Missoula, Montana

Life in Missoula, Montana, explained by people who’ve lived in Missoula:

*Click here to share your experience living in Missoula*

*Response format = Answer (Your name, How long you’ve lived in Missoula)

Missoula Favorites

What’s your favorite thing about living in Missoula?

  • The people, the hiking. (Holly, 1 month)
  • University of Montana. (Kerry, 6 months)
  • It has a variety of stores. (Tammy, 2 years)
  • The community. (Hannah, 6 years)
  • The people. (Jared, 7 years)
  • Hunting, fishing, camping. (Sara, 11 years)
  • Perfect size and there’s always something to do. (Austin, 18 years)
  • The surroundings. (Angela, 21 years)
  • The local atmosphere. (Jordan, 27 years)
  • Parks and recreation. (Tina, 28 years)
  • The people who care about the world. (Anonymous, 30 years)
  • Chill environment. (Taco, 30 years)
  • The high amount of culture and outside opportunities for a town this size. (Melody, 34 years)

Missoula Least Favorites

What’s your least favorite thing about living in Missoula?

  • The traffic/roads. (Holly, 1 month)
  • Cloudy skies. (Kerry, 6 months)
  • Not enough affordable housing. (Tammy, 2 years)
  • Not great skiing. (Hannah, 6 years)
  • Housing. (Jared, 7 years)
  • Expensive. (Sara, 11 years)
  • Layout of town. (Austin, 18 years)
  • Terrible drivers. (Angela, 21 years)
  • Town is becoming over crowded. (Jordan, 27 years)
  • Housing. (Tina, 28 years)
  • I don’t feel safe anymore. (Anonymous, 30 years)
  • Eating scenery. (Taco, 30 years)
  • The cost of living. (Melody, 34 years)

Missoula Things To Do

What are fun things to do in Missoula?

  • Hike, breweries. (Holly, 1 month)
  • UM sporting events, lectures, art shows/galleries. (Kerry, 6 months)
  • Outdoors stuff, anything that you can do with family. (Tammy, 2 years)
  • Go to concerts. (Hannah, 6 years)
  • Bars, restaurants, music. (Jared, 7 years)
  • Outdoor activities. (Sara, 11 years)
  • Hike, fish, hunt. (Austin, 18 years)
  • Hiking the M, walking the River Trail, Missoula Osprey games. (Angela, 21 years)
  • Float the rivers, downtown scene, bike the trails. (Jordan, 27 years)
  • Flying squirrel, currents, Splash MT, hike, parks, bike, dog park. (Tina, 28 years)
  • Pretty much every outdoor activity possible. (Anonymous, 30 years)
  • Learning. I’m a nerd. (Taco, 30 years)
  • Hiking, rafting, concerts (including local groups), go out downtown. (Melody, 34 years)

Missoula’s Reputation

What’s Missoula known for?

  • Hikes! (Holly, 1 month)
  • People. (Tammy, 2 years)
  • It’s liberal vibes. (Hannah, 6 years)
  • Lefty activism, college sports, Subarus. (Jared, 7 years)
  • Liberals. (Sara, 11 years)
  • Liberals. (Austin, 18 years)
  • The University of Montana. (Jordan, 27 years)
  • College. (Tina, 28 years)
  • Rape, the University, skiing, drinking. (Anonymous, 30 years)
  • Hippies even though most people are normies. The hippies got priced out years ago. (Taco, 30 years)
  • Outdoor activities and being progressive politically within the state. (Melody, 34 years)

Missoula Crime

What’s the crime like in Missoula? (hot spot areas, etc.)

