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4 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

Welcome to our very first publication of “101 Things To Do In The Bitterroot”! 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 us “From River to Ridge”™. We encourage you to take a moment, slooow down a bit, and sample the distinctive flavors and character of our valley communities. It is appropriate that we gratefully acknowledge the Ravalli Republic, who partnered with us in this collaborative effort and that we recognize the contributing efforts of the six (6) communities that comprise our Bitterroot Valley - as it was these folks that made this publication possible. So, before you embark upon your exciting tour……I urge that your very FIRST stop – be the Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce. Here you will find our helpful and knowledgeable staff ready to supply you with state and local maps, visitor information, retail resources, lodging recommendations and real estate opportunities. For those that are so inclined, you can also contact us at www.bvchamber.com Welcome to our way of life, welcome to our Bitterroot Valley. Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce Rick O’Brien * Executive Director

101 T hings To Do in the Bitterroot published by the Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the Ravalli Republic Newspaper Publisher Kristen Bounds Editor Perry Backus Production & Design Dara Saltzman & Jodi Wright Project Sales Valerie DeMuro, Gina Joseph & Cheryl Tenold Very Special Thanks to Adele Dicken, Barbara Mickelson and Carol Smith from the BRVCC Tourism Committee for their generous help in compiling the list of 101 Things! 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley 2010 is a publication of the Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Ravalli Republic, a division of Lee Enterprises. Copyright 2010 by the BRVCC and Ravalli Republic.

To be included in next year’s publication, call the Ravalli Republic at 363-3300 or the BRVCC at 363-2400


Table of Contents

101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 5

101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot.............................. 6 Bitterroot Communities............................................ 51 Historic Fort Owen.................................................... 59 Being At the Lookout............................................... 60 A Cultural Gem: The Performing Arts Series........... 64 Room to Roam for Horse Enthusiasts...................... 66 St. Mary’s Mission...................................................... 69 Events & Activities by Community.......................... 72 100 Years of Mansion Memories............................. 76 Fly Fishing .................................................................. 80 Bitterroot River Fishing Access Map....................... 83 Calendar of Events.................................................. 86

Photo Will Moss


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C

ome to the beautiful Bitterroot Valley, a place where the stunning peaks of the Bitterroot and Sapphire Mountains meet the gorgeous, fertile, tree filled Bitterroot Valley. The Bitterroot River flows north through the valley, which opens into wide plains with historic towns. This is a place where the celebrated Lewis and Clark, and Nez Perce trails meet modern, thriving communities. The Bitterroot Valley is 96 miles long and, at its widest spot, 25 miles across, encompassing 2,394 square miles. 74 percent of the land is owned by the public, and 24 percent is privately owned. There are many interesting things to do here, which you will read about in the pages of this publication, but the breathtaking scenery is the most impressive attraction of the valley. The Bitterroot Valley is truly a place like no other.

101 Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley Balloons soar above the Bitterroot Valley during Blacksmith Brewing’s “Summer Fest” happening in July in Stevensville

Outdoor Recreation & Wildlife Throughout our valley you can encounter

spectacular beauty and world-class recreation that any true outdoor enthusiast will love to experience. The Bitterroot Valley is Geo-Tourism at its best. You will find a multitude of scenic hiking trails and public fishing access sites. Here the outdoor enthusiast can indulge his passion for outdoor sports and recreation of every kind.

1. Take a Bitterroot Valley scenic drive Highway 93 is the main artery of the Bitterroot Valley Scenic Drive. The highway winds through the valley with the towering Bitterroot Range to the west and the Bitterroot River and Sapphire Mountains on the east. There are plenty of places to pull off the highway to take in the beautiful

Photo Will Moss

views. Construction delays between Stevensville and Victor this summer can be avoided by turning east at either town to catch the valley’s Eastside Highway. For the more adventurous, the Skalkaho Highway offers incredible views and a waterfall as it winds up and over the Sapphire Range. Catch that road just south of Hamilton. 2. Float and fish the beautiful Bitterroot River The Bitterroot Valley has spectacular scenery and fabulous fishing opportunities. The East and the West Forks of the Bitterroot River are known for some of the finest fishing in the country. The Painted Rock State Park and reservoir, as well as other streams and lakes make the Bitterroot Valley prime territory for the fishing enthusiast. With Brook Trout, Mountain Whitefish, Rainbow Trout, and Westslope Cutthroat Trout prevalent,


this is the perfect fishing destination. Visitors should know that Montana law allows the public to make recreational use of rivers and streams between the ordinary high-water marks. Anglers can wade in a stream, walk along the stream bank below the high-water mark, or float fish on any waters large enough to carry a boat. However, the law does not give recreationists the right to enter private lands bordering streams or to cross private lands to gain access to streams. For more information, go to: fwp.mt.gov/fishing/guide/waterbodyQuery. html?q=PROX_Hamilton_25.

101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 7

why drive? The visitor center at the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge

Photo Will Moss

3. Experience superb birding at the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge The Bitterroot Valley offers some of North America’s best birding. The Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge, located in Stevensville, off Eastside Highway, provides habitat for migratory birds. Residents of the refuge near Florence include 235 species of birds—including Great Blue Heron, bald eagles, osprey, waterfowl and neo-tropical birds— 37 species of mammals and 17 species of reptiles and amphibians. Since 1990, permanent residents have included a pair of bald eagles that nest here. With a wide array of species of various sizes, the refuge provides an outstanding opportunity for wildlife viewing and photo opportunities. For more information, go to: www.fws.gov/leemetcalf. 4. Observe the wildlife at The Teller The Teller Wildlife Refuge, which runs along the Bitterroot River in Corvallis, off Eastside Highway, is comprised of 1,200 acres of farmland and

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river bottom dedicated to the conservation of western Montana’s finest native riparian habitat. The Teller is a wildlife paradise where you can observe Whitetail deer, moose, red foxes, coyotes, porcupines, marmots, beaver, otter, muskrats and many smaller mammals.

Bird Watching at the Teller Wildlife Refuge

Photo Will Moss

Many heroes of American conservation came to their understanding of conservation through hunting and fishing. Understanding this, The Teller offers limited whitetail deer, waterfowl and pheasant hunting for the public in cooperation with the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Block Management Program. For more information, go to www.theteller.org. 5. Explore Three-Mile Wildlife Management Area Nine miles east of Florence is Three-mile Wildlife Management area, which encompasses 6,059 acres. The area is great for hunting, wildlife viewing, bird watching and mountain biking during the summer; it also provides hunting access. Here you are most likely to observe songbirds and raptors commonly found in upland grasslands and ponderosa pine forests, but visitor sometimes spot elk here as well. For more information, go to: fwpiis.mt.gov/lands 6. Take your family to Painted Rocks State Park for the weekend Painted Rocks Reservoir is located south of Conner on the West Fork of the Bitterroot River. The park offers boating, camping, and fishing in a

secluded western pine forest setting. It is 23 acres in size and is 4,724 feet in elevation. This is a great get-away for a weekend of camping, fishing and relaxation. The park is pack-in/pack-out and there are no fees to use the site. You might observe a herd of Big Horn Sheep looking down at you from the cliffs above. For more information, go to: fwp.mt.gov/parks/visit/parkSiteDetail. html?id=280864. 7. Camp out in the mountains of Montana Every family has its favorite campsite. There are many from which to choose. One of them is Rock Creek Horse Camp with 11 campsites, four of which are pull-through. There are hitch rails, feed troughs, accessible toilets, garbage, but no water. There is also one group site with a large fire ring and parking for 5 vehicles. For more information, go to: www.fs.fed.us/r1/bitterroot. 8. Want to go swimming on a hot summer day? Swimming, fishing, boating and water skiing are popular sports at Lake Como, located south of Hamilton, off Highway 93. The swimming area has beach access and is roped off from the rest of the lake. There is a hikers’ trail which leads along the north side to an unimproved campground above some falls at the head of the lake. Painted Rocks, Stevensville Public Pool, and the Aquatic Center in Hamilton also offer good places to cool off in the summertime.

Photo Will Moss

Summer swimming at Lake Como just north of Darby. There is a nice sandy beach with picnic tables and toilets.


9. Enjoy a relaxing river raft float trip through the scenic Bitterroot Valley A raft trip on the Bitterroot River, one of the more scenic rivers in Montana, is a river activity the nonfishing side of the family can enjoy. The valley is wide and lush, offering excellent views into the Bitterroot and Sapphire mountains. Wildlife is abundant, whitetail and mule deer are very common, as are osprey and eagles, and it is not unusual to see elk or moose. You can learn about the geology that formed the region, hear about Lewis & Clark’s trip through the valley, identify and photograph the many animals and birds you will observe along the way or just sit back and enjoy the natural splendor of it all. Don’t have a raft or a canoe? An inner tube will work just fine for some stretches of the river. For more information, go to www.bitterrootraftingadventures.com. 10. grab your rifle or bow and go hunting The Bitterroot Valley is a hunter’s paradise; a favorite for hunters all over the world in search of trophy big game hunting. Every year lucky hunters

101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 9

take deer, elk, moose, bear, mountain lions and bighorn sheep. The area also boasts a large wild turkey population along with pheasant, grouse, duck and geese. For more information go to: www.fwp.mt.gov 11. See the a lovely waterfall and the most beautiful mountain in the Bitterroots Just to the south of Darby is the tallest (at 10,157 feet) and most beautiful mountain in the Bitterroot Valley, Trapper Peak. It is only a day’s-hike with eight miles and 4,200 feet gain! Skalkaho Falls, southeast of Hamilton, up Skalkaho Highway, is one of western Montana’s “must sees.” It is a breath taking waterfall that can be viewed from the road. 12. Follow the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail A 4,250-mile cross-country, on-road bicycle route, the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail (TAT) runs from Astoria, Oregon to Yorktown, Virginia, running right through the Bitterroot Valley on Highway 93. This remarkable bike route was designed for the 1976 Bicentennial Celebration, and the

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of the Lake Como National Recreation Trail. Trapper Peak Trail is a 5-mile walk up Trail 133. An excellent list of Bitterroot Trailheads can be found at www.summitpost.org/custom-object/210426/ bitterroot-trailheads.html.

Photo Will Moss

trail continues to be one of the most popular coast-to-coast bike routes ever developed. The Bitterroot Valley offers countless opportunities and endless vistas for creating your own cycling adventure. For more information, go to: www. adventurecycling.org/routes/transamerica.cfm. 13. Lace up your hiking boots for a great mountain hike Hiking in the mountains is one of the valley’s most popular activities. Hiking trails are found from one end of the valley to the next. The Lake Como Loop is an eight mile, mostly level hike that circles one of the most beautiful lakes in Montana and offers spectacular views of Como Peaks. The Blodgett Canyon hike, located in Hamilton, boast a waterfall and is a wonderful 3.5 mile hike. Blodgett is considered by many to be the most beautiful canyons in the area. Bear Creek Trail in Victor, off Hwy 93, is easy and leads to a terrific area for a picnic and play on a number of whirlpools, falls, slides and pools. Rock Creek Trailhead accesses the south half ting Deck Sean for Now Ope er Summ

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14. See the rugged Bitterroot and Sapphire Mountains of Montana on an ATV The Bitterroot offers two “designated” ATV trailsOverwhich Falls Trail, southwest of Sula, which has some advanced riding and leads to a beautiful falls in the back country; and Chain of Lakes Trail, in the Bitterroot National Forest, which starts easy, and gradually gets 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 more information, go to www. bitterrootadventures.com.

Hiking in the Bitterroots

Photo Will Moss

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15. Go horseback riding in the largest continuous wilderness area in the lower 48 states The Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Area combined with the Frank Church and River of No Return Wilderness areas make up the largest continuous wilderness area in the lower 48 states. It is a favorite spot for backpacking, horseback riding, river rafting and fishing. The Wilderness contains sheer walls, cliffs, tumbling waterfalls, and subalpine lake basins. Call Selway Adventures for a trail ride out of the Lost Horse Lodge and the West Fork of the Bitterroot, as well as the Selway Wilderness. They can take you anything from a one hour ride to week long trip. For more information, call 406821-0017 or go to www.selwayadventures.com .

Photo Will Moss

Horseback riding is very popular with locals and tourists in the Bitterroot Valley

16. Experience an outstanding day of pheasant hunting The Fetch Inn is the northwest’s finest pheasant hunting preserve. It is situated in bottom-land along the Bitterroot River on Westside Road in Hamilton. While enjoying your hunt, don’t be surprised to see some of the other residents of the Fetch Inn: deer, elk, moose, bear, grouse ducks and geese. They live here and don’t mind sharing their terrain with you. Photographers marvel at the Fetch Inn’s scenic vistas and majestic animals. Fetch Inn has earned a reputation among the finest hunting preserves in the country, offering a tremendously fast quarry in a spectacular setting at the edge of the largest wilderness in the lower 48 states.

101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 11


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17. Want to be a Wild West cowboy? Better practice your marksmanship The Whittecar Rifle Range is located on Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks land in Hamilton. Its six shooting ranges are open to the general public Wednesday through Sunday 52 weeks a year. The calendar of activities includes matches and classes. For more information, go to www.whittecarrange.com. The purpose of the Hamilton Trap Club is to promote trap and skeet shooting. It is a nonprofit organization and any profits made are used to improve the club grounds and buildings. The club has recently added a beautiful Five-Stand range. It is located at the Ravalli County Airport. For more information, go to www.hamiltontrapclub.com. 18. Get out your golf clubs The 18-hole course at the Hamilton Golf Club facility in Hamilton features 6,847 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72. Long been listed as one of the best public courses in the northwest, the course rating is 72.3 and it has a slope rating of 120. Designed by Gary Jacobson, the Hamilton golf course opened in 1933. The 9-hole Whitetail Golf Course facility in Stevensville features 2,859 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 35. The 9-hole golf course was designed by Jason Allen at the Montana Pro Golf facility and features all the hallmarks of Montana golf. 19. Experience the best powder for downhill skiing and snowboarding You’ll find the best snow in Montana at Lost Trail Powder Mountain. With over 300 inches of snowfall every year, these still undiscovered slopes await your visit. There are gentle beginner trails, challenging moguls and the finest tree skiing for

Photo Will Moss

New, groomed trails at Lake Como provide another opportunity for Cross Country Skiing in the Valley


experts. All levels of ski and snowboard lessons for kids and adults are available. The day lodge offers great food and drinks. There are skis and snowboards for rent and excellent instructors for all types of lessons. Located at the southern end of the Bitterroot Valley along the Continental Divide, Lost Trail has a vertical drop of 1,800 ft; its longest run is 2.5 miles. For more information, go to www.losttrail.com. 20. Explore the back country on cross country skis Como Trails Cross Country Ski Area offers about 30 miles of trail at Como Lake. It includes a beginner’s area and is dog-friendly. The trail offers great views from Panorama Point. Be sure to check ski conditions before traveling. Be sure to check ski conditions before traveling at www. missoulanordic.org. Chief Joseph Cross Country Ski Trail has eight loop trails that provide a variety of lengths and skill levels. The trail system starts on north side of Highway 43 at Chief Joseph Pass with twentyfive miles of beautiful, groomed trails. Plowed parking, a warming hut, toilet and maps are available at trailhead. Pets are not allowed. For more information, go to bitterrootxcskiclub.net.

