The Bitterroot Valley is located in southwestern Montana, south of Missoula. The area is that part of the western boundary of Montana that looks like a face on the map – specifically, the nose on the face. Flanked by the Sapphire Mountains and Continental Divide to the east and the Bitterroot Mountain Range to the west, the Bitterroot is a lush valley with a freestone trout river running north through the middle of it. The spectacular scenery, mild mountain climate, and friendly small western communities define the area.
Getting here is easy with the (MSO) Missoula International airport, a mere 45 + minute drive from the Valley. The 45,000 residents come from all walks of life and varied lifestyles. Land uses include neighborhood homes, small farms, and large agricultural ranches. Many of the larger parcels in the Valley are protected from development through voluntary conservation. Surrounded by 1,850 square miles of public forest lands, there is no shortage of room to roam. The County seat of Hamilton offers medical services at Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital with its new ICU and Birthing Center. Community medical clinics serve residents as well as nearby Missoula medical facilities which offer specialty care to the entire region.
The new Bitterroot College of the University of Montana located in Hamilton offers a wide selection of coursework to prepare students for unfolding job opportunities. Principle industries include agriculture, science and technology, log home construction, and entrepreneurial businesses.
Elevation, Precipitation, Climate
The Bitterroot Valley has an average elevation of 3,700 feet and a dry climate with low humidity. The average rainfall is 13.3 inches per year. Summer temperatures rarely exceed 90 degrees and the nights are cool. Winter days are the mildest in Montana due to the influence of pacific climate patterns. The Valley experiences very little wind. The growing season in the Bitterroot Valley is Zone 5 to 6, allowing for market vegetables, berries, some fruits, short season corn, hay and grain.