever Home ................................................. 43 Brooks, The ........................................................ 68 Access Ability Solutions ....................................... 8 Caffe Firenze ...................................................... 88 Alpasano - All Natural Alpaca ............................ 32 Catered Table, The ............................................ 57 Chapter One Book Store ................................... 93 Alpha Omega Salon 15 Alpine Realty ...................................................... 80 Cheers Unlimited ............................................... 20 Alta Ranch .......................................................... 10 Chidwick School of Fine Woodworking .. ........... 35 Angler’s Lodge ................................................... 12 Coffee Cup ......................................................... 93 Art in the Park - Bitterroot Arts Guild .................. 25 Cowboy Troy’s ................................................... 42 Artists Along the Bitterroot ................................. 27 Daly Days - Hamilton Downtown Association ... 55 Ballet Bitterroot Performing Arts ........................ 99 Daly Mansion ..................................................... 21 Beaded Pony ...................................................... 17 Deffy’s Motel ...................................................... 49 Belle Valle Italian Restaurant ............................. 80 Dollar Rent-a-Car ............................................... 65 Bellezza .............................................................. 17 Double H Custom Hats ...................................... 82 Between Heaven & Earth ................................... 25 Elite Bull Connection .......................................... 48 Between the Worlds ............................................. 8 Exit Realty - Rod Freeman ................................. 90 Bitter Root Brewery ............................................ 18 Farm Table Restaurant, The ............................... 30 Bitterroot Christian Bookstore ........................... 10 Fiesta en Jalisco ................................................ 78 Bitterroot Fly Company ...................................... 80 First Baptist Church ........................................... 40 Bitterroot MicroBrewfest .................................... 74 First Choice ........................................................ 45 Bitterroot Performing Arts Council ..................... 26 Flying R Guest Ranch ........................................ 41 Bitterroot River Inn ............................................. 24 Ford’s Department Store ................................... 18 Bitterroot Scottish Irish Festival ......................... 55 Frame Shop & Gallery ....................................... 40 Bitterroot Valley Elks Lodge ............................... 47 Friends of Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge .............. 26 Bitterroot Valley Sportsman’s Expo ................... 82 Grants Meadows ................................................ 53

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Photo by Patrick Chaplin

Greetings Welcoming Service ........................... 71 Hamilton Golf Club ............................................. 30 Hamilton Mortgage Services ............................. 58 Hamilton Players ................................................ 39 Hamilton Wine & Liquor ..................................... 94 Hangar Café ....................................................... 69 Hardtimes Bluegrass Festival ............................ 20 Hidden Legend Winery ...................................... 31 Hideout Bar, Restaurant & Casino ..................... 84 Kodiak Jax ............................................................ 9 Lambros ERA - Donna Larson ........................... 14 Lambros ERA - Fred Murry ................................ 77 Legacy Arts ........................................................ 39 Lifeline Creamery Farm Store ............................ 32 Lisa Archer Silks ................................................. 35 Lost Trail Powder Mountain ............................... 14 Lube Quick ......................................................... 84 Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital ........................... 3 Marcus Plaza ...................................................... 38 Merc Fresh Market ............................................. 76 Mikesell’s Fine Jewelry ...................................... 72 Montana Professional Artists Association ....... 100 Montana Westgate Realty .................................. 78 Mountain Butterfly .............................................. 44 MSU Ravalli County Extension .......................... 65 Nap’s Grill ........................................................... 86 Oasis Montana ................................................... 91 Old West Gallery & Gifts .................................... 87 Pioneer Carriage Services ................................. 86 Prudential MT - Hamilton Cat Lindbeck & Jan King ................................. 2 Ravalli County Fair ............................................. 54 Ravalli County Museum ..................................... 22 Ravalli Electric Co-op ......................................... 74 Real Deals .......................................................... 87 REMLC’s City Center Motel & Annex ................. 15 River Rising Bakery, Espresso, Deli ................... 59 River’s Mist Gallery ............................................ 57 Robbins on Main ................................................ 68

Rocking L Alpaca Ranch ................................... 83 Rocky Mountain Bank ........................................ 72 RR Bed ‘n’ Breakfast .......................................... 36 Rusty Blue’s Emporium, LLC ............................. 38 Sacajawea Center .............................................. 62 Salmon Valley Chamber of Commerce ............. 66 Sapphire Mortgage Services ............................. 73 Second Street Sushi .......................................... 12 Serendipity Boutique ......................................... 38 Skalkaho Steakhouse ........................................ 90 Spice of Life ....................................................... 44 Spotlight Photo .................................................. 70 St. Mary’s Mission & Museum ........................... 19 St. Paul Episcopal Church ................................. 92 Stevensville Hotel ............................................... 70 Sticks & Stones .................................................. 69 Summerfest - Blacksmith Brewing Company .... 56 Super One ..................................................... 50-51 Sweetwater Mercantile ....................................... 35 Taylor, Michael DDS ........................................... 94 The Edge Restaurant ......................................... 94 The Loft Deli ....................................................... 92 Theresa’s Dolls & Gifts ....................................... 99 Townhouse Inn of Hamilton ............................... 81 Tranquility B&B ................................................... 71 Travellers Rest Cabins RV Park ......................... 76 Trendz by Trina ................................................... 38 Tuesdays at Twelve - Hamilton Events - DHBID.52 Valley Drug & Variety ......................................... 79 Victor Heritage Museum .................................... 22 West Fork Mountain Crafts ................................ 73 Western Heritage Days Stevensville Main Street Association ............... 47 Western Montana Clinic ..................................... 37 Wild Rose Emu Ranch ....................................... 31 Willing Servants ................................................. 95 Wimps Body Works............................................ 59 Yumedono Alpacas 35

Visit our Retail Store & the Large, Private Collection in our Museum.

We carry dolls, miniatures for doll house & gifts.

dolls & gifts “The Dollhouse�

Our main line of dolls are:

Xenis hand carved and hand painted puppet dolls, Dollmaker, Middleton, Precious Moments, Jan McLean, Marie Osmond & Ashton Drake. Also older Madame Alexanders and Effanbees.

We have dolls for children and every age!

Come & see us in the beautiful Bitterroot Valley! It will be worth the trip! 5908 Eastside Hwy, Florence, MT 59833 | 406.273.6332 | 10am-6pm, Mon - Sat | Sundays or evenings by appointment

Profile for Ravalli Republic

101 Things to do in the Bitterroot Valley 2012  

Essential year round guide to the Bitterroot Valley.

101 Things to do in the Bitterroot Valley 2012  

Essential year round guide to the Bitterroot Valley.