The Bitterroot Valley is a place of cowboys, writers, professionals, and energy. Located about 20 miles south of Missoula, the Valley is dotted with small ranches and homes and scattered commercial enterprises. To the west are the grassy foothills, towering peaks, and deeply carved canyons of the Bitterroot Mountains including the Bitterroot National Forest and the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness to the Idaho border. To the east are the sage covered and heavily timbered Sapphire Mountains stretching to the Rock Creek drainage and Phillipsburg. On the Valley floor is the crown jewel of trout fishing for the region – The Bitterroot River – one of only five rivers in the Nation that flows North.
The population of the Valley is just under 40,000 with about 15,000 new residents over the past 25 years. The scenery is uncommonly beautiful, the recreational opportunities are diverse, and the people folksy and friendly. Consider the Bitterroot Valley as one of Montana’s greatest secrets – a small “non-place” that offers the best of the west.
Known for the mildest climate in the State, the Bitterroot Valley has summer days in the 80’s & 90’s. The Valley floor is usually without snow or at a depth of around 4 – 6 inches most of the winter months. Higher elevations see lots of dry powder for cross country skiing and downhill skiing. Sunny days are around 270 annually with little to no wind – which is unusual for Montana. The abundance of water available from the many clear rushing creeks and the East Fork and West Fork of the Bitterroot River, keep the Valley hay fields green throughout the summer.
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