101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 13

The ice rink, in Darby, is popular with families.

Photo Will Moss

21. Snowmobiling – Skalkaho , Chief Joseph Pass With some of the most scenic groomed trails in Montana, the Bitterroot and Sapphire Mountains offer the perfect destination for snowmobilers. The Skalkaho/Rye Snowmobile Trail offers spectacular scenery and over 50 miles of groomed trails. For more information, go to www.bitterrootadventures.com. 22. Take your family ice skating When the outside temperature reaches 32 degrees or below, the Darby Ice Skating Rink is open every Saturday from 3 - 5 p.m. You can bring your own ice skates, or borrow a pair from a friend. When you’ve had enough, you can cozy up around the burn barrel and enjoy a steaming cup of coffee or hot chocolate while your children skate. The rink is located to the west of the tennis courts, behind People’s Market. Come and skate, it is lots of fun!

Photo Will Moss


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Photo Will Moss

There are freoquently historic re-enactors at the Daly Mansion, just outside of Hamilton, off Eastside Highway.

Explore T he History Of T he Bitterroot Historically, the Bitterroot Valley was the home of the Salish tribe of the Flathead nation. The Lewis and Clark Expedition crossed Lost Trail Pass from present-day Idaho in order to connect with the overland route through the Rocky Mountains. The first white settlement in the Valley was the founding in 1841 of St. Mary’s Mission, near present-day Stevensville. Fort Owen was established nearby in 1850, and there were difficulties between the white settlers and the Salish until 1891, when the native tribes were relocated to the north. Settlement has continued since that time. A number of interesting museums and other structures throughout the valley tell the story of these early inhabitants of the Valley. Stop for a visit to understand more about the history of the Bitterroot Valley.

23. Follow the path of the Lewis and Clark Of the tasks assigned to them by President Jefferson, Lewis and Clark accomplished the most within the modern borders of Montana, including negotiations with native tribes, the reconnaissance of suitable sites for trading posts and forts, and scientific accounts of the land’s plants, animals, and scenic resources. The Bitterroot’s river and highways flow past scores of landmarks, largely unchanged, related to the expedition. In early September, 1805, Clark crossed Lost Trail Pass in a failed attempt to follow the Salmon River to the Columbia. Clark found it impossible to proceed by water or land. At several points along the way they relied on handouts from Indians they met. After days of blazing their own trail over rocks and fallen trees, they finally descended from the mountains with great relief. Following the Bitterroot River down into Ross’ Hole near Sula, Lewis and Clark rejoined and resolved to find an easier northern land route to the Columbia. 24. Visit Historic St. Mary’s Mission, “Where Montana Began” St. Mary’s Mission, in Stevensville, was established in 1841, 48 years before Montana attained statehood, by Father Pierre DeSmet, at the request of Indian Tribes who were seeking “Blackrobes”. St. Mary’s was the first church in the Pacific Northwest. A photo gallery in Chief Victor’s Cabin represents the 19th century when the Indian and European cultures merged. Tour the Chapel and Father Anthony Ravalli’s cabin/pharmacy which are furnished with items handmade by Father Ravalli, Montana’s first medical doctor. The Salish Encampment represents the Bitterroot

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Salish homeland, while St. Mary’s represents the first pioneer settlement in Montana. Walk through history. Experience this fascinating, controversial, and important chapter of our nation’s past. Visit: www.saintmarysmission.org. 25. See the first permanent white settlement in Montana, Fort Owen State Park Built of adobe and logs, Fort Owen, near Stevensville is the site of the first permanent white settlement in Montana. Father Pierre DeSmet came to the area in 1841 and established St. Mary’s Mission among the Flathead Indians. In 1850, Major John Owen established the fort as a regional trade center. Period furnishings and artifacts are displayed in the restored rooms of the east barracks. Fort Owen is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more information, go www.stateparks.com/fort_owen.html. 26. Learn about the settlement of the Bitterroot at the Stevensville Museum The Stevensville Museum features the early growth and development of the Bitterroot Valley

101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 15

with displays of artifacts, pictures and information panels regarding the history of the American Indian population (the Salish Indians), the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery expedition through the valley in 1805-1806, the arrival of Father DeSmet in 1841, the establishment of the earliest mission in what is now Montana, the development of Fort Owen as one of the earliest trading posts and the history of Stevensville itself. Displays of an early kitchen, wash-room, parlor and school are furnished with authentic items. For more information, go to www.mainstreetstevensville. com.

27. Stop in to see the Victor Heritage Museum which preserves an old railroad depot The Victor Heritage Museum is housed in the old Victor Depot Building in Victor. The museum is operated by volunteers to preserve the rich heritage of the area. Fascinating displays illustrate many relics and remnants of the past, including railroad memorabilia, mining information, Native American exhibits, schools, churches, business,

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ranching, natural resources and everyday life. For more information, go to www.victormt.com/ victor_heritage_museum/vhm_history.html.

Photo Will Moss

Inside the Ravalli County Museum, in Hamilton. The museum is housed in the old courthouse designed in 1900 by A.J. Gibson

28. Absorb the history of the Bitterroot Valley at the Ravalli County Museum The Ravalli County Museum in Hamilton was built by A.J. Gibson in 1900. The building served as the Ravalli County Courthouse until 1979. It

101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 17

now houses one of the finest little museums in the Northwest. Permanent collections include a Native American collection, Ricketts Museum, commemorating the development of the Rocky Mountain Laboratory, Natural History display, a miner/trapper room, a Military Room, National Senior Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, Ernst Peterson and Bertie Lord photography exhibits, extensive archives, Victorian rooms and A Walk through the Bitter Root, Lewis and Clark Discovery Room. Rotating exhibits are displayed in the former courtroom. For more information, go to: www. brvhsmuseum.org. 29. No visit is complete without a tour of the beautiful Daly Mansion Marcus Daly, who made a fortune mining copper in Montana, purchased the original homestead in 1886 to serve as his family’s summer residence, building a Queen Anne style Victorian. In 1910, his widow, Margaret, renovated the mansion to its present Georgian-Revival style. After Mrs. Daly’s death in 1941, the mansion was boarded up until 1987, when it was opened to the public.

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The Daly Mansion, a National Historic Site, has over 56 stunning rooms, with 25 bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, and seven fireplaces. The three-story, 24,000-square-foot mansion is situated on 50 treeplanted acres near Hamilton which feature a variety of trees, a tennis court, swimming pool, greenhouse and laundry building. For more information, go dalymansion.org. 30. Take a tour of the Historical 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 the “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) 363-7656. For more information, go to www. bitterrootepiscopal.org. 31. Study the pioneers at the Darby Pioneer Memorial Museum Darby’s Pioneer Memorial Museum was one of the first hand-hewn homestead cabins built in the area. It was crafted by an early settler in 1886 on

Photo Will Moss


his homestead near the mouth of Tin Cup Creek. In 1958 the building was purchased and moved to its present location, adjacent to the city park on US Highway 93. It is a museum depository for the extensive collection of both home and business artifacts saved by the many pioneer families in the area. 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. For more information, go to www. visitmt.com/categories/moreinfo.asp?IDRRecor dID=3130&siteid=1. 32. Drop by the Darby Historical Visitor Center Between 1965 and 1990, the Darby Historical Visitor Center was used by the Bitterroot Hot Shot Fire Crew. In 1991 it was converted into the Historical Visitors Center. The building is accessible for those with disabilities, and accessible restrooms are available. The Center is part of the National Forest Service Museum and sells T-shirts, forest service maps, firewood permits and Christmas tree permits in season. Information brochures, recreation opportunities, weather/road reports are available at the Center. Historic Forest Service items are on display in the building. Picnic tables are located outside. It is located at 712 North Main Street across from the Darby grade school. 33. Experience pioneer life The East Fork Guard Station is a one room log cabin equipped with a wood burning stove that is available to rent on a nightly basis. An axe is provided to split your own firewood. Propane is provided for the four-burner propane stove/oven for cooking. The kitchen is furnished with dishes, utensils, cooking pots/pans and a Coleman cooler for refrigeration. There are two large bunk beds. Bring your own bedding, like an air mattress as only foam pads are provided. There is an outside vault toilet, potable water at the pump house. An open fire pit with benches is set up on the banks of the East Fork River, perfect for evening marshmallow roasts. For more information, go www.fs.fed.us/r1/bitterroot/recreation/cabin_ lookout/ef_guard_station.shtml.

101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 19

34. Visit historic forest ranger stations Early Forest Rangers, Than Wilkerson and Henry Tuttle, constructed a one-room Lodgepole Pine cabin with a sod roof in June 1899. The resulting Alta Cabin, the first ranger station in the United States, still stands on the West Fork Ranger District. Built in 1923, the Magruder Ranger Station was originally the district headquarters for the Selway National Forest until it was transferred to Bitterroot National Forest in 1931. It is a two-story, five-room log house located on Magruder Road #468, 52 miles southwest of Darby. For more information, go to www.fs.fed.us/r1/bitterroot/heritage/ buildings/historic_buildings.htm

The 4th of July Parade down Main Street in Hamilton

Photo Will Moss

Enjoy the Valley’s Festivals And Events Residents of the Bitterroot Valley find much to celebrate; it is sometimes referred to as the Valley of Festivals. Bring your family; let us celebrate together. One of the most unique things about the Bitterroot is the friendliness of the people. They will welcome you! 35. Watch the Exciting Townsend Ranch Mounted Shoot, Darby, May 29-31 The 11th Annual Townsend Ranch Mounted Shoot will be held Memorial weekend, May 29-31 in Darby. It is sponsored by the Montana Mounted Shooters and Townsend Ranch. Cowboy Mounted Shooting is one of the nation’s fastest growing equestrian sports in America today. This is a fast action timed event using two .45 caliber


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single action revolvers each loaded with five rounds of specially prepared blank ammunition. For more information, go to www.townsendranch.com. 36. Chief Victor Days, Victor, June 11-12 Chief Victor Days is a unique community celebration honoring the town of Victor and descendants of Chief Victor of the Salish Tribe. On Friday, there is a photo scavenger hunt, open mike and a Fireman’s Spaghetti Dinner at 5:30 pm, followed by live music. Saturday, begins with a 5K Run/Fun Walk, followed by a parade at 11 am. The Grand Entry to a PowWow of the Bitterroot Salish begins at 2:00 pm, with entertainment around the campfire in the evening. Throughout the event there are vendors, a Play Zone, food court, arts & crafts, and more. For more information, go to www.chiefvictordays.com. 37. National Get Outdoors Day, Florence, June 12 On Saturday morning, bring the whole family to Hideout Mountain at Florence Park. There will be 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. Or choose to use your new tennis skills on the Florence Park tennis court, or go to the Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge for wildlife observation, photography, hunting, fishing, environmental education and interpretation. Budding artists can participate in “Plein air” watermedia, all supplies available. For information, go to bitterrootexpress.com. 38. Western Heritage Days, Stevensville, June 18-19 ‘Saddle Up’ for the Western Heritage Parade that will be the kick off to Western Heritage Day. Come see the demonstrations and sidewalk attractions & sales from our stores, historic home tours via team and wagon rides, barn yard games, parade, Arts and Crafts show, St. Mary’s Mission tours, Downtown Saturday Night with music, beer garden and lots of food. Western Heritage Days is located in downtown Stevensville, St. Mary’s Mission and Stevensville Museum. For more information, go to www.mainstreetstevensville.com.

Photo Will Moss


101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 21

Rodeo Tickets: $8 advance $10 at the gate Kids 10 and under FREE Thursday: 4pm National Senior Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame Grand Opening BBQ at the Ravalli County Museum. Statue dedication, buffet, live music from the Bop-A-Dips, western entertainment, live auction with Bill Holt and more! Friday: 8am-2pm Rodeo Slack 3-4pm Equestrian Parade 4-6pm: BBQ at the fairgrounds 6-8pm: Senior Pro Rodeo 8:30-11pm: Cowboy Jam

photo ravalli county museum

The Bitterroot Valley is a unique place. The beauty, the outdoor recreational opportunities, the abundance of wildlife, but most important are the PEOPLE that live in this great place! As a collaboration of many different people, we wanted to bring the community together to celebrate the Bitterroot valley, and showcase our close knit community by bringing groups together to share and have FUN! The 3 day event at the Ravalli County fairgrounds will have something for everyone!

Saturday: 8am-2pm: Rodeo Slack 8am-5pm Miss Ravalli Co. Rodeo Pagent 10am-8pm: Montana market 10am-2pm Dutch Oven cooking demonstration 10am-3pm Bitterroot Jackpot livestock show 10am-6pm: Children, Teen & Family Activites 2-5pm: Arena activities 6-8pm: Senior Pro Rodeo finals 8:30-11:30pm: Hoe-Down dance feat. Shane Clouse Sunday: 7am:10K,5K, Fun Run hosted by Hamilton PTA 9-7pm: Cowboy Challenge 10am-8pm: Montana market noon - 8pm: Children, Teen & Family Activites 2pm: “Always Patsy Cline� musical 7-8:30pm: Live music 8:30-9:30pm: Tribute to the Troops and the 50 flag display 10-ish FIREWORKS!


22 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

Join the Fun in Downtown Hamilton! June 4 June 15

First Friday 6 – 8 pm Tuesdays at Twelve w/Bev Whelehon June 22 Blue Melon June 29 Rick Land July 2 First Friday 6–8pm July 2-4 Bitterroot Glory Days July 6 Joan Zen July 13 Two Cats & A Fiddle July 20 Sour D & The Pipe Cleaner July 23-24 Daly Days, Brew Fest, Lake Como Triathlon July 27 John Floridis Trio August 6 First Friday 6–8pm August 10 Pinegrass August 17 The Cantrells August 24 Final Tuesday @ Twelve Bitterroot Community Band September 1 Ravalli County Fair Parade 11am September 3 First Friday 6–8pm Artists subject to change “Tuesdays at Twelve” are held at Legion Park, 2nd Street and Bedford, Hamilton, with live entertainment, food vendors and fun for the entire family! Downtown Hamilton stays open late the First Friday of every month all year long so you can shop, dine and explore our historic downtown district.

