A Visit to Polson, then on to Missoula

Missoula, MT

After a month of traveling and hiking, we decided that it was time for a couple of days of down time.  So we pulled out of St. Mary on the east side of Glacier NP and headed around the park on Rt. 2.  Once around the park we turned south on Rt. 89 headed to Polson on the southern shore of Flathead Lake.  Friends, Dave and Sue, visited Polson last year and had very positive things to say about the Polson Motorcoach and RV Resort, an upscale park overlooking both Flathead Lake and the Polson Airport.  After weeks of staying in parks of various levels of quality, we decided that we deserved a little bit of luxury.

The park is part of a complex with a very nice KOA.  The KOA is located on top of a hill while the motorcoach resort is on three tiers cut into the hillside below.   The picture below shows the resort from a distance (the arrow is our site).  Many of the sites are vacant now as the resort will close for the winter in two weeks.

The views from the front of our site are fantastic.  We look at the Mission Mountains in the distance, Flathead Lake below the mountains, and the small airstrip directly in front of us.  The mountains were covered in haze for most of our visit due to wildfires in the west.


During the trip to Polson we had to drive on some wet roads.  While this may not seem to be a big deal, wet roads throw up a great deal of dirty water which covers the back of the motorhome and the Jeep with a layer of grim.  So we spent a day washing both vehicles and doing some cleaning inside.

The weather report was calling for a few days of rain in this area later in the week, so we only stayed in Polson for two days before moving on.  We are now settled in at Jim and Mary’s RV Park outside of Missoula.  While not as “upscale” as Polson, it’s a very nice park only a few miles from the city.

Home sweet home in Missoula

Fall has arrived in Montana

Missoula is the home to the University of Montana and a large “M” looks over the campus and city on a nearby mountain.

The big “M” seen in the distance from along the interstate approaching Missoula

We read that hiking up to the “M” was one of the must-do activities for visitors to Missoula.  Upon hearing that the nimble hiker began to salivate, so as soon as we were set up in the RV park guess where we headed!

The trail up the hillside begins next to a parking lot behind the football stadium.

The hike up to the “M” is less than a mile, but it’s all uphill around eleven switchbacks.

The base of the “M”

We continued up and around the “M” to get a better view of it.  Wow, it turns out that the letter is not an “M” at all, its a “W”!

Regardless of what letter it is, the views of the campus and city are great at the top!

Since the prediction is for some rainy weather the next few days, we’ll just sit tight here in Missoula for a bit before continuing our journey to the south.  We’ll let you know our next destination is as soon as we figure out where it is.

Sunset over Montana

More on that later . . .

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25 Responses to A Visit to Polson, then on to Missoula

  1. Pam; Just south of Missoula is Salmon, ID and we stayed at Heald’s Haven RV Park there for a couple of days. Nice park for $22/night for FHU. quiet, etc. There was also a fair amount of stuff to do in Salmon pertaining to Lewis and Clark….. go to my BLOG, if interested, and click on “Idaho campground reviews” to see some picts and writeup on the campground… Also, Barb posted about the Lewis and Clark Center, in town, on the regular BLOG post for that day…


  2. jcgc50 says:

    On our recent visit to Missoula we ate at Tamarack Brewing Co, good food and beer. We liked the beer at Kettlehouse Brewing Co better, but nothing to eat there but peanuts.
    We decided to hike up Mt. Jumbo, the L mountain, instead of the M. SImilar distance, steepness, and views, with options for much longer hikes from there.
    And if you get to Hamilton south of Missoula, Blodgett Canyon was a really nice hike. Nothing like the ones you’ve been doing lately, though!
    Oh,and one more thing, we are headed to Torrey, UT in case you want to revisit Cap Reef and do some hikes with us and a few other bloggers who are meeting up there. We would love to have you join us!

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks so much, Gayle, for the information!! We always appreciate good tips.

      I love Capital Reef and we have friends that live there. Now you have us thinking. It’s nice that we don’t have any plans. Thanks for the invitation:)

      • allisonmohr says:

        We’re going! October 5 arrival for 10 days. Would love to hook up with you two. We can’t walk as far as you do, but we’d love to meet you in real life.

  3. Laurel says:

    “We’ll let you know where our next destination is as soon as we figure out where it is…” love it! That’s how we’re rolling these days, too. Looks like you’ve had a very nice few days of R & R — the colors you captured in that last sunset photo are absolutely spectacular!

