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7 Amazing Attractions in Missoula, MT

Name just one other American town with a 3-headed dragon park; hand-carved wooden carousel; and a giant historic military fort. Missoula is funky fresh—home to the University of Montana, miles of backwoods trails, and a sweet surfable wave. Before the city was founded in 1864, Blackfeet Indian tribes called the valley home. Here are 7 amazing sites to see in Missoula, MT.

Caras Park & Carousel for Missoula

Caras Park quickly sets Missoula apart from any other city. Hidden in plain sight sits a sick 3-headed dragon playground. Perfect for family outings, this park sits on the beautiful Clark Fork River. If dragons don’t float your boat, consider taking a ride on the hand-carved wooden Carousel for Missoula.

St. Francis Xavier Church

Jesuits built St. Francis Xavier Parish in 1881. When Father Diomedi came to town he dreamed of a larger building to accommodate the growing number of converts. Known as a leader “who sows in whirlwinds and reaps in tornados,” he hired an architect to expand the church. Completed in 1892, this new church capable of holding 750 people became Montana’s largest church.

Montana Natural History Center

Learn how to take detailed field notes and observe nature at the Montana Natural History Center. The Missoula area 15,000 years ago was submerged in a huge lake. You can check out the natural history of the area, handle ancient fossils, and check out different animal pelts and skins.

Fort Missoula

Fort Missoula boasts model tanks, the first infantry unit to test bikes in the field, and a colored history of Japanese and Italian detainees. Tours here are free for Missoula County residents and include visits to the barracks, church, train depot, and parade grounds to name a few.

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Visitor Center boasts some of the best elk exhibits in the state. Learn the 6 different subspecies of elk and their habitats. Step into nature with sounds of an elk bugle and bighorn sheep. The Rocky Mountain Elk is the most common subspecies in North America; Bull Rocky Mountain Elk can weigh up to 700 pounds.

Brennan’s Wave

Brennan’s Wave is a man-made wave constructed on the Clark Fork River in memory of Brennan Guth. Brennan died in 2001 while attempting to paddle the Rio Palguin. Aside from being a world-class kayaker and native Missoulian, he loved his family and community. Today surfers and paddlers come from across the country to tackle the wave.

Mount Sentinel M Trail

The M Trail is one of the most popular in the Missoula Valley. At just under 1 mile to the M, this hike is great for the entire family. From the trailhead, hikers climb 620ft with the help of 11 different switchbacks. Hikers can view the entire University of Montana Campus along with the valley below from the M. (1)

Hope you enjoyed these 7 can’t miss spots in Missoula, MT. Stay tuned for more Montana magic. What’s your favorite part about Missoula?

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