The Bitterroot Valley is truly a magical place. Geographically the Valley is approximately 95 miles long extending from Lost Trail Pass at the border of Montana and Idaho nearly to Missoula. It is bordered by the Bitterroot Mountains to the west and the Sapphire Mountains to the East. The Bitterroot Mountains are home to large portions of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness and the Frank W. Church River of no Return Wilderness Areas. The Bitterroots feature numerous drainages and, almost without exception, each drainage has an official trail that leads up into these areas and into Idaho. The Sapphires Mountains are home to the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness Area.
Historically the Bitterroot Valley was home to the Salish tribe of the Flathead nation. The Lewis and Clark Expedition initially entered the Bitterroot Valley during 1805 at Lost Trail Pass in search of an overland route through the mountains. They followed the East Fork of and then the main channel of the Bitterroot River, which flows north through the Valley, to a camp site they named Travelers Rest just south of the present day town of Lolo, where they turned West to cross the Bitterroots at Lolo Pass. The first “white” settlement was by Father De Smet at St Mary’s Mission near the town of Stevensville, which is also the first “town” in what is now Montana.
Socially the Valley is home to more than 40,000 friendly people. Ravalli County, in which the Valley is located, is dominated by 77 per cent public land providing for great fishing, hunting and so many special places to ride. But it is much more than that, it is a Valley filled with friendly and supportive people who have tremendous talent and energy. There are artists, craftsmen, musicians, athletes, horseman, ranchers, you name it, they are here and their combined talents make this a very special place to live. Every weekend year around is chock full of events to enjoy, from theater, to concerts, to old fashioned county fairs rodeos, to sporting events of every kind to wonderful festivals. If you live here now, you know of what I write, if you don’t, we would love to have you move here.