Centrally Located Hotel Close to University and Skiing
Five valleys converge in Missoula, not only making it a premier destination for hiking and skiing, but also a historically significant crossroads—the Lewis and Clark expedition crossed through here. Today, Missoula remains a western Montana hub, with an international airport, the University of Montana and the nearby slopes at the Montana Snowbowl. Just 5 miles from the Snowbowl, Best Western Plus Grant Creek Inn makes a great base for exploring the region. From this point, you’re also within a short drive of nearby Rattlesnake National Recreation Area & Wilderness and the shops of downtown Missoula. The hotel also runs a complimentary shuttle to the airport.
Even standard rooms at Best Western Plus Grant Creek Inn are bright and cheery, with views of the Missoula Valley and surrounding mountains. Some have vaulted ceilings that add to the sense of spaciousness. Each morning begins with a complimentary full breakfast that may include pancakes, egg scramblers, biscuits and gravy, and your choice of juices, coffee, or tea. After a day hiking the Sapphire Mountains or skiing through alpine forests, guests might enjoy relaxing in the hotel’s heated indoor pool, hot tub, or new steam room.
Missoula, Montana: Skiing, Hiking, and Outdoor Adventure near the University of Montana
Missoula has been called “Garden City” due to its relatively mild climate and a fertile valley landscape bisected by the Clark Fork river. The winters here aren’t as severe as in other parts of the state, but there’s still skiing. About 12 miles north of town, the Montana Snowbowl has more than 30 runs, including some steep slopes targeted for advanced skiers. Trails overlook the Rattlesnake Wilderness, a high alpine recreation area crisscrossed by hiking and mountain-biking paths. You can go cross-country skiing in the Rattlesnake, or explore the marked trails of Lolo National Forest to the west.
As the home of the University of Montana, Missoula is also one of the state’s cultural centers. Much of the campus’s historic architecture has been preserved, including the 1899 University Hall and its connective carillon tower, which rings hourly. History buffs shouldn’t miss the University’s Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, home of an 1814 edition of the Lewis and Clark journals.
Across town is Fort Missoula, one of the state’s first military posts. There, you can tour a one-room schoolhouse, a homestead cabin, and the onsite museum, where rotating exhibits detail the area’s history. Much of the architecture in downtown Missoula also hails from the 19th century. This is where college students hang out on the weekends, barhopping between the many downtown watering holes and attending live shows at music clubs.