Montana Places To Live | Bitterroot River Valley
Video blog by John Anderson, Broker Associate, licensed in MT, OR, ID
The Great American West: A landscape of green valleys, rivers, lakes, and, of course, the amazing Rocky Mountains.
The Bitterroot River’s headwaters begin high up in the Sapphire and Bitterroot Mountain ranges and flow north through the fertile Bitterroot Valley. The valley is home to scenic destinations such Trapper Peak, Blodgett Canyon, Twin Lakes, Lake Como, Painted Rocks Reservoir, Big Creek, the Bitterroot River, Lost Trail Powder Mountain, Skalkaho Falls, many hot springs, and is the gateway to the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Area.
Nine small communities call this valley home including Sula, Conner, Darby, Hamilton, Corvallis, Victor, Stevensville, Florence, and Lolo.
The Rocky Mountains are the “Crown of the Continent,” and provide awe-inspiring mountains, peaks, valleys, and abundant wildlife. The Bitterroot River flows between the Bitterroot and Sapphire Mountain ranges. Elk, deer, and moose call this valley home. These mountains embody the spirit of the Rockies, where generations have sought their embrace. For thousands of years, the Kootenai, Salish, Flathead, and Blackfoot tribes thrived off this wild and fertile landscape. They lived their lives according to the rhythm of nature and survived on her good harvest.
In the summer of 1805, Lewis and Clark explored the Bitterroot Valley on their way to the Pacific Ocean. Famous mountain men like John Colter, Jim Bridger, and Jerimiah Johnson wandered this land not for riches, not for gold, but for the pure adventure. In 1840, Father Pierre De Smit accompanied a brigade from the American Fur Company into the Rocky Mountains and started the St. Mary’s mission in present-day Stevensville. Settlers flocked to the Bitterroot seeking its fertile soils and warm climate for growing vegetables and raising livestock. To this day several families can trace their roots back to original homesteaders telling tales of adversity, adventure, and love that encompasses several generations.
Hamilton is the largest town in the Bitterroot Valley with a population just under 13,000 residents. Hamilton is the epicenter of the Bitterroot Valley, and provides fine dining, shops, and all the necessities. The town of Stevensville is etched in history and holds the distinct honor of being the birthplace of Montana. The well-preserved buildings and artifacts of the St. Mary’s Mission afford visitors a glimpse of the historical beginnings of the Montana territory. Stevensville is also known for its postcard-perfect main street with quaint shops, eateries, and American spirit.
Life in the Bitterroot Valley is centered around the rhythm of nature, inspiring mountains, lakes, and the Bitterroot River. This wild country beckons, whispers, and calls to the adventurer in all of us.
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