Nestled in the Missoula valley in western Montana, Missoula is the second largest city in Montana with a population of 73,489 people according to the 2020 Census. Missoula is located in Missoula County, which has a population of 117,922 according to the 2020 Census, Montana’s third most populated county. Missoula is located on the traditional lands of the Ktunaxa ɁamakɁis (Kootenai), Salish, and Kalispell tribes and the name Missoula (pronounced muh-zoo-lah) comes from a Salish word for the Clark Fork River.
The valley where Missoula lies was also once a prehistoric glacial lake known as “Lake Missoula.” The official landmark is actually located 68 miles northwest of the city, but the landmark was established because of the “great ripples” and water lines that are visible.
Missoula is a “four seasons” kind of town with average temperatures in the 70s and 80s during the summer months and average snowfall at just under 40 inches per year. Unlike the eastern part of the state, Missoula has fewer sunny days overall but is also less prone to wind or hail storms.
Get to know Missoula and you’ll discover a thriving music and arts scene, copious outdoor activities like skiing, mountain biking, hiking, running, and fishing, abundant festivals, and of course, the notable University of Montana and Montana Grizzlies.