Hamilton Downtown Association PO Box 481Hamilton, MT 59840

39. Bitter Root Day, Hamilton, June 19 This is a celebration of Montana’s state flower, the Bitterroot. Live Bitter Root plants and blossoms adorn the display cases that hold the late Henry Grant’s lifetime collection of Bitterroot memorabilia. Art and crafts booths and refreshments are at the market in front of the Museum. A Salish representative will address the meaning of the Bitterroot, its many uses and the legacy of this indigenous flower of the valley. This event is held at Ravalli County Museum, two blocks south of Main Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets on Bedford Street from 9am to noon. For more information, go to: www.brvhsmuseum.org. 40. Senior Pro Rodeo, Hamilton, July 2-3 Competitors in this event are all over 40 years of age, but still love to compete in the age-old sport of rodeo. The high level of competition makes it enjoyable and exciting to rodeo fans and contestants alike. The Bitterroot welcomes cowboys from across the country and several other countries to this classic event. They may be seniors, but they don’t need rockin’ chairs. The event includes bareback riding, barrel racing, bull riding, calf roping, ribbon roping, saddle bronc riding, team roping and steer wrestling. Watch the Ladies Breakaway, which is a new event for National Senior Pro Rodeo Association. For more information, go to www.seniorrodeo.com. 41. Bitterroot Glory Days, Hamilton, July 2-4 This three-day event at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds will have something for everyone! Almost every event throughout the weekend will be free to the public. An equestrian parade on Friday will kick off the weekend, followed by the Senior Pro Rodeo in the main arena. Rodeo participants will entertain in the First Interstate Center with a Cowboy Jam later that evening. Rodeo finals are on Saturday night. There will be a Cowboy Challenge, a Hoe-Down Dance, and a Montana Market and children’s activities throughout the weekend. A great Fireworks Show will be the fitting finale to the weekend. 42. Summer Fest, Bands, Balloons & BBQ, Stevensville, July 9-10 Blacksmith Brewing celebrates summer with a weekend-long festival in Stevensville. Enjoy the music of local bands, the flavor of local beer and the


101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 23


24 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

whimsy of flight as 10 or more hot-air balloonists from around the west converge on the Bitterroot Valley for this unique and free event. There will also be skydivers, horse shoe tournaments, and a BBQ rib cook off. In the evenings, the crowd will enjoy a Balloon Glow when pilots of the tethered balloons ignite their burners simultaneously, causing the colorful balloons to glow against the black skies. The event is based out of the St. Mary’s Pavilion. Tethered balloon rides will be available throughout the festival. All balloon events are weather permitting. 43. Sapphire Quilt Show, July 9-10 Under the wild Montana sky, the Sapphire Quilt Show is sponsored by the Sapphire Quilters of Stevensville, featuring quilter Becky Wilcox and fabric artist Heidi Zielinski. The Quilt Show includes a sewing machine raffle, a quilt raffle, a silent auction, a boutique, door prizes and viewers’ choice. For more information visit sapphirequilters. org/2010-quilt-show.html, or call Rebecca Stapert at (406) 273-9078, rstapert@montana.com. Photo Will Moss

'2//$5

RENT A CAR 324 South First Street Hamilton, Montana 59840

406.375.9160


101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 25

44. Big Sky Fox Trotter Association’s Annual Point Show, Corvallis, July 9-12 The Big Sky Fox Trotter Association holds its annual point show at the Sapphire Event Center in Corvallis. This show, highlighting the Missouri Fox Trotter horse, features classes for youth and adult competitors in versatility, ranch horse (including cow classes), model, and performance. It draws competitors from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Missouri and Montana. For more information, go to bigskyfta.org. 45. Bull-O-Rama, the Elite Bull Connection is the real thing, Darby, July 15 If you have never seen professional bull riders handle two thousand pounds of meanness and muscle, this is an event you have got to see. In bull riding, the rider tightly fastens one hand to the bull with a long braided rope and tries to stay mounted for at least eight seconds, while the animal attempts to buck him off. It has been called “the most dangerous eight seconds in sports.” You will see top Elite Professional Bull Riders face off with the top bucking bulls from Priest Creek, Hofer and Hale Bucking Bulls. Food, beer, bands and rodeo make this an exciting day. For more information, go to www.southvalleyevents.com.

The Bull-O-Rama in Darby gets more popular every year.

Photo Will Moss

46. Darby Logger Days, Darby, July 16-18 In mid-July, Darby comes alive with a timber sports event that you won’t want to miss! That’s when Logger Days celebrates the skill and bravery of those who work in the time honored tradition of logging. The laid back atmosphere of this fun and family oriented weekend draws thousands of enthusiastic onlookers and expert competitors. Logger Days features events that celebrate and honor Darby’s logging traditions. Nineteen of those traditional logging events have been scheduled, including axe throwing, pole climbing, log roll and cross cut sawing. Kid’s events include a watermelon eating contest and Sawdust Pile. For more information, go to www. darbyloggerdays.com. 47. Get our your bicycles and bring the family to Tour of the Bitterroot, July 17 The Bitterroot Land Trust sponsors this cycling event, which 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 non-competitive events for all ability levels. You can try the 46-mile Skalkaho Mountain Tour (½ road ride – ½ dirt ride), 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 enjoy the after-party at Red Barn Bicycles. This year we’re encouraging participants to raise pledges for the Land Trust to earn prizes. For more information, go to: www. tourofthebitterroot.org. 48. Attend the National Cutting Horse Show, the world’s most popular equine sport, Corvallis, July 17-19 This nationally sanctioned Cutting Horse Competition is for all levels of horse and rider and is held in a beautiful ranch setting in the Bitterroot Valley. Experience the thrill of highly intelligent, athletic horses and riders testing their skills against wily cattle. When American cowboys of the 1800s began using their best horses to separate individual cows from a herd, it was part of the daily job. They would never have imagined cutting as one of the world’s most popular equine sports. National Cutting Horse Association has given the


26 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

105 East Main - Hamilton 406-363-2400 wwww.bitterrootvalleychamber.com

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cutting horse new life in one of the world’s most exciting equine events. For more information, go to montanacha.com. 49. Strawberry Festival, Darby, July 17 The Strawberry Festival in downtown Darby is an old-fashioned ice cream social with music provided by local musicians. Enjoy angel food cake with strawberries and ice cream. A raffle includes such items as a handmade quilt, a deacon’s bench, gift certificates, and a handmade elk horn knife. For more information, call (406) 381-5114. 50. Daly Days, Hamilton, July 23-24 Downtown Hamilton and the Daly Mansion celebrate Daly Days in honor of Hamilton’s heritage. Step back in time as life during the turn of the century is re-created at the Daly Mansion. Saturday’s festivities include re-enactors in the house and on the grounds, demonstrations, antique farm equipment and cars, carriage rides down Providence Way, local artisans, music, pony rides for the children, the Daly family home movies, tours, and more. Downtown Hamilton will be bustling with activities and events, including a street dance on Friday night, Saturday sidewalk sales, vintage car show, and pine wood derby. For more information, go to: www. bitterrootvalleychamber.com. 51. Bitterroot Microbrew Fest, Hamilton, July 24 The Bitterroot Microbrew Fest is a tasting event that offers a variety of food, microbrews and non-alcoholic beverages. Several valley bands converge to entertain you throughout the

101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 27

evening - a great time will be had by everyone! This is the place to be if you would like to sample the different tastes or just stick to your favorite one and sit back and enjoy. The Microbrew Fest is held in conjunction with Daly Days, which features downtown merchants having huge sales! There are crafts, children’s games, and music. Food vendors along with valley merchants display their merchandise. For more information, go to: www. bitterrootvalleychamber.com.

Photo Will Moss

Hidde Legend winery offers samples during the annual Microbrew Fest in Hamilton

52. Get your heart pumping at the Lake Como Triathlon II, July 24 The Lake Como Triathlon will challenge and inspire you in this beautiful mountain lake location, the Bitterroot National Forest. Triathletes regard Lake Como, (named after Lake Como in Italy) as a perfect place to have a triathlon. The event is limited to 100 racers. The 1500 yard swim is in icemelt Lake Como, wetsuits highly recommended. The 12.6 mile mountain bike race is on Forest


28 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

Service Roads and three single tracks. The overall elevation change is 2,280. The 7.7 mile 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. For more information, go to: www.trifind.com/re_12146/ LakeComoTriathlon.html. 53. Hardtimes Bluegrass Festival, Darby, July 24-26 The 2nd Annual Hardtimes Bluegrass Festival will be held on July 24-26. This is a brand new festival with an “old-timey mountain” feel that features traditional bluegrass music of ten bands. The festival is an affordable family friendly gathering geared towards having good clean fun while celebrating the joys and sounds of traditional bluegrass music. The admission fees are $10 for the weekend for adults, and for 12 years and under, the fee is $5 for the weekend. Bring your lawn chairs, and campers are welcome. For more information, call (406) 821-3777. 54. The Renaissance Faire, Hamilton, July 31 Take a one day trip back in time! The Hamilton Players’ Renaissance Faire is an epic reimagining of an historical Renaissance market place. Costumed vendors, specialty handcrafts, traditional food, demonstrations, hourly performances, and games, along with a heavy sprinkling of Lords, Ladies, wenches, pirates, and even a fairy or two! With a restricted beer garden for adults and plenty of fun games and activities for families, this is one event you won’t want to miss! Costumed participation is encouraged and costume rental and consultation is available at the Hamilton Playhouse. For more information, go to: www.hamiltonplayers.com or call 406.375.9050, Tues.-Fri., 1pm-5pm. 55. Creamery Picnic, Stevensville, August 6-7 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 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. For more information, go to: creamerypicnic.com. 56. Scottish Irish Festival, Hamilton, August 27-29 Ce’ad Mil, (a hundred thousand welcomes!) If you happen to find yourself in Hamilton in late August, you might be amazed by what you see there. There will be traditional Scottish and Celtic music, with modern bagpipes playing, some spirited highland dancing and an Irish fling or two, vigorous Highland competitions, delicious and authentic Scottish and Irish foods, historic and cultural demonstrations of note, and perhaps a Gathering of the Clans All this will take place at the Daly Mansion in Hamilton. After all, Hamilton is Scottish and Daly was Irish, so what could be more appropriate? For more information, go to www.bitterrootscottishirishfestival.org.

Photo Will Moss

Local community organizations sell everything from caramel apples to stirfried noodles at the Ravalli County Fair in Hamilton.


101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 29

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30 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

The Brooks Christmas Every Day

57. Ravalli County Fair, Hamilton, September 1-4 The Ravalli County Fair is over 100 years old. It is the largest event in Ravalli County and offers something for everyone. The old style country fair is held every year, starting on the Wednesday before Labor Day. A carnival will delight the children. Commercial exhibitors show the latest in technology and gift ideas. A wide selection of delicious foods is available from more than 25 food booths. There are 4-H and Open Class Exhibits, a clown, hypnotist, magician, petting zoo, antique cars, puppeteer, exotic animal display, ostrich racing and much more. For more information, go to: www.ravallicountyfair.org. 58. NorthWest HoneyFest, Stevensville, September 11 NorthWest HoneyFest will take place from 10 am to 5 pm in Lewis and Clark Park in historic Stevensville. There will be honey-based food, honey tastings of delicious honey from all over the county, numerous bee product vendors, and honey-based wine and beer. The day is filled with educational demonstrations about beekeeping, honey and the importance of the honey bee to our agriculture, industries and humanity. Admire the work of local artisans in the Art and Craft booths, and enjoy entertainment under the Big Sky of Montana. For more information, go to www.mainstreetstevensville. com or northwesthoneyfest.com. 59. Stevensville Scarecrow Festival, Stevensville, October 1 Stevensvilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Annual Scarecrow Festival is a famously popular 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. For more information, go to: www.mainstreetstevensville. com.

1074 Eastside Highway

961-6895

OPEN Mon-Sat 10am-5pm

60. McIntosh Apple Day, Hamilton, October 2 Billed as the biggest bake sale under the Big Sky, McIntosh Apple Day has Apple butter bubbling over


101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 31

an open fire, 700 hand crafted Apple pies, fresh Apple juice being squeezed, Caramel Apples, a giant Farmers Market with arts and crafts, kids games galore, live music all day, a mega-raffle, fall vegetables, fruits and lots of specialty food items. Last year’s attendance was 10,000. For more information, go to: www.brvhsmuseum. org.

Photo Will Moss

Home made apple pies for sale to benefit the Ravalli County Museum at McIntosh Apple Days in Hamilton.

61. Bitterroot Harvest Festival, Hamilton, October 2 Bitterroot Harvest Festival is a fun and elegant event where participants have an opportunity to taste a wide variety of wines and sample delicious hors d’oeuvres prepared by local chefs. This is an evening where everyone has a great time tasting, sampling and visiting with friends.

There is also a silent and live auction held during the event with proceeds donated to a worthy organization. Do plan to attend this Chamber event if you are looking for a memorable evening! For more information, go to: www. bitterrootvalleychamber.com. 62. A Christmas in Hamilton Celebration, Nov 26-27 Join us in Hamilton to celebrate the Christmas season with a beautiful Parade of Lights on Friday night ending with a traditional Lighting of the Tree Ceremony. You can take a carriage ride, shop in unique stores offering wonderful presents to put under your Christmas tree, and warm up next to the cheery burning barrels. Santa Claus is there to bend an ear to the children and pose for photographs. A Christmas in Hamilton Celebration will be held throughout Hamilton. For more information, call the Bitterroot Valley Chamber at (406) 363-2400, or go to www. bitterrootvalleychamber.com 63. A Montana Country Christmas - Shop for Made in Montana Christmas Gifts, Dec 3-4, Stevensville This Christmas Gift Fair 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 Country Christmas Gift Fair will be located in various areas in Stevensville. For more information, call (406) 777-3773, or go to www. mainstreetstevensville.com.

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32 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

64. Winterfest 2011, Darby, January 29 Darby is the place for anyone looking for a respite from the winter doldrums. Winterfest 2011, hosted by the Town of Darby’s Parks and Recreation Committee, will feature a Mutt Pull, a bonfire at the Darby Ice Skating Rink and a dance with live music. The Mutt Pull is open to dogs of all sizes and breeds. The dogs are hooked to dogsleds and race 30 to 50 feet. It’s a timed event, with four weight divisions, so small dogs do not compete against large dogs. Any type of dog can enter. Additional events could include skate skiing demo and clinic, and an ice sculpting event. 65. Check out two great events at Lost Trail Powder Mountain, Feb 19 and Mar 26, south of Darby, The Lost Trail Steakfry has been a tradition at Lost Trail Powder Mountain for 25 years. This fundraiser for the ski patrol offers a number of events throughout the day, capped off by the torchlight parade performed by the ski patrol. Skiers and boarders can check out the slopestyle competition and live music. Skiesta is another

Lost Trail Powder Mountain’ annual Skiesta.

