City Escapes:  Missoula, Montana

Text: James Parks • Photography: Donnie Sexton

Missoula, MT, is located in a green landscape where five valleys converge in the northern Rockies. With three rivers running through town, Missoula was the ideal shooting location for the 1992 film A River Runs Through It that featured Montana fly-fishing.

Riding north from Missoula, you’ll encounter a diverse Western landscape. While eastern Montana is mostly rolling high prairie, the smaller western portion of the state is dominated by the Rocky Mountains. The route follows the flatter and more verdant terrain in the river valleys. Ranching and farming is noticeable passing through Arlee, MT. Later you’ll arrive on a high semi-arid plain, which also includes part of the Flathead Reservation.

Finally, the route takes you to the shores of Flathead Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. Although the route back to Missoula is flatter and more populated, you get to see the unmistakable calling cards left from the ice age—an expansive collection of multi-sized glacial lakes.

 

LUNCH STOP

Cherries BBQ Pit offers rib dinners and tips, brisket sandwiches, chicken dinners, and pulled pork sandwiches. Just look for the pink pig on the restaurant’s roof. Find it at 105 2nd St E, Polson, MT, (406) 571-2227.