free in Montana

Downtown Missoula. Credit: Montana Office of Tourism

Missoula, aka, the Garden City, is in the Northern Rockies of Montana. The city is surrounded by seven wilderness areas and is at the confluence of three rivers, so outdoor activities abound. Hike, kayak, fish for trout and enjoy a host of free activities. Its mild winters make Missoula ideal for year round family travel.

The following places offer free admission:

The Montana Museum of Art & Culture, on the University of Montana campus, features sculpture, ceramic, and paintings. The museum is the one of the oldest  fine art collections in the Rocky Mountain Northwest. Walk around campus to see more art.


Montana Museum of Work History Inc. celebrates the innovation and work ethic that allowed people to survive and prosper in Montana. The displays include antique firearms, steam and gas engines, automobiles, tools of all descriptions, logging and mining equipment and much more.

St. Ignatius Mission. Credit Montana Office of Tourism

St. Ignatius Mission. Credit Montana Office of Tourism

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Visitor Center features hands-on conservation and hunting heritage exhibits for all ages. The Center also includes a Lewis and Clark display, an impressive collection of world record elk mounts, a western wildlife diorama and a state of the art conservation theater.

The Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History offers a variety of programs and exhibits on wars and military conflicts – World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm – as well as peacetime service.

The Smokejumper Visitor Center is a unique opportunity to learn about this unusual, demanding and dramatic occupation. This is the largest smokejumper base in the country.