Photo Will Moss

annual event at Lost Trail generally held toward the end of the ski season. There are competitions throughout the day. A barbeque and live music tops off a great day at the mountain. Costumes are optional, but highly recommended! These events are fun for the whole family! For more information, visit www.losttrail.com.


101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 33

ornate pottery to luxurious textiles to paintings that reflect the beauty of our surroundings. In addition to the many visual artists who live here, the cultural appetite of the Bitterroot is also fed by two excellent amateur theatre groups, a superb performing artists series, an outdoor venue presenting musical talent, an excellent choral group, and a great many smaller musical groups and dance studios who entertain us frequently.

Photo Will Moss

66. Rocky Mountain Snowmobile Hillclimb Race, March 12-13 Race weekend at Lost Trail Powder Mountain is an official Rocky Mountain Snowmobile Hillclimb Association event. It honors David Shepherd, the world champion snowmobile rider who died in 2001 in an avalanche. The event raises money to benefit area youth organizations. The event is a recipe for fun. It is man, mountain and machine, with lots of snow, steep and deep, an event of pure adrenaline.

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67. See Artists at work in their own studios, various locations, June 4-6 Over two dozen artists and gallery affiliates are participating in the second annual Artists Along the Bitterroot Open Studio Tour. Studios include fused glass artistry, leatherworking, painting, sculpting, woodworking, fine art jewelry, silk painting, pottery, and photography. An opening night reception on June 4th will be hosted by the Ravalli County Museum in Hamilton. Studios will be open Saturday and Sunday, June 5th & 6th from 10:30 am to 6 pm. All events are free to the public. Green signs along the highway lead to a different and exciting way to spend a day in the Bitterroot. For more information and downloadable maps go to www.artistsalongthebitterroot.com or call (406) 777-2954. 68. Montana Professional Artists Association Show and Sale, Hamilton, June 11-13 This annual art show and sale, held at the Bitterroot River Inn & Conference Center in Hamilton, features noted artists from all corners of Montana showing oil paintings, watercolors, pastels and classic bronzes. Join the artists Friday night at 6 pm for a reception with complimentary


34 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

hors dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;oeuvres and a full no-host bar. On Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am on, see painting and sculpture demonstrations and plein air painting around the pond and by the Bitterroot River as the show continues. Admission is free. For more information, go to www. montanaprofessionalartistsassoc.com or e-mail info@montanaprofessioanlartistsassoc.com. 69. Start your art collection at Art in the Park, Hamilton, July 23-24 The Bitterroot Arts Guild sponsors this fine arts and quality crafts show, which features artists from throughout the state. Talent abounds and both the unusual as well as the usual craft items are offered. If you are looking for something beautiful, come to Art in the Park for a great day of fun. Call 821-4678 for more information. 70. Lewis & Clark Trail en Plein Air, various locations, October 7-10 This experience is for plein air artists, from beginner to advanced, using any painting or drawing medium. Artists can paint at their choices of premier locations including mountains, streams and rivers in fall color. Wildlife is plentiful along the way; rivers and lakes reflect fall colors and the wild Montana skies are constantly changing. Local guides and maps of the best areas will be available to the artists. Places to paint include the Metcalf Wildlife Refuge, multiple Bitterroot River access areas and bridges, two park locations, the historic downtown area of Hamilton and the grounds of the Historic Marcus Daly Mansion. Information and prospectus available on-line at: www.montanaprofessionalartistsassoc.com/ pleinair.html

featuring

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71. Ravalli County Museum series of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Artists in Residenceâ&#x20AC;? programs, Hamilton The Ravalli County Museum offers monthly â&#x20AC;&#x153;Artists in Residenceâ&#x20AC;? programs which feature the works of various artists. Some who have been featured in the past include photographer Barbara Michelman, ceramicist Randi Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien, abstract impressionist Catheryn Sugg and many others. Come to the Friday evening reception to meet

File Photo

the artists featured for the month and reserve your space for the workshops they offer. Refreshments are offered. For more information, go to: www. brvhsmuseum.org 72. Take an Art Workshop with a local artist Artists Along the Bitterroot is a Bitterroot Valley organization of artists, representing a wide variety of mediums. This summer, several AAB artists will be offering workshops to encourage the public to enrich their love of the arts by learning new skills

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101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 35


36 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

and techniques in a variety of mediums. Workshops range from half-day seminars to three or four day intensives, and will be offered in such diverse subjects as painting, fused glass, woodworking and photography. For more information, visit the website: artistsalongthebitterroot.com, or call (406) 777-2954. Class sizes are limited and advance registration is required.

Photo Will Moss

73. Visit one of the valley’s many art galleries Many galleries in the valley represent superb artists who have made the Bitterroot their home. You’ll find paintings, sculpture, jewelry, prints, ceramics, hand-crafted furniture and more. Every piece at Art Focus Gallery in Hamilton is beautiful and unique and created by Montana artists. The art gallery at the Frame Shop & Gallery in Hamilton offers local artists a spacious and tasteful space for exhibitions of original art. The Ponderosa Art Gallery south of Hamilton has a unique variety of original paintings, sculptures, and woodcarvings including wildlife, western, Native American and landscape. Aspen Cove in Darby is literally brimming with handcrafted goods, furniture and artwork, all from valley artisans. Young artists get their turn in the spotlight at Stevensville’s River’s Mist Gallery of Fine Art. 74. Enjoy a variety of professional performances The Bitterroot Performing Arts Council is a nonprofit organization which presents the Hamilton Performing Arts Series from October through April, as well as additional stand-alone events and educational outreach experiences for local students and the adult community. Led by a nine-member board, an executive director, several part-time employees and a host of volunteers, the BPAC presents a wide array of nationally and internationally recognized professional performing artists across all arts disciplines, including a variety of music genres, dance, and theatre. Tickets to the series may be purchased individually or as a season subscription. For more information, call (406) 363.7946 or go to www.bitterrootperformingarts.org

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75. Listen to music and see the art at Lapinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Garden Lapinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Garden, located north of Sula at the southern end of the Bitterroot Valley, features artists offering a wide variety of original music from May to October each year. The venue is an outdoor amphitheatre, with a covered stage and optional covering for the audience. There is seating for 100 people with additional seating around the venue. Fire pits and propane heaters are available in the event the weather is rainy or cool. Bring a picnic basket and your favorite beverage. Concerts are usually booked on Saturdays. For more information, go to www.lapinsgarden.com.

101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 37

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76. Attend a Montana A Cappella Society concert The Montana A Cappella Society is a remarkable vocal ensemble from the Bitterroot Valley which has received wide audience acclaim. The Society performs regionally, promoting awareness and appreciation of the art of a cappella. Under the direction of Artistic Director Don Matlock, these non-professional singers create their own unique blend and signature sound. The director encourages the group to sing with â&#x20AC;&#x153;one voiceâ&#x20AC;? and to tell a story with the music. Typical selections range from Renaissance madrigals to vocal jazz, classic love songs, patriotic, folk tunes and toetapping gospel. For more information, and a current listing of their concerts and available CDs, go to www.montanaacappella.org. 77. Enjoy a theatrical production at the Hamilton Playhouse The Hamilton Players has provided live, quality theatre for over thirty years, building a large

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supportive audience. This relationship has inspired many community members to take the stage and join the Hamilton Players family. They are always looking to expand their family in both performers and volunteers. Their goal is to provide high-quality community theater to the Bitterroot Valley while fostering local talent and to provide the opportunity to children to develop life-skills through their involvement in theater arts. They produce five primary productions each season, as well as three Children’s Workshop productions and a host of on and off-site special events. For more information, go to www.hamiltonplayers. com. 78. Be a star at the Stevensville Playhouse Housed in a former movie theatre, the Stevensville Playhouse was transformed by a major renovation into a thriving community theatre, providing art patrons with original and classic theatrical productions. Community members participate in productions at the Playhouse in a variety of ways. Opportunities for expression, education and involvement abound at the Playhouse. Many actors, young and old, receive training and inspiration seldom found in smaller communities. Children’s workshops teach aspiring young thespians how to express their creativity. Even those who perform supporting roles in maintenance, props, service and costuming, find fulfillment and a deeper sense of community at the Stevensville Playhouse. For more information, go to www. stevensvilleplayhouse.org. 79. Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, Hamilton The Hamilton Players are once more bringing Montana Shakespeare in the Parks to the Bitterroot. The performance of Julius Caesar will take place at River Park in Hamilton. Montana Shakespeare in the Parks has been touring Montana and elsewhere since 1973, with performances of professional outdoor theatre. An outreach program of Montana State University, it is the only completely professional touring theatre program in the state that produces Shakespeare’s plays, the only Shakespearean company in the

country to reach as extensively into rural areas, and the only company in the state that offers its performances free to the public. For more information, go to www.hamiltonplayers.com. 80. Get information on any subject, learn about our history or read a good book The Bitterroot Public Library in Hamilton, www. bitterrootpubliclibrary.org; the Darby Public Library, www.darbylibrary.net; and the North Valley Public Library in Stevensville, www. northvalleylibrary.org, offer safe and welcoming environments for people to meet and interact with others in the community. They provide information services to answer your questions and can give instructions to help people find, evaluate, and use information effectively. They are excellent resources for learning more about the heritage of the valley’s communities. They also have materials, classes, programs and services to meet recreational needs and personal interests. They provide WiFi Hot Spots and have computers available for use. Take advantage of these excellent resources.

Photo Will Moss


101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 39


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Photo Will Moss

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Agriculture In T he Bitterroot The traditional Bitterroot landscape was a checkerboard of small to midsize farms and ranches. Many still exist today and have much to offer. 81. Visit Huls Dairy to see an ultra modern dairy in operation The Bitterroot used to be dotted with dozens of commercial dairies; today only six remain. Huls Dairy is the largest, now 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. Hulsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; state of the art operation has a carousel and anaerobic digester that produces energy for the dairy and the grid. The digester also produces mulch, called Afterburner Boost, which can be purchased at the dairy. For a tour call (406) 961-8887. For more information, go to www.hulsdairy.com.

101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 41

82. Tour a Historic Feed Mill in Hamilton Lakeland Feed and Supply operates a feed mill that has been in Hamilton since the 1930â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. Much of the milling equipment from that period is still in use. Using many local grains, the mill makes animal feeds of all kinds every day. This is a fascinating look at how the feed for your horses, cattle, sheep, chickens, and many other animals 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 the mill at (406) 363-2334. 83 Visit an Emu Ranch The Wild Rose Emu Ranch is home to approximately 120 emus. Emu ranching has taken agriculture to a new level, with this 95% usable bird, which provides a healthy red meat as well as remarkable oil for the skin; strong, supple leather; silky and bristly feathers; and 5 ½ inch dark green eggs. Emus are native to Australia. Some scientists speculate that the Emu has remained essentially unchanged for


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as long as 80 million years. They have no wing muscles, so they cannot fly, but an Emu can run 35-40 miles per hour for short distances. For more information, go to www.wildroseemu.com. 84. Take in a Farmers Market in Stevensville, Hamilton or Darby or visit a local Farm Stand Darby, Hamilton and Stevensville have a weekly Farmers’ Market in season. The produce is renowned for being locally grown and very fresh. Farmers markets typically offer locally grown bedding plants, herbs, flowers and farm grown seasonal fruits and vegetables, baked goods, jewelry. See Calendar of Events for dates and day of the week. If you’re not here on a market day, stop by a local farm stand. You’ll find fresh fruit and

vegetables at Homestead Organics Farm Stand south of Hamilton (open Tuesdays and Thursdays), and Moeller’s Farm Stand south of Corvallis (open 7 days a week during the growing season). Call Homestead Organics (406) 363-6627 or Moeller’s (406) 961-3389, for hours and directions. 85. Bite into a crunchy apple and taste some delicious apple cider Late summer and fall bring apple season. For fresh cider (TIP: Freeze some for Thanksgiving!) visit the Frost Top Orchard (with Macintosh, Spartan, Honey Crisp and more varieties) near Corvallis. Call (406) 961-1509 for hours and directions. Frost Top also grows amazing onions! Mountain View Orchards, also near Corvallis, produces over 20 varieties of applies. You can visit these orchards in September and October. Call (406) 961-3434 for hours and directions. For more information, go to mcintoshcider@montana.com

Other Interesting T hings To Do There are so many interesting things to do in the Bitterroot that are difficult to categorize but which you will enjoy, many are very unique. The western experience is very much a part of Montana and you will feel it at many of these activities. The most impressive thing you will feel is the warm reception you will experience from our residents who are glad to welcome you to the Bitterroot Valley.

The pumpkin weigh-off at the Hamilton Farmers market.

Photo Will Moss

86. Introduce your children to horses at Parsons Pony Farm near Florence Parsons’ Pony Farm teaches children of all ages to ride a friendly, gentle pony. There is no lower


101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 43

Photo Will Moss

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 and riders, or wait at a nearby comfortable shaded picnic table. Be sure to bring a camera! For more information, go to www.parsonsponies. com. 87. Take the whole family to Qwivals Family Fun Center near Victor At Qwivals Family Fun Center, south of Victor, off Highway 93, there is something for everyone! Purchase a Fun Pass which includes unlimited MiniGolf, Moon Jumpers, Bumper Cars, Water War Balloons and Go-Kart rides. In the autumn, get lost in the Famous Corn Maze or climb aboard the oldfashioned hay wagon and take a tour around the park. You can choose your Halloween pumpkin in the pumpkin patch too. Then step inside a haunted house, full of animated beasts, lights and a 10â&#x20AC;&#x2122; spinning vortex tunnel and walk through the haunted ghost town, with an old creepy mine shaft and old buildings! For more information, go to www.qwivals.com.

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88. 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 â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Dollhouse.â&#x20AC;? More than a thousand dolls are displayed in antique glass cases in the showroom of Theresaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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 resembled American presidents, Hollywood actors, royal families and fairy tale characters. 89. Walk in the Forest When the Moon is Full The Bitterroot National Forest offers a series of interpretive â&#x20AC;&#x153;Moon Walksâ&#x20AC;? on the nights of a full moon from June through October each year. The walks are based on the book by Francis Hammerstrom, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Walk When the Moon is Full,â&#x20AC;? which is about her children and the nature walks they took every month under the full moon. Sit around a campfire to hear ghosts of the Bitterroot Valley share stories of their lives and untimely deaths. Listen to stories about the McGruder massacre and a forest lookout who met an untimely death, and be entertained by other terrifying, true tales. Bring a lawn chair and flashlight, and dress warmly. 90. Buy a book on outdoor adventures in the Bitterroot Several bookstores in the valley offer an excellent selection of books about activities, such as hiking or fishing, that are specific to the Bitterroot Valley. Chapter One Book Store, off Main street in Hamilton, has a broad selection of new books, and a used paperback exchange. The Montana/Regional book selection is extensive. They also have an excellent Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Book section. This store frequently has authors in to read from their new books; check the local newspaper, or for more information, go to chapter1bookstore.com. Liber Books, 363-5120, and the Bitterroot Christian Bookstore in Hamilton, (406) 363-7701 and Stevensville, 777-5402 are other choices for the discerning reader.


