Fall in Missoula is incredible. Missoula is nick-named the Garden City, so you can imagine what happens to all that greenery when the seasons change. There is no shortage of places to go and things to do year round, but we’ve put together a list of a couple of our favorite ways to take in the fall season in Missoula. As you explore Missoula and the surrounding areas, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Tamarack Trees. Although Tamarack trees are a member of the pine family, their needles turn gold and orange much like the leaves of deciduous trees.
1. Visit the Missoula Maze
The Missoula Maze is a great way to spend a day with the whole family. The maze is made out of hay bales, straw bales, and a corn field. The Missoula Maze is one of the first of it’s kind in Montana. While you are there, visit the pumpkin patch to pick out some pumpkins for carving. The Maze also has a petting zoo with a variety of animals and even a mini maze for younger children in your group.
2. Pick out a Pumpkin from the Pumpkin Patch
You can grab a pumpkin while you’re at the Missoula Maze, or you can head up to the Missoula Alliance Church for a locally grown pumpkin of your choosing. For more information about corn mazes and pumpkin patches click here.
3. Take a Scenic Drive Through the Bitterroot Valley
The Bitterroot Valley is just a short drive south of Missoula. The valley absolutely sings with color when fall rolls around. Make sure to stop at the Daly Mansion for a truly beautiful view with its tree-lined entry way. If your schedule permits, try and catch at Haunted Mansion Hayride at the Mansion, or make a special stop out at the Field of Screams near Lolo. Visit our Bitterroot Valley day trip page for a driving route and some highlighted points of interest along the way.
4. Stroll the Riverfront Walking Trail
The Riverfront Walking Trail runs through Downtown Missoula along the Clark Fork River. The river reflects all the colors from the changing trees, surrounding you in a sea of fall foliage.
5. Hike Mount Sentinel & Explore the University of Montana Campus
Mount Sentinel just may be the best place for fall color viewing in Missoula. Sitting right over the University of Montana Mount Sentinel has a perfect view of all of the tree-lined streets in the University District. Be sure to bring a camera because it is quite a site to see. It is a steep hike, but it is definitely worth the view. For more on hiking, visit our hiking page.
6. Visit a Brewery
Fall is a great time to check out all of the seasonal offerings from the local breweries. Try Great Burn Brewing’s Pumpkin Ale, The Rut Octoberfest from Draught Works and The Great Pumpkin Ale from Kettlehouse. For a complete list of the breweries in the area, visit our breweries page.
It doesn’t stop there, be sure to check out our list of 25 Things To Do for more ideas. There are also events going on left and right in the fall in Missoula, so visit our events calendar for a complete list of festivities.