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks, Laurel:) We seem to be really living day to day lately, more than ever.

      Glad you enjoyed the sunset photo. I really like our new camera but it doesn’t have a sunset setting. It has beach and snow settings but no sunset setting. So I am still trying to find what works.

  4. pmbweaver says:

    I like the levels in the campground. We stayed at one in Elephant Butt like that. I never saw a site that gave you an umbrella with the table. Lovely view.

    The Missoula park looks more our speed.

    Great view from the M. Rain has been following us since we left Ohio. We have only had two complete days without rain in two weeks. Raining here in Montgomery and will continue while we are at the beach. Hope we get one day of beach time!

  5. Erin says:

    Into every RVers life must fall some kuxury … that looks like a lovely resort; and the tiers are a great way of letting everyone share that view. Love the view from the “M.”

  6. LuAnn says:

    I’ve never seen a campground overlooking an airfield…very interesting! That nimble hiker just doesn’t know what rest is, does she? Love that last sunset photo. The colors are wonderful. 🙂

    • placestheygo says:

      LuAnn, I knew we only had the sun the afternoon we arrived and hiking to the “M” was obvious, so off we went:) My idea was to hike another mile to the summit of the mountain. But as you can see that didn’t happen!! Oh, well, the major climb even with switchbacks was tough.

      Thanks, Lu:) Glad you enjoyed the sunset.

  7. Though we did not hike the M, we did walk the campus, very pretty with a really nice stadium. Football must be very big there!

  8. Jodee Gravel says:

    What fun, free entertainment to watch the small planes take-off and land – especially with a great view behind them 🙂 With so few other folks, that looks like a great spot to stop and get caught up a bit! The sunset is amazing, good catch! That is a serious M! Our little town letters were paint slapped on the mountainside that had to be touched up every year. Is it heated so it doesn’t stay covered by snow most of the year ???

    • placestheygo says:

      The “M” is all concrete and I can’t believe it is heated. Probably just disappears for several months:) Prior to the concrete, the “M” was created out of rocks that the students white washed every year.

  9. heyduke50 says:

    we too give a thumbs up on Kettlehouse Brewing Co… we should have hiked the M while there but just didn’t… next time…

  10. Thank your for checking out my initials John and Pam! I could have done the same thing at the M in Wisconsin 😦 The sunset is gorgeous!
    That was the first thing I noticed, both your jeep and MH had another good bath and sparking again. I can relate about the mud and dirt and grime when driving over there. When we were in AK we gave up giving a bath to Betsy, it was always muddy and dirty and dusty over there.

  11. Sherry says:

    Love Missoula and especially their farmer’s market. Also love Jim and Mary’s. My place to stay there. Wish we could meet folks at Capitol Reef. What a great place. Love your sunset picture. You don’t need a setting. What new camera is this? Have I forgotten?

    • placestheygo says:

      I don’t think John mentioned the camera in the blog. We got several months ago because I wanted a better zoom. It is a Sony point and shoot with 20X zoom. We are very happy with the quality and it fits in my pocket. As a matter of fact, Cherie from Technomadia just got the same camera.

  12. Rick Doyle says:

    We’ve stayed in Missoula a few times over the years and love it there. Never did climb up to the M though but it looks like we should have. Great pics of Missoula from up there!

  13. Gay says:

    Nice pictures Pam…the photos of Polson bring back lots of fond memories as we loved it there!
    I like your travel plans…fun!

    • placestheygo says:

      The Motorcoach resort reminded me of Portal. These really are my kind of parks. I’m just sorry the weather wasn’t better so we could stay a few more days. But we can always go back:)

      Yes, our travel plans are in more “in liquid” rather than “in jello!” Haha!

  14. The Motorcoach Resort at Polson is one place I never thought I could get Vic to leave. We even looked at property in Polson and would have been tempted if we had not already purchased a place in Bend. The season is a lot shorter there but it totally seems worth it.

    How fun that the nimble hiker wanted to climb the M. I went to school there and it was a great tradition–especially with younger legs!

  15. gt350ed says:

    Missoula never looked so good as from up on the M/W. My only experience there was to stock up for a pack/fishing trip in the area above the Clark Fork. When we graduate to full-time in the Class of 2016, I’m sure we’ll make it to Missoula and the “M”. Thanks for sharing.

    We like your blog. May we follow?

    Although we’re new at it, ours is http://www.sunrisesandsunsets.us .

    Ed@ Catching Sunrises and Sunsets

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