101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 45

art galleries and other locations of interest. The guests are given a personalized tour of each facility. One week the tour goes to the South Valley; the other week, they tour the North Valley, with stops in Hamilton on either tour. Learn more about your communities and what it has to offer the valleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s visitors, as well as local residents by going on this tour. For more information, call Pat at the Chamber, (406) 3632400.

Local author on local trails

Photo Will Moss

91. Take the Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce Lodging & Culture Tour In May each year, the Tourism/Marketing Committee of the Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce offers a two-day tour to interested parties, which features visits to various valley lodging and cultural facilities, museums, restaurants,

92. Experience the adrenaline pumping action of skydiving Skydiving is one of the most exciting sports of the modern age. Whether you are a first time skydiver or an experienced jumper, you can experience the exhilaration and enjoyment of skydiving. There are three methods that a first time skydiver can use to make their first jumpâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a tandem skydive offers a quick and easy introduction to free fall, a static line descent can be made after a ground training course, and an accelerated free fall is an intensive course which allows for rapid progression in skydiving. For more information, go


46 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

to www.montanaskydiving.com/skydive/hamiltonravalli/hamilton-skydiving.html or call Montana SkyDiving at (800) 766-0446. 93. Melt away the stress of traveling and devote an afternoon to yourself Feel the tension slip away as you experience a blissful session with a qualified massage therapist. Masseuses who offer the gamut of therapies and massage styles are numerous in the Bitterroot. They offer a variety of massage treatments, including Therapeutic, Swedish, Deep Tissue, Hot Stone, Reiki, CranioSacran, and Shiatsu. Ask your lodging representative for referrals to the best place to find a relaxing message. To search online for masseuses, visit www.findmymasseuse.com/find-Montanamasseuse.htm. Faces by Laura is a complete skin care facility which offers a variety of facials, body waxing, micro-dermabrasion, Solitone light therapy and a full line of Yon-Ka skin care. www. facesbylaura.com.

111 Years of

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

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94. Soak in a hot springs for total relaxation Lost Trail Hot Springs Resort in Sula offers lodging, swimming and fine dining in a heavily forested mountain atmosphere. Hot springs feed an outdoor soaking and swimming pool, the perfect way to relax after a day of hiking or skiing. Lost Trails is located near the Lost Trail Ski Area. The natural mineral water is fed directly into a large outdoor swimming pool which in winter is covered by a huge dome to keep the temperature between 92° -94° degrees, depending on the weather. For a complete list of Montana hot springs, visit www.soakersbible.com or www.hotspringsenthusiast.com/Montana.asp 95. Find your inner self walking the Redsun Labyrinth Redsun Labyrinth is an eleven circuit labyrinth located west of Victor. The original 800-year-old pattern for this labyrinth is in Chartres Cathedral. Made of fieldstone, it is 108’ in diameter, one of the largest in the United States. The berm around it is three feet high and topped with cottonwood logs. The inside of the base is circled with 173 lavender plants. This ancient sacred tool is used as a walking meditation. The total walk in and out is 4/5 of a mile.


101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 47

foot spinning room, a 25 yard pool, 2 indoor tennis courts, 3 racquetball courts, and classes of many types. www.thecanyonsathleticclub.com. Also in Hamilton, the Iron Horse Fitness Center has state of the art weight machines and cardio with TVs, steam rooms and saunas, childcare and tanning booths. Right to Bare Arms in Darby has a 5,000 square foot facility with state-of-the-art cardio and weight machines, free weights, tanning, and sauna. www.rtbamt.com.

Photo Will Moss

The labyrinth is a wonderful place for a circle ceremony among friends. 96. Try one of the Bitterroot’s excellent fitness centers A number of excellent fitness centers in the valley offer day and other short-term passes for the visitor. In Hamilton, the Canyons Athletic Club features a 1,600 square foot aerobics room, a 1,200 square

97. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a product Made in Montana Big Sky Candy is a family owned business located in Hamilton on Main Street. They make chocolates, brittles, toffee, caramel, crèmes, truffles, and novelty items from scratch, inside and out, the old-fashioned way. When you walk in the door, you’ll be greeted by the wonderful aroma of freshly made candy still cooking on the stove. The Old West Gallery & Antiques in Darby, on Main Street, is a true old west candy store that offers over 600 kinds of candy, chocolates, and fabulous homemade fudge. Customers


48 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

from all over the world stop by Charbonneauâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chocolate Factory (off Eastside Highway) when they are in Stevensville visiting family and friends. For more information, go to bigskycandy.com, www.montanaoldwestgallery.com 98. Go Downtown for First Friday in Stevensville or Hamilton Communities large and small host events to encourage more folks to shop downtown. Stevensville began celebrating the First Friday of every month a number of years ago with great success. Stores in Stevensville host open houses, artists display their latest work, special events with music and wonderful food are offered. For more information, go to www.mainstreetstevensville. com. Hamilton recently joined the celebration and is offering art shows, refreshments, special discounts and other enticements to help promote local businesses and create an exciting atmosphere in downtown Hamilton. Many of the businesses also host out-of-downtown businesses.

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101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 49

99. Visit a local Micro-Brewery in Stevensville or Hamilton For years, Montanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s micro brewing community has been gaining steam and making a splash with great ales, lagers and pilsners. Bitter Root Brewing in downtown Hamilton offers live music every Thursday and Saturday Nights. A wide range of handcrafted ales are offered, including Hamilton microbrewers of Winter Warmer, IPA, Porter, Sawtooth, Nut Brown, and Amber Ale. For more information, go to bitterrootbrewing.com. An old buggy salesroom and blacksmith shop transformed into a microbrewery, Blacksmith Brewing Company is located on Main Street in Stevensville and offers live music on Wednesday evenings. The Brewery offers five basic beers: Brickhouse Blonde, Twisted Paddle Pale Ale, Burnt Fork Amber, Cutthroat IPA, and Pulaski Porter. For more information, go to blacksmithbrewing. com, or www.bitterrootbrewing.com.

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100. Tour a Montana winery near Victor or Darby A visit to Hidden Legend Winery in Victor is a tastefully rewarding experience. All wines offered are made from local ingredients gathered from the fields and mountain valleys surrounding Hamilton. The winery uses 100 percent Montana-made honey to handcraft a pure honey mead, a dark mead, three berry meads, and a spiced mead. For more information, go to www.hiddenlegendwinery. com. Trapper Peak Winery in Darby takes pride in producing affordable wines of impressive quality. Rising above the valley, at an elevation of 10,157 feet, is the Trapper Peak for which the winery is named. The beautiful Bitterroot Valley is blessed with plentiful fertility and mild weather, perfect for cellaring the wines we enjoy so much. For more information, visit www.trapperpeakwinery.com.

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101. Treat yourself to a night on the town Every community in the Bitterroot has restaurants, bars, saloons and casinos. Live music, horse shoes or catching a sports game on a big screen TV are often offered. Many of the bars, breweries and saloons offer live music and DJs on a regular basis. Are you in the mood to dine out? Tantalize your taste buds with the myriad of cuisines offered at our local restaurants. Enjoy the theater, a rodeo or a concert. Refer to the Calendar of Events for the special events happening on the weekend of your visit. Did we leave out your favorite thing to do in the Bitterroot Valley? Submit it for consideration in the 2011 publication by sending an email to 101@bitterrootvalleychamber.com. Include a description of the the thing to do, and a website and/or a contact name and telephone number.

Photo Will Moss


101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 51

BITTERROOT COMMUNITIES Ravalli Republic

Photo Will Moss

Florence The earliest settlers called the town â&#x20AC;&#x153;One Horse,â&#x20AC;? 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 Florence-Carlton School District.


52 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

Photo Will Moss

Once a month in the Valley Drug and Variety buliding on Main Street, Stevensville, the engineers run the trains, public welcome.

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 pharma-

cist, 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. Fr. Ravalli is buried in the cemetery at the Historic St. Mary’s Mission, which also offers a museum and restored original buildings, including Fr. Ravalli’s chapel, from the early history of the state. featuring

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The Place to Relax for Lunch in Historic Downtown Stevensville! Photo Will Moss

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 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.

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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, according 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,

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Main Street, Hamilton

Photo Will Moss


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 Minnesota 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

bradley o’s homestead

101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 55

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 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


56 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

moving of the fire department truck doors from the front to the building’s State Street side.

Photo Will Moss

Darby The town of Darby is the southernmost of the county’s incorporated cities. It got its name in 1888 from postmaster James Darby. The town has survived three major fires that destroyed most of the buildings on its Main Street (i.e., Highway 93). Darby’s original economy was based on mining and fur trading, but in the early 1900s the town benefitted from a booming wood demand from the Anaconda Mining Company. That was followed by an apple boom, and then farming, ranching and the growth of the further timber industry. Environmental concerns and litigation restricted that industry and helped close several mills in recent decades. Darby’s downtown maintains an Old West feeling, with a mix of older buildings and newer ones.


Sula The Sula area, also called Ross Hole, was the site where the Lewis and Clark expedition first met the 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.

101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 57



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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 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.

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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 nolonger present town of Alta, they built the Forest Serviceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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 Idahoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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 flew over the National Forest and the tops of Trapper Peak, El Capitan and St. Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Peak. Two years later, a 650-acre fire was observed from a survey plane, which dropped a map of the fireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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 magazineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s January 1928 issue.

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101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 59

HISTORIC FORT OWEN By PERRY BACKUS Ravalli Republic

If

you are looking to learn a bit about the challenges the first Europeans faced in settling in the Bitterroot Valley, Fort Owen just ousdide ot Stevensville is a good place to stop. When Major John Owen decided back in 1850 to set up a trading post smack in the middle of the Bitterroot Valley, his options were limited. He could either build one or buy the mission that Jesuits had constructed nine years earlier. Owen didn’t want to wait, so he dug deep into his pocketbook and bought the original St. Mary Mission. For the next 20 years, Owen traded with the Bitterroot Salish and others who ventured through the beautiful valley from what became known as Fort Owen. Today, visitors can take a step back in time with a visit to Fort Owen State Park. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has owned and managed the 2.2-acre site since the 1950s, which is filled with the original barracks, cabins and other artifacts. In about 30 minutes, visitors can browse through a small museum housed in preserved and partially reconstructed structures on the site. Period furnishings and artifacts are on display in the restored rooms of the east barracks. There are also a number of interpretive signs scattered about the park. Some of the original adobe walls

Photo Ravalli County Museum

of the fort also have been restored. Owen certainly must have seen it as the perfect fit for his new commercial enterprise back in 1850. A sutler by trade (a person who follows an army to sell food and supplies), Owen first showed up along the documented historical trail in the 1840s around Fort Hall. He found his way into the Bitterroot a decade later. Fortunately for historians, Owen kept a detailed journal for the next 20 years. “Because of that journal, we know a lot about Owen and his trading post,” said Vernon Carroll, an FWP interpretive specialist. “He was a unique character. … There were about 500 copies of his journal printed years ago. Many of those can still be found in local libraries.” The historical site is a popular place to hang out for local residents. “The one issue that we have there is sometimes people have a hard time finding it,” Carroll said. “It sometimes looks like we’re right in the middle of a local ranch for those visiting the fort the first time … (but) anyone intent on finding it, will. “Everyone tells us that they enjoy visiting it,” he said. “We hope more people will.” Fort Owen is 25 miles south of Missoula on U.S. 93 to Stevensville Junction, then a half-mile east on Secondary 269. For information, call 542-5500.


60 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

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SULA - Almost 70 years ago this summer, some savvy mule packers loaded up a whole series of finely balanced crates and headed up the trail at the base of a nameless point in the East Fork of the Bitterroot. It was 1939 and the Forest Service was in the midst of building boon of sorts. For something close to a decade, the agency had been strategically adding to a series of lookout towers it used to detect the first wisps of smoke of a new wildfire. At the end of this trail, some hardened men waited to help construct the newest tower on the Bitterroot National Forest. They called it McCart. Today, it’s a quiet stroll on an uphill trail through dense and cool groves of lodgepole pine and Douglas fir to reach the historic lookout. With a little imagination, you can almost hear the hollow knock of wooden crates bouncing off trees as the mule train slowly ambled its way up the winding trail so many years ago. Look close enough upon arrival and you can still see the shipping label stencils etched on the outside of the crates that were a trademark of the L-4 Lookout design. Designed by Forest Service Engineer Clyde Fickes, the lookout towers were manufactured in

101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 61

Spokane, Washington and shipped out in crates balanced perfectly to fit on the back of a mule. They arrived at the nearest shipping depot with a ticket demanding payment on delivery. Once delivered via mule train to the site of a new lookout tower, workers used everything inside and the crates themselves to build the structures that often tower over the landscape on sturdy stilts. For decades following its construction, men and women manned McCart Lookout through lonely summers watching the seemingly endless horizon hoping to catch that first glimpse of smoke. These days, the lookout is filled with a different breed. People from all over the country now sign up for a chance to spend a night or two at the McCart Lookout. The lookout is one of four lookouts and four cabins available for rent through the Bitterroot National Forest’s cabin and lookout rental program. Forest Service crews fully restored the McCart Lookout in the early 1990s and opened it to the public in 1992. There’s a narrow set of steps to navigate in order to access the tower. Once inside, the scene has changed little since the days when the lookout was


62 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

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Photo Will Moss

operational. The center of the window ringed room is filled with the Osborne Fire Finder which helped lookouts track the location of a new fire. An old phone is still attached to the pedestal. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a little wood stove for warmth and cooking and a small bed and table on the other side. And everywhere you turn, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a view that seems to go on forever. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These lookouts really allow the general public to have an opportunity to experience the life of a lookout,â&#x20AC;? said Bitterroot National Forest Historian Mary Williams. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They have a chance to learn about the fire prevention mission and how we went about it in the old days.â&#x20AC;? The McCart Lookout was the first facility the Bitterroot National Forest placed on its rental program. Almost 20 years later, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still adding to the list. Williams said the rental program has saved many of the agencyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s historical structures for future generations. All of the money raised through the program goes right back into the maintenance and restoration of the cabins and lookouts. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no question that this program has helped us preserve some of these lookouts,â&#x20AC;? Williams said.


