The Bitterroot is full of small charming towns
You’ll Love the Friendly People
The thing we hear most often from visitors is how charming the towns of the Bitterroot Valley are.
Many visitors come from much larger cities or huge population centers and are fascinated with the friendly atmosphere they find in our small towns.
These are the kind of towns where people know each other. Where business owners are behind the cash register. And where people say hello and stop and talk on the streets.
You can barely keep track of all of the festivals and events, and the summer Farmer’s Markets are as popular as any other activity.
Each community is a little different, but every town has its own distinct charm.
Below are the largest towns of the Bitterroot Valley, listed in order of population from largest to smallest.
Hamilton is the center of the Bitterroot Valley in more ways than one.
It is geographically centered, it’s the population center, and it’s in the center of all the outdoor recreation the Bitterroot Valley has to offer.
Hamilton’s Main Street is home to a number of quaint shops and restaurants, some old and some new.
You’ll find delicious local food, one of a kind souvenirs, western Montana artwork, gifts, and jewelry that you won’t find anywhere else.
Take a day and explore this historic area in the center of the Bitterroot Valley.
Stevensville is the home of St. Mary’s Mission, the first white settlement in the Bitterroot Valley in 1841.
It’s also home to the 2,800 acre Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge, perched along the banks of the Bitterroot River.
Historic Main Street in Stevensville boasts a variety of charming shops that give you a real feel for the area and its sense of community.
You won’t believe the delicious treats available at the Montana Chocolate Company, and the antique mall at the south end of town is worth a visit for some old time Montana collectibles.
Lewis and Clark called this area home for a few days in the early 1800’s, and now nearly 5,000 Lolo residents do too.
Located just a few minutes from the growing city of Missoula, Lolo is perched at a crossroads.
Everything you want from a city is just to the north, and unlimited Montana recreation begins just to the south.
Lolo is the gateway to the Bitterroot Valley, and features a selection of shops and restaurants.
As one of the first settlements in the Bitterroot Valley, Corvallis is rich in history dating back to the 1860’s.
The Corvallis community is home to some of the oldest homes and historic ranches in the Bitterroot Valley.
The Teller Wildlife Refuge is located in Corvallis, coordinating their ongoing conservation efforts on a spectacular 1,300 acre riverfront refuge.
A small commercial district provides shopping and restaurants for residents and visitors. Stop by for a one of a kind experience on your next visit to the Bitterroot Valley.
Florence is located in the northern reaches of the Bitterroot Valley and enjoys location, location, location.
With Missoula to the north and Hamilton to the south, the Sapphire mountains to the east and the Bitterroot mountains to the west, there’s plenty to explore in every direction from Florence.
The Threemile Wildlife Management Area is just east of Florence, and is a popular destination for wildlife viewing, mountain biking and hunting.
The community of Florence offers visitors and residents a few small businesses, retail stores and eateries. Stop by on your next visit and see why people love Florence.
The quiet community of Victor is in the middle of the action of the Bitterroot Valley.
Hamilton is just a short drive away on Highway 93 and gets most of the attention, but Victor offers great restaurants and a little shopping of its own.
Exciting Bitterroot River fishing and some of the area’s most popular hiking trails are just minutes away from town, and the views of the Bitterroot Mountains from Victor are awesome.
Consider spending some time in Victor the next time you are exploring the Bitterroot Valley.
Close your eyes and picture an old sawmill and logging town in a spectacular Montana forest. That’s Darby.
The logging and sawmills have mostly moved on, but the charming town and the spectacular forest remains.
The East Fork and the West Fork combine to form the Bitterroot River just south of Darby, so fly fishing, outdoor recreation and wildlife are all plentiful for residents and visitors.
Main Street in Darby features a rustic boardwalk with unique shopping and restaurants. Indulge yourself with delicious homemade fudge and candy the next time you head to to this small charming town.
That’s a Good Question
Established in 1864, Stevensville, MT is the oldest town in the Bitterroot Valley.
The northern third of the Bitterroot Valley is in Missoula County, while the southern third is in Ravalli County.