Bitterroot Valley Information | Leslie Keenan | Real Living Greater Montana

Bitterroot Valley

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Bitterroot  Valley

The Bitterroot Valley lies in a north/south protected valley with its own distinctive climate apart from the rest of Montana.  Microclimates can be found throughout the valley because of the variety of elevations and bodies of water.  Spring varies with its entrance; residents can get taste of early warm weather, although temperatures fluctuate greatly between March and May.  June brings most of the precipitation which is much needed as the valley heads into the heat of July and August.  The warm summer days often stretch well into September.   Fall brings a beautiful display of colors as the temperatures drop and the days get shorter.  Snow comes early in the mountains here; the west side usually will have somewhat more snow that the east side and traditionally the East Fork and West Fork areas, south of Darby, will receive a larger snow depth due to the higher elevations.   The valley is 25 miles wide and is 96 miles long, with 2394 square miles of land and there is 6 square miles of inland water.  

Your Bitterroot Valley Lifestyle

The Bitterroot Valley is where you will find that quieter lifestyle, as the valley is where you will find Montana's most pristine and scenic river valleys.  Ranches are scattered throughout the landscape of lush hayfields that are fed by the Bitterroot River as it meanders down the valley.  Situated between two protective mountain ranges, the Bitterroot supports a diverse economy including unique ranch properties, and a quaint, small town, down home atmosphere.  If recreation is what you live for, it will be found in the Bitteroot.  Enjoy hunting, fishing, boating, hiking, mountain trails, rock climbing, horseback riding, golf, snowmobiling, skiing and wildlife viewing.....all only minutes from your Montana home.  



What do you want Your Lifestyle to be?


Cold, clear mountain streams, quiet lakes and secret "cricks" offer solitude, spectacular scenery and World Class Trout Fishing  The entire experience is what fishing in the Bitterroot River is all about. Native to this river species such as Brook Trout, Brown, Bull, Cutthroat, Rainbow Trout as well as Mountain Whitefish.  State fishing access sites along the the Bitterroot River are spaced about five to ten mile intervals, allowing wading anglers key entry points and providing floaters with options for full or half-day floats.   

The high alpine lakes of the Bitterroot Mountains also offer superb fishing, some requiring a bit of a hike to get too, but well worth it.  The largest of these lakes and most popular recreation area for water sports is Lake Como, easily accessible it contains both cutthroat and rainbow trout.  

Other smaller streams such as Skalkaho Creek and Bear Creek offer Native cutthroat, some Brown trout and Mountain Whitefish. 

Fishing is a year round sport in Montana!


In Montana it's been said there are only three seasons; summer, winter and hunting.   There are few places in the world where our hunting heritage is well respected and well represented as in Montana.  The High country thrill of stalking elk in the Rockies on a crisp fall morning with a fresh sprinkling of powder snow is an awesome experience.  The Bitterroot Valley offers the big game hunter an abundance of wild game, including deer, elk, moose, bighorn sheep and a variety of smaller animals. 

Bird Watching/Wildlife Refuge

Just north of Stevensville, along the Bitterroot River, lays the Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge.  The refuge is named for former Stevensville resident, the late Senator Lee Metclaf, who was instrumental in acquiring the land.  The area is a delightful place for observing and photographing wildlife, such as deer, coyotes, pheasants, grouse, osprey, songbirds, Canada geese, trumpeter swans, blue heron, and a variety of other waterfowl and small animals. 

Hiking, Biking & Backpacking

All hiking and backpacking enthusiasts will find miles of terrific trails surrounding the Bitterroot Valley.  Whether you are a novice looking for a simple day hike or an experienced hiker looking for multi-day trips into the backcountry, the majestic Bitterroots and Sapphire Mountains will not disappoint you.  The rugged terrain and beautiful peaks offer miles of breathtaking views and simple to challenging trails for all to enjoy.  The same holds true for biking trails around the valley.  


The Bitterroot Valley has three amazing golf courses that I am sure you will find one that is your favorite.   The Hamilton Golf Course is located just outside of Hamilton.  It is a high quality course that is a challenging but gives you an enjoyable golfing experience for any level golfer.  You can visit their website at; Hamilton Golf Course

At the Stock Farm Club is a championship golf course created by Tom Fazio.  The 7,000 yard course consistently appears on the list of the worlds premier club course.   You can visit their website at:  Stock Farm Club Golf Course Tour


Set in the beautiful moountains of Stevensville, Montana is a premiere 9 hole golf course that plays to a true golfers dream.  Built with open fairways, strategically placed trees and water to make for a competitive yet fun golfing experience.  You can visit their  website at;  Whitetail Golf Course 


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