101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 63

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“As lookouts became less critical to the Forest Service’s mission of fire prevention, they tended to get mothballed or abandoned.” Some of them simply fell away from the lack of use. “It’s healthier for a building to use it rather than have it closed up,” Williams said. “A building that’s not being used will deteriorate over time. There will be problems with rodents. A regularly used building will stay in better shape.” The cabin and lookout rental program has been growing in both numbers of buildings and public popularity all across the Forest Service’s Northern Region. The cost for renting one ranges somewhere between $25 and $60 a night. The most popular are booked solid six months in advance. There are more than 100 lookouts and cabins available to rent in Montana and Northern Idaho, said Margaret Gorski, a recreation staff member of the agency’s Northern Region. “Most of the cabins and lookouts reflect the early history of the Forest Service,” Gorski said. “Our jobs have changed. All of our lives have changed as well. We’ve moved most of our operations into town. Most of these buildings are found in isolated places that we no longer use.” That doesn’t mean they are no longer important. “There are a lot of people with ownership in these facilities,” Gorski said. “People worked there. Others brought their families and stayed there for a time. They are important to a lot of people. “There’s just a lot of history wrapped up there,” she said. Interested in reserving a backcountry cabin or lookout rental? Reservations can be made either by calling 1-877-444-6777 or online at www.Recreation. gov

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A CULTURAL GEM: THE PERFORMING aRTS sERIES SEPP JANNOTTA Staff Reporter

The Bitterroot Performing Arts Series brings world class performers to the Hamilton Performing Arts Center

The Hamilton Performing Arts Series now has

six seasons in the books bringing world-class performers to the Bitterroot Valley, an ongoing legacy of providing magical moments to local audiences. And the diversity of shows that have graced the Hamilton Performing Arts Center stage at Hamilton High School has long been the

Photo Will Moss

hallmark of a program. The music has run the spectrum from country to experimental world music to jazz to bluegrass. The other acts have wowed with acrobatics and virtuosic dance. The 2009-2010 season kicked off with a raucous show from Solas, an American-born Celtic band, and with some drum-banging good times and crazy antics in between,


101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 65

Photo Will Moss

A selection of performers from the 2009 /Series, including Billy Jonas, Wu Man, Cirque Mechanic and others.l

wrapped up with energetic performance from the Punch Brothers, a genre-bending string quintet. Its six show run was a testament to the tenacity of both the series’ organizers and to the community itself. When the series launched in 2003, the notion was to take advantage of the intimate and inviting performance space at the new high school in Hamilton. A bit of red ink led the series to move its books out of the school district, where local businesses and some major donors picked up the slack. Then in the midst of the nation’s worst economic disaster since the Great Depression, the community rallied its support behind the fundraising efforts of the series’ newly founded nonprofit entity, in a solid display of support for the mission of bringing outside talent to the local stage. What had been a question mark – would the valley respond in tough times with cash donations in the absence of major funders – became an exclamation about the nature of community. And, now, the big question mark is: what wonderful treats will the Hamilton Performing Arts Series unveil when the curtain raises on its 20102011 season.


66 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

room to roam for horse enthusiasts Photo Will Moss

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Bitterroot offers lots of room to roam for horse enthusiasts The Bitterroot Valley and surrounding mountains offer horsemen plenty of places to saddle up and spend a day or a week exploring the beautiful backcountry. Almost every trail leading in the BitterrootSelway Wilderness is open to horses, although some are more challenging than others. The folks manning the front desks at U.S. Forest Offices in Hamilton, Stevensville and Darby can offer some tips on which trails are best. Or take your pick from these favorites of the Bitter Root Country Horsemen: *Calf Creek Wildlife Management Area: Located at the end of Hamilton Heights Road just east of Hamilton, this area is closed year-round to motorized vehicles and target shooting. This area opens to riders in the middle of May. *Crazy Creek Horse Facility (Campground): Go south on Hwy 93. Go 1.7 miles south past the

101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 67

Rocky Knob Restaurant, turn right on Medicine Springs Road (this is directly across from Spring Gulch camp located on 93). Follow Medicine Springs Rd to Crazy Creek Campground, which will be on your left. This is a favorite place to ride for locals. *Fire Creek 404: Ride out from Crazy Creek Horse Facility. This trail takes off of Warm Springs 103. Start out on Warms Springs 103, probably about 1-2 miles in from the trailhead you will see a signed fork in the trail. The left fork is Fire Creek. The trail has a lot of tight switchbacks. *Fred Burr Reservoir: On Hwy 93, about 3 miles south of Victor, turn west on Bear Creek Rd. Continue to the T intersection. Turn left on Fred Burr Rd. Trailhead is at the very end of the road (you will go through some private land on the road in). Parking is a loop; thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s room for several trailers. *Overwhich Falls: This trail takes off of Warm Springs 103. Start out on Warms Springs 103, probably about 5 miles in from the trailhead you will see a signed fork in the trail. The right fork is Overwhich Falls trail. The trail is also popular with


68 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

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the ATV crowd. *Rock Creek Trail/Rock Creek Horse Camp (at Lake Como): Hwy 93 South out of Hamilton, west on road to Lake Como. Go to Rock Creek Horse Camp, which is on left side of the road, just before the boat ramp. There’s parking for several trailers. *Sawdust: This is about 10 miles up Sleeping Child Road. Parking is on a turn-out next to the road. There is enough room to park several trailers. *Tin Cup: At the south end of Darby (it still looks like you’re in town), turn west on Tin Cup Road. Go 1.5 miles to where McIntosh Road comes in on the right -- you go straight ahead; the road changes from pavement to gravel here. There is a sign that says Tin Cup Trailhead 3 miles; however, it’s been measured at only 2 miles. Follow the road those 2 miles from that point. There is a split in the road -- turn sharp left here (there is a shot-up hiking sign pointing left on the side of the road). Go over the bridge and to the first parking lot on your left. It is a pull-through; there is room for several trailers. The trailhead is just across the road from the parking area. *Warm Springs 103: Ride out from Crazy Creek Horse Facility. Follow the road or the trail up towards the standard camping area. Before that campground there is a pack bridge; that is the trailhead. Warm Springs 103 takes you to Twogood Cabin, about 6 miles up. The trail continues past the cabin several miles. It gets a bit steeper after the cabin, though there are some excellent views from there.

Photo Will Moss


St. Marys

101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 69

JEFF SCHMERKER Staff reporter

Photo Will Moss

St. Mary’s Mission is not just where

Stevensville began, or even Ravalli County -- it’s “where Montana began.” The mission, founded by Father Pierre DeSmet, a Jesuit priest, in 1841, was the seed that grew into Stevensville and also one of the earliest significant settlements in the Northern Rockies. But the history here reaches even further than 1841. In 1823, a dozen Iroquois Indians hired as trappers by the Hudson’s Bay Company spent the winter nearby and were adopted into the Salish tribe. The immigrants told the locals about Christianity; the locals were so interested that by 1831 they were sending members to St. Louis in hopes of bringing a priest back to the Bitterroot. On Sept. 24, 1841, Fr. DeSmet arrived with fellow Jesuits Gregory Mengarini and Nicolas Point in a wagon, establishing the first white settlement in what was to become Montana. The mission was called St. Mary’s and located just west of present-day Stevensville. The towering peak to the west was also named St. Mary’s. By the next spring crops were in the ground and livestock had arrived; DeSmet returned to St. Louis to send more missionaries to St. Mary’s and then went to Europe to gather recruits for the growing mission field in the Northwest. One of the recruits was Father Anthony Ravalli, an Italian who in addition to being a Jesuit priest also became Montana’s first physician, surgeon and pharmacist; he was also an architect and artist who built mills. Troubles with neighboring tribes forced the abandonment of the


70 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

Photo Will Moss

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101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 71

Photo St. Mary’s Mission

shop, library, gallery and museum. Admission to the grounds is free; tours are $7 for adults and $5 for children. Tour hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Gift shop hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Tours are available April 15 to Oct. 15; the visitors center, gift shop and museum are open year-round. For more information call 777-5734 or visit www. saintmarysmission.org.





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mission; Ravalli returned in 1866 and rebuilt the site. St. Mary’s Mission was named a national historic site in the 1970s, and that site is now proposed for expansion. Included in the complex is the famous chapel, restored to its 1879 grandeur, as well as a residence, log house, cabin, park and cemetery. A visitors center added in 1996 houses a gift

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72 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

attractions & events by community File Photo

FLORENCE 3. Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge 5. Three-Mile Wildlife Management Area 18. Montana Pro Golf facility 37. National Get Outdoors Day 86. Parsons Pony Farm 88. Doll museum

STEVENSVILLE 18. Whitetail Golf Course 24. Historic St. Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mission 25. Fort Owen State Park 26. Stevensville Museum 38. Western Heritage Days 42. Summer Fest,-Bands, Balloons & BBQ 43. Sapphire Quilt Show 55. Creamery Picnic

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58. NorthWest HoneyFest 59. Scarecrow Festival 64. A Montana Country Christmas 78. Stevensville Playhouse 80. North Valley Public Library 84. Farmers Market 97. Charbonneauâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chocolate Factory 98. First Friday 99. Blacksmith Brewing Company

VICTOR 27. Victor Heritage Museum 36. Chief Victor Days 87. Qwivals Family Fun Center 95. Redsun Labyrinth 100. Hidden Legend Winery CORVALLIS 4. The Teller 44. Big Sky Fox Trotter Point Show 48. National Cutting Horse Show 81. Huls Dairy 85. Apple Orchards HAMILTON 16. Fetch Inn 17. Whittecar Rifle Range & Hamilton Trap Club 18. Hamilton Golf Club 28. Ravalli County Museum

Photo Will Moss

101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 73


74 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

29. Daly Mansion 30. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church 39. Bitter Root Day 40. Senior Pro Rodeo 41. Bitterroot Glory Days 50. Daly Days 51. Bitterroot Microbrew Fest 54. The Renaissance Faire 56. Scottish Irish Festival 57. Ravalli County Fair 60. McIntosh Apple Day 61. Bitterroot Harvest Festival 63. A Christmas Celebration 68. Montana Professional Artists Show 69. Art in the Park 71. Artists in Residence programs 74. Hamilton Performing Arts Series 77. Hamilton Playhouse 79. Shakespeare in the Parks, 80. Bitterroot Public Library 83. Historic Feed Mill 84. Farmers Market 97. Big Sky Candy 98. First Friday 99. Bitter Root Brewing

DARBY 22. Ice skating 31. Darby Pioneer Memorial Museum 32. Darby Historical Visitor Center 35. Townsend R anch Mounted Shoot 45. Bull-O-Rama 46. Darby Logger Days 49. Strawberry Festival 53. Hardtimes Bluegrass Festival 64. Winterfest 80. Darby Public Library 84. Farmers Market 97. Old West Gallery & Antiques 100. Montana winery CONNER 75. Lapin’s Garden SULA 19. 65. 66. 94.

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101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 75

File Photo


76 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

Celebrating 100 years of Mansion Memories by Stacie Duce for the Ravalli Republic

One hundred years after the Daly family built

a sprawling and stately home in Hamilton, their short-lived dream still influences Bitterroot residents and visitors who walk the grounds and hallways. Centennial celebrations at the restored 24,000-square-foot estate dot the calendar all summer long making a visit to the Daly Mansion a must-do activity for 2010, according to the mansion’s new executive director, Susan Hardman. She, along with two enthusiastic staff

File Photo

members and 80-plus dedicated volunteers, have been working to prepare the grounds and home for a host of special events this season. Events Coordinator April Johnson said beginning with a Mother’s Day Tea in May to a rousing Scottish-Irish festival at the end of August, they will also squeeze in 16 weddings, a turn-of-the-20th-century children’s lawn party, a “pinnacle” wine fest fundraiser and highly anticipated Daly Days celebrations with new and improved exhibits, re-enactors and demonstrations. “We want to have a really good time with

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events that tie to the mission of the mansion which is to showcase the culture and history of the valley,” said Johnson. “This is more than a house on a hill and the Daly story goes way beyond fine ladies in large hats, it involves agriculture and industry and so much more.” Curator and house manager, Darlene Gould, set up a special centennial exhibit on the third floor that includes period clothing, artifacts and photo displays. Visitors may see recovered photographs of the transformations of the mansion from the expansion of the original farmhouse to the recent restoration of the home after it was boarded up for 40 years. She said on Aug. 26, 1910 Hamilton’s newspaper declared the Georgian Revival mansion renovations to be complete and ready for the Daly family and guests. “So, that’s the day we consider the house finished and the beginning of this long legacy.” Marcus Daly never lived to see the mansion complete. He died in 1900 but provided well for his family after his mining crews discovered the largest deposit of copper making him a millionaire and one of Butte’s Copper Kings. He crafted a smelter in Anaconda and built Hamilton as a company town to support the mining families with goods and produce. His passion for racing horses led to the construction of fine stables and a stock farm where national champions were bred. “Before (Marcus Daly’s) untimely death,

Photo Will Moss

Sap collection from the trees lining the Daly Mansion driveway for making Maple syrup.

101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 77


78 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

there was a 10-year period when his dream flourished,” said Hardman. “I think everyone holds on to that dream so closely here in the Bitterroot Valley.” Hardman admits the Daly family wasn’t perfect, but she said there’s no denying they were generous. One of Mrs. Daly’s generous turns has come back to them 100 years later. Hardman explained that in the 1920s, the railroad along the present Old Corvallis Road in Hamilton was moved to the east separating a 20-acre parcel from Daly’s Stock Farm. A few years later, Mrs. Daly sold the 20 acres to a faithful employee, Harvey Wilkinson. “I think she sold it to him for a dollar,” said Hardman. More than eight decades later, Wilkinson’s daughter, Susie, donated the same land to the Council on Aging. Paul Travitz, executive director of the Council on Aging, said Susie passed away Dec. 14, 2009 at the age of 99 and in her honor, the council will be establishing a flower garden next to the Daly Mansion. “When we learned the mansion grounds

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ALPACAS

The Rocking Over 30 beautiful, friendly alpacas

were going to be established as an arboretum last year, we asked what we could do and thought a garden for Susie would perfect,” Travitz said. Volunteer gardeners at the mansion came up with 40-foot-by-20-foot design for flowers right outside the sun porch. The Council on Aging offered $1,000 for initial costs of irrigation, flowers, mulch, a commemorative plaque and other necessities and then an annual stipend to

Upstairs in the Daly Mansion.

