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Bitterroot Valley - Ravalli County

Florence, Stevensville, Victor, Hamilton, Corvallis, Darby

Traveling through western Montana is an adventure in and of itself. Heading south on Highway 93 from Missoula, you come to the cities and towns of the Bitterroot Valley. With the jagged snow-capped peaks of the Bitterroot Mountain Range on the west and the older, rounded hills of the Sapphire Mountain Range on the east, there is plenty to see and do.

First you come to Florence, an easy commute for those working in Missoula or attending the University of Montana.

About 7 miles south there are a sprinkling of businesses and a turnoff to the main part of Stevensville, the oldest town in Montana, that is known for their community events and friendly atmosphere.

Nine miles south is Victor, a small town of less than a thousand people with about 120 businesses.

A little further and the pace picks up some, but not too much. Hamilton is the hub of the Bitterroot Valley and that is where you will find the major industry such as the Marcus Daly Hospital, the National Forest Service, the Glaxo-Smith Klein Laboratory and Rocky Mountain Labs.

Just parallel to Hamilton is Corvallis, which stands out for its spectacular views even in an area where killer views are all around you.

Continuing south from Hamilton you will find that the valley is getting a little more narrow. By the time you get to Darby a replica of times gone by, the valley floor is just five miles wide with giant pines and winding rivers coming right up to the road.

Getting off the main track you will find the small towns of of Sula, Conner, Pinesdale, and Grantsdale - just a handful of people but lots of character.

The Bitterroot Valley is known for its outdoor activities. Lost Trail Powder Mountain with over 300 inches of snowfall every year sits atop the Continental Divide on Highway 93 where Montana and Idaho meet. The 1.6 million acre Bitterroot National Forest, the largest expanse of continuous pristine wilderness in the lower 48 states, includes the Selway Bitterroot, Frank Church River of No Return, and the Anaconda Pintler providing spectacular jagged mountain peaks, high mountain lakes, steep canyons that open into the valley floor and miles of hiking trails.

The Bitterroot River is considered one of the premiere trout rivers in the western part of Montana. Elk, bear, wolf, mountain lion, white tail and mule deer, moose, mountain sheep, goats, turkey and coyote are just a few of the numerous wildlife species you may come across. Driving down the valley, you want to keep an eye out for soaring eagles, hawks, osprey, owls, Canadian geese and a host of other fowl.

If you would like more information about this beautiful valley, call one of the members of Exit Realty's Bitterroot Team at 406-777-0710 or email them at vinda@exitrealtybv.com.

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