|Missoula, population 53,000, is the cultural and economic center of Western Montana and ranks as the state's third largest city. Home to the University of Montana, Missoula is brimming with history, progressive culture and is buzzing with young and active people.
The Missoula Valley is located in an old, glacial lakebed, rimmed with rolling mountains on all sides that helps Missoula maintain fairly mild seasonal temperatures. Missoula is a fantastic place to be an outdoor enthusiast as a number of excellent recreational opportunities exist year-round.
The mighty Clark Fork River cuts right through the Missoula Valley, making this area an extremely popular destination for both fly-fishers and river runners alike. The Bitterroot River feeds into the Clark Fork on the Southwest edge of town; the famed Big Blackfoot River meets the Clark Fork just east of town. Missoula offers miles of excellent mountain biking, hiking and XC skiing trails that start right from the edge of town and has two small alpine ski areas within a half hour drive of the city center.
Missoula is 3 hours south of Glacier National Park and 3-and-a-half hours west of Yellowstone National Park. It is surrounded by national forests and a handful of wilderness areas. In short, it's not a bad place to hang out in the summer or (if you like the snow) winter.