Photo Will Moss

Ranch

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


101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 79

Origianl carriges returned to the Daly Mansion from their storage facility in Las Vegas.

maintain it. “It’s so lovely,” said Hardman. “The minute I crossed the threshold here little things like this have happened.” Gould gives credit to the Daly Mansion Preservation Trust established by a handful of concerned volunteers in the 1980s for saving the mansion. “They had vision and determination but no money and the state didn’t give them any money,” Gould said. “If it weren’t for the community and a small group of people, we wouldn’t have it. Personally, I’m very grateful to them and the Bessenyey family.” The third-floor exhibit showcases new Daly family photos donated by the Bessenyeys that have been restored and categorized and are now ready for show. “I really like the one of Mrs. Daly with a fishing pole,” said Gould. “And we have a new pose for Mr. Daly which is wonderful.” The mansion is also the recipient of $50,000

Photo Will Moss

grant from federal stimulus money to be received over the next two years. “It barely pays the heating bill but we’re not complaining,” said Gould. Hardman agreed and added, “Montana is the only state of all 50 that set aside stimulus money for historic preservation – what a wonderful thing. I knew Montanans loved their history but that really shows it.” She hopes Bitterrooters will support the mansion during the centennial celebration by attending events or volunteering. “There’s something for everyone this year,” said Hardman. “Whether you’ve been to the mansion before or are just coming for the first time, you’ll be amazed.” Daily, guided tours are offered on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through mid-October. For more information, see Hardman’s Daly Mansion blog at www.dalymansion.wordpress.com or go to their revamped web site at www.dalymansion.org


80 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

fly fishing

By Chuck Stranahan for the Ravalli Republic

There might be a hundred other things to do

in the Bitterroot Valley, but the one that is most important to many, resident and visitor alike, is flyfishing. The Bitterroot River draws several million dollars into the local economy annually – and accounts for many more millions from those who come here to fish and decide to stay. The Bitterroot enjoys a full slate of fishable fly hatches. The trout are all wild, many of them native. The fishing, as a former guide once put

Photo Chuck Stranahan

it, will “delight the beginner and challenge the expert.” Seasoned anglers return to the river for its beauty, gentle wading, and public access at points that divide the river into a series of day floats. Finding the best spot is easy. Local fly shops gather information from the river’s regulars, and share it with visiting or beginning anglers. If you go to the famous Madison or Missouri, you’ll find a big river that demands a lot from those who fish it. Family fishing opportunities are


scarce. Hiking trails along small streams where youngsters can catch their first fish are virtually nonexistent. Not so with the Bitterroot. While it must be respected, as is the case with moving water anywhere, the Bitterroot River for the most part is easy to negotiate. The riverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s native westslope cutthroat trout, fish that average ten to sixteen inches, take the fly aggressively. And larger fish, many of them wild rainbows and browns, intrigue the serious flyfisher.

101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 -81

Kodiak Jax Restaurants 0DLQ6W6WHYHQVYLOOH0RQWDQD 6RXWKVW6W+DPLOWRQ0RQWDQD 6HUYLQJ+RW

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:('(/,9(5 6WHYHQVYLOOH +DPLOWRQ Photo Chuck Stranahan


82 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

Photo Chuck Stranahan

There are gentle nature trails along the valley floor, and day treks on trails into the Bitterroot Wilderness. These trails border trout streams, where experienced anglers can hone their skills as they tease brightly colored native

cutthroats into taking their flies, and those just getting started in the sport – at any age – can enjoy the thrill of catching beautiful, wild fish. The opportunities are plentiful, and include pristine wilderness lakes within range for a day

MONTANA’S BITTERROOT VALLEY, a place where you can step back in time...

  

The Fly Shop, East Main Street, Hamilton 363-4197

RODS • REELS • FLIES • GEAR • ADVICE

www.chuck-stranahan.com


101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 83

To Missoula Chief Looking Glass

Florence

Poker Joe

Bass Creek

Bitterroot River Fishing Access Sites

Florence Bridge

Stevensville

Bell Crossing

Victor

Tucker Crossing

Corvallis

Woodside Bridge

Demmons

Bitterroot River

Anglerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Roost

Hamilton

Wally Crawford Rock Creek

Lake Darby Como Hannon Memorial

Darby Bridge Forest Cooper

WW White Memorial

93

To Salmon, ID

0

5 Miles

10


84 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010


101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 85

Photo Chuck Stranahan

hike. There are U. S. Forest Service campgrounds at wilderness trailheads and along the riverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s east and west forks, and private campgrounds along the river around Hamilton. Some of the locals simply drive to these campgrounds, park, and fish. If there is a nice riffle near the campground, (there usually is,) they know the trout will be there. Which flies to offer them? How to get started

in this best thing to do in the Bitterroot? How to arrange a float trip, as a family outing or a fishing trip with an experienced professional guide who will reveal the riverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best fishing to you? Inquire at the Chamber of Commerce, and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll direct you to local member fly shops. You might discover why flyfishing is at the top of so many lists, and a hundred other things you might do instead are, by comparison, pleasant distractions.

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86 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

CALENDAR OF EVENTS IN the BITTERROOT VALLEY Dreams of Nutcracker

Photo Will Moss


DATE

2010 EVENTS May 29-31 May 31 June 1 June 4 June 4 June 4 Junee 4 June 4 June 4-6 June 5 June 5 June 11 June 11 June 11-12 June 11-13 June 11-13 June 11-13 June 11-14

EVENT

101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 87

LOCATION

11th Annual Townsend Ranch Mounted Shoot*...............................Darby Corvallis Memorial Day Parade, Main Street.................................Corvallis Darby Farmers Market, 101 E. Tanner Avenue*.................................Darby (every Tues. May through Oct) NVPL Daryl Shortman Native Flute Music ................................ Stevensville First Friday (every Friday, year-round)*................. Downtown Stevensville First Friday (every Friday, year-round)*......................Downtown Hamilton NVPL Family Star Gazing “Lift Off at the Library” . .................. Stevensville Artists Along the Bitterroot Reception, Ravalli County Museum.Hamilton Artists Along the Bitterroot Artists Studio Tour*................Various Locations Hamilton Farmers Market, Bedford Street* (every Sat. early May through mid-Oct).......................................Hamilton Stevensville Farmers Market, south end of Main Street* (every Sat. May 8 through mid-Oct)......................................... Stevensville Children’s Magic Show, Darby Community Library..........................Darby Lapin’s Garden features Tom Catmull and the Clerics*..................... Sula Chief Victor Days, Victor High School Football Field*....................... Victor Montana Professional Artists Show and Sale, Bitterroot River Inn*...Hamilton Hamilton Players Production, “Annie Get Your Gun”* ...............Hamilton National Reining Horse Assn Show, Sapphire Events Center....... Corvallis AAB Workshop: Fine Art Painting with Ed Wolff*...................... Stevensville

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88 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

June 12 June 17 June 18-19 June 18-20 June 19 June 19 June 19 June 24 June 24 June 25-26 June 25-27 June 26-28 June 28, 30 June 30

Family Activities for National Get Outdoors Day, Florence Park*... Florence Bitterroot Community Band Concert and BBQ, Claudia Driscoll Park .Hamilton Western Heritage Days, Downtown*........................................ Stevensville Hamilton Players Production, “Annie Get Your Gun” .................Hamilton TNT Dinner & Auction, The Teller’s Slack Barn.................................Corvallis Bitter Root Day, Ravalli County Museum*.....................................Hamilton Darby Public Library’s Summer Reading Kick-off Carnival...............Darby Bitterroot Public Library Foreign Film Series (every last Thurs)......Hamilton Relay for Life Survivor’s Dinner MDMH Conf Rms B/C .................Hamilton Ravalli County Relay for Life, Event Center Track.........................Corvallis Hamilton Players Production, “Annie Get Your Gun” .................Hamilton Western Montana Quarter Horse Association Horse Show*......... Corvallis Heartsaver First Aid with CPR & AED, MDMH Conf Rm B ............Hamilton Children’s Lawn Party, Daly Mansion............................................Hamilton

July 1 July 1 July 1 July 1 July 1-3 July 2 July 2-4 July 2-3

Blood Drive, MDMH Conference Rooms B/C ..............................Hamilton Senior Professional Rodeo Hall of Fame Exhibit Grand Opening...Hamilton Senior Professional Rodeo Hall of Fame Barbeque......................Hamilton Bitterroot Community Band, Evening Concert, Claudia Driscoll Park...Hamilton AAB Workshop: Women in Woodworking with Andy Chidwick . Stevensville Bitterroot Rag Time Society at NVPL ........................................ Stevensville Bitterroot Glory Days, Ravalli County Fairgrounds*......................Hamilton Senior Pro Rodeo, Ravalli County Fairgrounds ............................Hamilton

Get hooked. I

Montana

fly fish

f you’re looking for an opportunity to get out into the great wilderness to in some of the best fishing rivers in the Rocky Mountains, then you came to the right place. Here at Western Flies & Guides, you will find some of the best fly fishing in the business. We can cater to just about any party size, on any day that is good for you and your party. We provide the needed to make your fishing trip one that you will not soon forget.

guides

expertise

:(67(51 )/,(6 * 8,'(6 906 S 1st St, Hamilton, Montana • 363-9099 • WesternFliesAndGuides.com


101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 89

July 3 July 3-Aug 7 July 4 July 4 July 4 July 4 July 8-10 July 9-10 July 9-10 July 10 July 12 July 12-16 July 15 July 15

Hamilton Players, “Always Patsy Cline”, Hamilton Playhouse . ..Hamilton The “West Revisited Show”, Art Show at Ponderosa Art Gallery..Hamilton Glory Days Parade, Downtown......................................................Hamilton Hamilton Players, “Always Patsy Cline”, First Interstate Center .Hamilton Fireworks, Ravalli County Fairgrounds............................................Hamilton Lapin’s Garden features Grant Maledy & Jim Pearson ..................... Sula Big Sky Fox Trotter Association’s Annual Point Show*...................Corvallis Summer Fest-Bands, Balloons & BBQ, St. Mary’s Mission*....... Stevensville Sapphire Quilt Show, Stevensville High School........................ Stevensville Folk music from singer/songwriter Roy Schneider, Lapin’s Garden .... Sula BSFTA Memorial Trail Ride, Lost Horse Trail..........................................Darby Hamilton Players Summer Theater School.....................................Hamilton Bull-O-Rama, 1`Elite Bull Connection*................................................Darby Bitterroot Community Band, Evening Concert, Claudia Driscoll Park...Hamilton

Photo Will Moss

Daly Days at the Daly Mansion

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• 406-961-1919 •


90 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

Bitterroot Community Band concert at the Bandshell in Claudia Driscol Park, Hamilton

Photo Will Moss


101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 91

July 16-17 July 16-18 July 17 July 17 July 17 July 17-18 July 17-18 July 17-19 July 20 July 22 July 23-24 July 23-24 July 24 July 24 July 24 July 24 July 24-26 July 24-27 July 31 July 31

Hamilton Players Summer Theatre School Production “You Know What They Say…”........................................................Hamilton Darby Logger Days*..............................................................................Darby Tour of the Bitterroot cycling event*.............................. South of Hamilton AAB Workshop: Fused Glass with Amy Knight begins............. Stevensville Strawberry Festival* . ............................................................................Darby AAB Workshop: Digital Photography with Barbara Michelman . Stevensville AAB Workshop: Fused Glass with Kathleen Sheard ....................Hamilton National Cutting Horse Event, Sapphire Events Center*.............. Corvallis AAB Digital Editing Workshop with Barbara Michelman ....... Stevensville Bitterroot Community Band Concert, Daly Mansion...................Hamilton Daly Days, Downtown and Daly Mansion*...................................Hamilton Art in the Park, American Legion Park*.........................................Hamilton Pet Adoption Day, Bitterroot Public Library .................................Hamilton Lake Como Triathlon*...................................................... South of Hamilton Stonecircle, Celtic fusion music, Lapin’s Garden . .............................. Sula Bitterroot Microbrew Fest, Downtown*..........................................Hamilton Hardtimes Bluegrass Festival*................................................ north of Darby Peter Campbell Horsemanship Clinic, Sapphire Events Center.. Corvallis AAB Fundamentals of Sculptural Woodworking with Andy Chidwick . Stevensville Renaissance Faire, Claudia Driscoll Park*.....................................Hamilton

Aug 4

Ballet Bitterroot, “Peter and the Wolf”, Bitterroot Public Library ....Hamilton 337 W. Main, Hamilton

363-4552

M-F, 6:30-5:30 Sat, 8-4 • Sun, 8-2

gourmet or build-your-own SANDWICHES • delicious COOKIES and DESSERTS • made-to-order specialty COFFEE DRINKS • free wireless INTERNET


92 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

Corvallis Memorial Day Parade participants, Corvallis

Photo Will Moss

Aug 5 Bitterroot Community Band, Evening Concert, Claudia Driscoll Park...Hamilton Aug 5, 11 All Valley Sports Physicals Program, MDMH Rehabilitation Ctr ..Hamilton A Vintage Affaire Wine Auction, Daly Mansion...........................Hamilton Aug 6 Aug 6-7 Creamery Picnic & Parade, Lewis and Clark Park*................ Stevensville Aug 6,7 NVPL Annual Creamery Picnic Book Sale ............................... Stevensville Aug 7 Bitterroot Community Band Concert, Creamery Picnic......... Stevensville Aug 7 Kids In the Garden, Daly Mansion..................................................Hamilton Big Sky Saturday Night’ with Baxter Black, Ravalli County Fairgrounds.. Hamilton Aug 7 Aug 14-Sept 18 Annual “Fall Classics Show” Art Show at Ponderosa Art Gallery.....Hamilton Aug 18-22 NCHA Events Cutting, Sapphire Events Center*...........................Corvallis Bitterroot Community Band, Evening Concert, Claudia Driscoll Park...Hamilton Aug 19 Aug 20-21 Bitterroot Builders Association Tour of Homes..................................Various Aug 20-22 Hamilton Players, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”...Hamilton Aug 21 Teller/Bitterroot Valley Ducks Unlimited Greenwing Event........... Corvallis Aug 24 Bitterroot Community Band, Tuesday at Twelve, Legion Park....Hamilton Aug 26 Shakespeare in the Parks, “Julius Caesar”, River Park*................Hamilton Aug 27-29 Bitterroot Scottish Irish Festival, Daly Mansion*..............................Hamilton Aug 27-29 Hamilton Players, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”...Hamilton Aug 28 Bitterroot Classic Triathlon, Bitterroot Aquatic Center.................Hamilton Aug 28 The Drum Brothers, Lapin’s Garden ...................................................... Sula Sept 1

Ravalli County Fair Parade, Downtown........................................Hamilton


