Chamber of Commerce.
Hamilton is surrounded on the west by The Bitterroot Mountain Range and on the east by The Saphire Mountain Range. The east and west fork of The Bitterroot River run south to north through the Valley. The surrounding towns to the south are Darby, and Sula and to the north are Corvallis, Victor, Stevensville, and Florence.
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moderate. This area is well-known as the "Banana Belt" of Montana because of the mild weather for a northern area. While snowfall in the valley is only about 6 inches per year, the mountain areas, such as at the lost Trail Ski area, average about 200 inches per year. Most days are sunny with about 270 such days each year.
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Lewis and Clark applied the name "Bitterroot Valley" to the whole valley where they found this plant growing profusely. The plant's botanical name is Lewisia rediviva which comes from the explorers name. The Bitterroot was officially designated as Montana's State Flower by the Legislature in 1895
Hamilton was named after James Hamilton who came to Montana when the Copper King, Marcus Daly, asked him to come to plan and develop the town. Hamilton is unique in that it didn't evolve as a town, but began as a planned town with wide streets and an economic center for the area farms and ranches. Daly had come to the area looking for industry other than his already established mining industry. In 1887, he found the Bitterroot Valley and began lumber and sawmill operations quite rapidly. This is when Hamilton entered the picture. Daly invited Hamilton and Robert O'Hara to come from Minnesota in 1890. Daly made the decision to name the town for Hamilton and appointed the first mayor, O'Hara. Hamilton was incorporated about 1894.
Hamilton is the county seat of Ravalli County which basically covers the Bitterroot Valley. The Valley, itself, is 25 miles wide and 96 miles long and covers 2,383 square miles. It has varied scenery and activities of all kinds.
Things to do in the Bitterroot Valley area.
Much information about the Bitterroot Valley area.
Lost Trail Powder Mountain
This resort accumulates more snow, in general, than any other place in Montana giving it the distinction of having among the best downhill slopes in the state.
There is also cross-country skiing available in the area. There are miles of Nordic and snowmobile trails to be used.
PO Box 223
Hamilton, MT 59840
The historic home of Copper King, Marcus Daly, just outside the town of Hamilton, Montana. Approximately 45 miles south of Missoula, Montana on Highway 269, at mile marker 2
Ravalli County Museum
205 Bedford Street
(The Old Courthouse)
Phone: (406) 363-3338
This building was the Ravalli County Courthouse and now holds collections of antique household, commercial, scientific and military items.
Skalkaho - a snowmobile area about two miles south of Hamilton. This is one of the most scenic snowmobile areas in Montana and also one of the least-traveled. No cars are allowed in the area in the winter. It gives beautiful year-round vistas. During winter you can view the frozen Skalkaho Falls.
Come visit Wil's blacksmithing shop in Hamilton, Montana, where he creates sculpture and artistic ironwork, architectural ironwork and a wide variety of commissioned wrought iron pieces.