With the founding of the Historic St. Mary's Mission in 1841, Stevensville became the first permanent pioneer settlement in Montana. This beautiful Bitterroot Valley community boasts and iconic Main Street featuring locally owned shops and western charm. Stevensville’s vibrant downtown features well-kept historic buildings and relatively few vacant storefronts.
The Historic St. Mary’s Mission complex includes the restored chapel/residence, Father Ravalli's log house/pharmacy and Chief Victor's cabin (now a Salish museum). DeSmet park offers picnic facilities and a replica of a Salish encampment, the cemetery where Father Ravalli is buried and the Indian burial plot.
Fort Owen State Park is the site of many "firsts" in Montana history and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was home to Montana's first Catholic church founded by Father DeSmet in 1841, and the state's first permanent white settlement. Also located here was Montana's first sawmill, first grist mill, first agricultural development, first water right, and the first school for settlers. Period furnishings and artifacts are displayed in the restored rooms of the east barracks. Fort Owen State Park is 1.9 acres in size and sits at an elevation of 3,398 feet.
A short drive from Stevensville is 3,000-acre Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge, offering prime habitat for various types of wildlife and a uniquely situated nine-hole golf course. Other outdoor attractions include Kootenai Canyon, featuring a trail popular with hikers and rock climbers. Majestic St. Mary Peak rises 9,300 feet above sea level and over 6,000 feet above the valley floor. At its pinnacle is an authentic fire lookout station that offers breathtaking views for miles around.
Halfway down the Bitterroot Valley, Stevensville is 20 miles (23 minutes) south of the full-service town of Missoula and 20 miles (24 minutes) north of the full-service hub of the valley Hamilton.
Nearby Hamilton offers a large number and wide array of accommodations, including bed-and-breakfasts, hotels, motels, lodges, vacation homes and RV parks. Click here for options.
Stevensville offers grocery stores, hardware stores an ice cream parlor, antique stores, banks, schools, parts stores, etc.
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