101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 93

Sept 1 Fair Opening Night: Music under the Stars....................................Hamilton Sept 1-4 Ravalli County Fair, Ravalli County Fairgrounds*.........................Hamilton Sept 2 Bull-A-Rama, Ravalli County Fair....................................................Hamilton North Valley Public Library Fiesta Hispana .............................. Stevensville Sept 3 Sept 3-4 Ravalli County Rodeo, Ravalli County Fair...................................Hamilton Sept 4 A Cappella Society Concert, Ravalli County Fairgrounds*........Hamilton Sept 5 Bitterroot Community Band, Ravalli County Fairgrounds ...........Hamilton Sept 8 NVPL Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month (Travelogues every Wed. in Sept)............................................. Stevensville Sept 10 DHF, The Power of Health Celebration, Daly Mansion................Hamilton Sept 10-12 National Cutting Horse Event, Sapphire Events Center .............. Corvallis Sept 11 NorthWest HoneyFest, Lewis & Clark Park ............................... Stevensville Sept 11 Sweathouse Half Marathon................................................................. Victor Annual Bitterroot River Clean-up, BBQ at Angler’s Roost............Hamilton Sept 11 Sept 17-19 Guest Artist Production: Fools Theatre, Hamilton Playhouse (also Friday-Sunday on following weekend) “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged”........Hamilton Wine Fest, Darby Library.......................................................................Darby Sept 18 Bitterroot Therapeutic Riding BBQ & Pig Roast, BTR Sky High Area.... Corvallis Sept 18 Sept 20-Dec 11 Hamilton Playhouse Fall Theatre School.......................................Hamilton Reenactment of Founding of Stevensville, St. Mary’s Mission.. Stevensville Sept 24 Sept 24 Trout Unlimited Banquet, Bitterroot River Inn.................................Hamilton Women’s Health and Cardiac Wellness, MDMH Conf Rms B/C ..Hamilton Sept 25

GALLERY AND GIFTS

Bitterroot Valley’s Largest Selection of Antiques 200 S. Main St., Darby (406) 821-4076

7KH6ZHHWHVW 3ODFH LQ0RQWDQD • 35 Varieties of old fashioned handmade fudge • Over 600 types of candies & chocolates • Sugar free chocolates & candies

16,000 square feet in the 200 block of South Main Street

Antiques of the West Furniture - Glassware Primitives - Wood Stoves

Old West Gallery & Gifts Wildlife Art Montana Gifts - Antiques

Old West Antiques Wagons & Wheels Buy - Sell - Trade

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 9:00 TO 5:00

Photo Will Moss

W

MILL CREEK

OODWORKS

ADIRONDACK FURNITURE

chairs • love seats foot stools • tables and more

Ed Hayes • 406-381-7772


94 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

Female competitors at Darby Logger Days

Photo Will Moss

Sept 28-Nov 2 Sept 30 Oct Oct 1 Oct 1-3 Oct 2 Oct 2 Oct 2 Oct 8-9 Oct 9 Oct 16 Oct 30 Oct 31

Baby Sign Language Class, MDMH Rehabilitation Ctr ...............Hamilton Blood Drive, MDMH Conference Rooms B/C ..............................Hamilton Bitterroot Public Library Literature Seminar begins.......................Hamilton North Valley Public Library Oktoberfest . ................................. Stevensville Scarecrow Festival*..................................................................... Stevensville Team Sorting, Sapphire Events Center...........................................Corvallis Bitterroot Harvest Festival*...............................................................Hamilton McIntosh Apple Day, Ravalli County Museum*...........................Hamilton Stevensville Playhouse Production, “Music Man”* . ............... Stevensville (also Friday & Saturday for two weekends) Free Cholesterol Screening, MDMH Conf Rms B/C . ...................Hamilton Artist Reception, Kathleen Sheard, Ravalli County Museum .....Hamilton Halloween Event, Daly Mansion.....................................................Hamilton Harvest Party, First Interstate Center..............................................Hamilton

Nov. 5

North Valley Public Library Singer & Musician Tom Roat ....... Stevensville


101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 95

Nov 5-7 Nov 11 Nov 12-14 Nov 19 Nov 19-20 Nov. 19-20 Nov 26-27

Holly Jolly Craft Show, Daly Mansion.............................................Hamilton Veterans Day Celebration, Ravalli County Museum ..................Hamilton Hamilton Players Production, “You Can’t Take It with You” ......Hamilton (also Friday-Sunday on following weekend)............................................... Bitterroot Performing Arts Council, Series Event, HPAC Auditorium* ..Hamilton Holiday Show, Ravalli County Fairgrounds....................................Hamilton North Valley Public Library Holiday Book Sale ........................ Stevensville A Christmas in Hamilton, Downtown*............................................Hamilton

Dec 2 Dec 3-4 Dec 3-4 Dec 3-5 Dec 6 Dec 9 Dec 10-11 Dec 18

SAFE Silver Tea .................................................................................Hamilton “A Montana Country Christmas”, Downtown*........................ Stevensville Stevensville Playhouse Production, “Silent Bells” .................... Stevensville (also Friday & Saturday for next two weekends) Winter Gun Show, Ravalli County Fairgrounds.............................Hamilton Victor Heritage Museum Chocolate Tasting Party........................... Victor Marcus Daly Hospice Tree of Lights, Conf Rms B/C ....................Hamilton Hamilton Players Fall Theater School Production, “A Christmas Carol”.. Hamilton Daly Mansion Community Christmas Party...................................Hamilton

Darby’s Bull-O-Rama

Photo Will Moss


96 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

2011 EVENTS Jan 6 Jan 16 Jan 17-May 7 Jan 26-27 Jan 29 Jan 29

Blood Drive, MDMH Conference Rooms B/C ..............................Hamilton Bitterroot Performing Arts Council, Series Event, HPAC Auditorium ..Hamilton Hamilton Players Spring Theatre School........................................Hamilton Special Winter Olympics, Lost Trail Powder Mountain Ski Resort.. Conner WinterFest, the Darby Community Clubhouse and Ice Rink*..........Darby Montana Mountain Mushers 4th Annual Mutt Pull ...........................Darby

Feb 5 Feb 5 Feb. 11 Feb 12 Feb 12 Feb 12 Feb 18-19 Feb 18-20 Feb 19 Feb 19

BBIA Home Expo, First Interstate Center, Fairgrounds..................Hamilton Soroptimist Winter Golf, Eagles ......................................................Hamilton North Valley Public Library Annual Chocolate & Authors Event . Stevensville Bitterroot Youth Home Gala, St. Francis Pastoral Life Center ....Hamilton Bitterroot Performing Arts Council, Series Event, HPAC Auditorium ..Hamilton Bitterroot Therapeutic Riding Winter Picnic, BTR Sky High Area... Corvallis Stevensville Playhouse Production, to be announced........... Stevensville Hamilton Players Production, “My Fair Lady” ..............................Hamilton (also Friday-Sunday on next two weekends) Lost Trail Steak Fry*................................................................................Darby Ravalli County Museum Mardi Gras Ball.......................................Hamilton Lost Trail Powder Mountian Steak Fry..................................................... Sula

March March 6

BVCC Annual Awards Dinner, Bitterroot River Inn........................Hamilton Spring Fair, Ravalli County Fairgrounds.........................................Hamilton

2 Street nd

M•A•R•K•E•T ART • COLLECTIBLES HAND-WOVEN RUGS JEWELRY PHOTOGRAPHY SALT LAMPS VINTAGE FURNITURE DOMINO AND COOKBOOK RACKS POTTERY • SOAPS & LOTIONS GRIZ WEAR • MONTANA TEES TIN SIGNS • PILLOWS • PURSES & MORE...

Support your Local Artists 175 S. 2nd St, Ste B • 531-6038 TUES-FRI 11-5:30 • SATURDAY 10-4PM


101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010 - 97

March 12-13 Mar 15-Apr 12 March 17 March 26

Rocky Mountain Snowmobile Hillclimb Race, Lost Trail Powder Mountain Ski Resort*................................................... Sula Baby Sign Language Class, MDMH Rehabilitation Ctr ...............Hamilton St. Patrick’s Day Dinner, Daly Mansion..........................................Hamilton Lost Trail Skiesta*....................................................................................... Sula

April 1 April 7 April 8-10 April 24

The Teller’s 2011 Earth Day Celebration.........................................Corvallis Blood Drive, MDMH Conference Rooms B/C ..............................Hamilton Hamilton Players Production, “Shadowlands” ............................Hamilton (also Friday-Sunday on following weekend) Eagles Community Easter Egg Hunt, Ravalli County Fairgrounds.....Hamilton

May 6-7 May 8 May 7 May 20

Stevensville Playhouse Production, “Little Shop of Horrors” begins.. Stevensville (also Friday & Saturday for two weekends) Special Olympic Area Games Begin, Diamond A Arena...... Stevensville Mother’s Day Tea, Daly Mansion ..................................................Hamilton SAFE Crystal Ball, Bitterroot River Inn..............................................Hamilton

All dates and locations are subject to change. * For more information about this organization or event, see the list of 101 Things to Do. If your event Is not listed in this publication, you can submit it for future publications by sending an email to events@bitterrootvalleychamber.com Include the name of the event, the sponsoring organization, the date it occurs, and the location where it will be held.

Benefits for Chamber Memebers 1. List of Chamber members in the Community Section 2. Free Super White page Bold listing with Logo for display advertisers a $384 value 3. Free Super White page listing with yellow highlights for In Column advertisers a $260 value 4. Extra line noting “Chamber Member” 5. 101 Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley 6. Filler Ads... promote chamber membership 7. Calendar of Events 8. Free Full page ad for the Bitterroot Valley Chamber with Web links 9. Sample our directories at www.ourtowndir.com and www.legacydir.com for complete virtual phone books online

Community Pages

• Including Beautiful Maps • Coupons • Area Attractions • Restaurant Menus • University Pages • Numerical Cross References /caller ID • High Definition Graphics • Magazine Quality Paper • Hi Bright Magazine Quality White Pages • Day Planners • Lower Yellow Page Rates • Your Customers will decide which telephone directory they will choose. Don’t miss the nicest phone book out there. Early discounts apply

Call 370-2727 Today or 877-465-4105


98 - 101 Things To Do in the Bitterroot Valley, 2010

a d v e r t i s e r

About Fabric............................... 14 Amy Kraft Yoga........................... 48 Artists along the Bitterroot......... 39 Barb’s Barn................................... 16 Bella Boutique............................. 45 Big Hole Tourism.......................... 75 Big Sky Builders............................ 47 Big Sky Candy............................. 54 Bison Internet Cafe..................... 18 Bitterroot Brewing....................... 24 Bitterroot Fishing Loft.................. 85 Bitterroot Fly Company.............. 62 Bitterroot Glory Days.................. 21 Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce.......................... 26 Bitterroot Performing Arts Series.................................. 65 Bitterroot River Bed & Breakfast............................... 66 Bitterroot River Inn....................... 90 Bitterroot Scottish, Irish Festival.. 96 Bitterroot Valley Living Center.. 62 Bitterroot Yarn Shop.................... 31 Bradley O’s Homestead............ 55 Burger Shack............................... 54 Caffe Firenze............................. 100 Canyons....................................... 63 Chapter 1 Bookstore.................. 57 Cheers Unlimited......................... 58 Chidwick School......................... 41 Christian Science Center........... 66 Chuck Stranahan’s..................... 82 Claggett Construction............... 56 Coffee Cup................................. 60 Custom Cut Construction.......... 70 Daly Dog Care............................ 89 Daly Mansion............................... 17 Darby Logger Days.................... 23 Discovery Care Center.............. 58 Dollar Rent a Car........................ 24 Double H Custom Hats.............. 68 Elida’s Day Spa........................... 48

i n d e x

EmbroidMe.................................. 60 Farmers State Bank..................... 67 Fetch Inn...................................... 11 Fiesta En Jalisco............................ 9 Fishs Eddy O................................. 85 Flea Market.................................. 16 Flying R Guest Ranch................. 27 Fords Department Store............ 77 Grace Lutheran Church............ 68 Greetings Welcoming Service.. 27 Hamilton Assembly of God....... 14 Hamilton Buisiness Improvement District............... 22 Hamilton Players......................... 36 Hamilton Polaris........................... 12 Internet Coffee Station.............. 53 Iron Horse Athletic Club............. 36 Katie’s Country Antiques........... 16 Kodiak Jax................................... 81 Lakeland Feed & Supply........... 37 Legacy Community Pages....... 97 Legacy Swords............................ 46 Lone Pine Store........................... 32 Lube Quick.................................. 70 Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital.. 3 Mikesell’s Fine Jewelry................ 63 Mill Creek Woodworks............... 93 Montana Professional Arists....... 35 Mountain Butterfly Balloons....... 41 Mountain Colors......................... 72 Mountain Music.......................... 71 Mountian Spirit Inn...................... 86 Moxie Full Service Salon............. 97 Old West Gallery......................... 93 Ole’s Country Store.................... 33 Paper Clip.................................... 31 Primoris Jewelry Gallery............. 42 Quality Motors............................. 99 Quality Supply............................. 61 Ravalli County Bank................... 56 Ravalli County Fairgrounds....... 29 Ravalli County Muesum............. 15

Ravalli Republic.......................... 72 Red Barn Bicycles....................... 10 Red Door...................................... 76 Red Willow Dry Goods............... 16 River Rising Bakery...................... 91 River’s Mist Gallery...................... 42 Robbins Hallmark........................ 34 Rocking L Alpacas...................... 78 Rosewood Wellness Center...... 49 Rustic Furniture Ranch................ 44 Sapphire Mountain Graphics...... 2 Second Street Market................ 96 Selway Adventures..................... 73 Serendipity Lane......................... 57 Sleeping Child Farms.................. 52 Skalkaho Steakhouse................. 10 Specialty Woodworks................ 37 Spotlight Photo............................ 33 St. Mary’s Mission........................ 71 St. Paul Episcopal Church......... 46 Stevensville Playhouse............... 43 Stoneydale Press......................... 82 Subway of Hamilton................... 76 The Beaded Pony....................... 89 The Brooks.................................... 30 The Darby Bed & Breakfast....... 43 The Merc Freshmarket................ 44 Teresa’s Dolls & Gifts................... 84 Townhouse Inn............................ 74 Trapper Creek Lodge................. 77 Valley Bicycles.............................. 7 Valley Drug & Variety................. 40 Valley View Estates..................... 87 Victor Heritage Musuem............ 15 Victorian Casino......................... 61 West Fork Mountain Crafts........ 74 Western Flies & Guides............... 88 Western States Insurance.......... 50 Wild Rose Emu Ranch................ 91 Willows & Wool............................ 34

We appologize for any errors or ommisions in this publication, they were not intentional. Please contact the Ravalli Republic at 363-3300 or the BRVCC at 363-2400 to be included in the 2011 issue.


101 Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, MT  
101 Things to Do in the Bitterroot Valley, MT  

A publication of the Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ravalli Republic Newspaper, for tourists and local highl...

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