  • By the rail road tracks. (Holly, 1 month)
  • Average. (Kerry, 6 months)
  • I haven’t witnessed any but hear of things on Facebook and the news. (Tammy, 2 years)
  • I feel fairly safe here but I tend to stay away from certain areas like the north side/central Missoula. (Hannah, 6 years)
  • Safer than anywhere else I’ve lived. (Jared, 7 years)
  • Crime has increased a huge amount since I’ve lived in Montana, especially the last 5 years. (Sara, 11 years)
  • Not bad. (Austin, 18 years)
  • Mostly on the north side. (Angela, 21 years)
  • I feel like crime is very centralized in the north/west side of Missoula. But also heard of more problems around Sentinel High School’s neighborhoods as well. (Jordan, 27 years)
  • North side, downtown on weekends at bar time bad. (Tina, 28 years)
  • I feel that it’s gotten a lot worse. (Anonymous, 30 years)
  • Lots of theft. Fairly safe, but the addicts moving in from small town Montana and local addicts are ruining the town. Everyone blames the hippies, but they are usually trusties not looking for serious trouble. They just want weed and drink and skiing. (Taco, 30 years)
  • The west side and north side see more crimes related to poverty (theft) but overall pretty low. (Melody, 34 years)

Missoula Advice

Any advice for people moving to Missoula?

  • Bring your bikes! Go explore. (Holly, 1 month)
  • Get involved! There is something for everyone. (Kerry, 6 months)
  • Look to living outside Missoula where it’s cheaper housing. (Tammy, 2 years)
  • The Top Hat has the best menu in town, take advantage of all our awesome local shops and markets, and stay away from reserve and Russell from 4-6. (Hannah, 6 years)
  • Try to keep enough money saved up to have emergency deposit and fist month’s rent. (Jared, 7 years)
  • Rent is high, homes are not affordable, need to carry a gun because of high crime and drugs, low paying jobs. Need a higher income or two person income to make ends meet here. (Sara, 11 years)
  • We’re full. (Austin, 18 years)
  • Hope you can afford rent because it’s expensive! (Jordan, 27 years)
  • It’s not what you know it’s who you know (work, school, driving around, interacting with anyone), be nice you never know who someone knows. (Tina, 28 years)
  • Have a job first. (Anonymous, 30 years)
  • Don’t unless you got a great job lined up. Missoula can be downright dull if you can’t even afford gas to leave town for the mountains. I’ve spent many days walking around my hood, reading, or watching Netflix because I’m broke. If you got kids, you will struggle unless you’re making over 40k. Even then. Don’t just move here expecting to find a job. Competition is fierce for anything over 14 an hour, but you usually have very intelligent co-workers. A lot of the houses are owned by moneyed people who are little better than slum lords. So you get terrible products the money. (Taco, 30 years)
  • Support our local businesses instead of big box or chain stores. Buy some Chacos. (Melody, 34 years)

Missoula Stories

Share an experience you’ve had in Missoula (fun, crazy, dangerous, etc.).

  • Singing Christmas carols at the Mo Club was so much fun and made me feel welcome in the community. (Kerry, 6 months)
  • Floating, election parties, local music, it’s hard to think of just one. (Jared, 7  years)
  • Some of the community venue events are fun. (Sara, 11 years)
  • Falling in love senior year of high school with a sophomore and spending my last months convincing her to give me a shot. (Austin, 18 years)
  • Missoula is a very outdoorsy town so I enjoy spending time in nature. (Jordan, 27 years)
  • Watching the wake boarding and canoes at Brandon’s Wave in Caras Park. (Tina, 28 years)
  • I was really proud of the non-discrimination ordinance. (Anonymous, 30 years)
  • Tripping at the Oxford. (Taco, 30 years)
  • Love the Celtic Festival and brewfests. (Melody, 34 years)

Missoula’s Future

How do you think Missoula will change over the next 10 years?

  • It will get bigger. (Holly, 1 month)
  • University enrollment will increase resulting in changes to shopping and entertainment opportunities. (Kerry, 6 months)
  • Even more population, more expensive housing and more expensive restaurants. (Tammy, 2 years)
  • It’s going to grow a lot. (Hannah, 6 years)
  • Increased population, gentrification of the north side, East Missoula and Bonner turns more art community based. Hopefully the new hotel downtown doesn’t have any negative effects. (Jared, 7 years)
  • I think it will continue to become less affordable and crime will continue to climb. The income classes will become more divided between rich and poor people, less middle income people. (Sara, 11 years)
  • Grow towards French town. (Austin, 18 years)
  • It’ll keep spreading and we’ll probably get more infill, too. (Angela, 21 years)
  • The growth here is crazy, I think the town and the bitteroot are going to continue to grow. (Jordan, 27 years)
  • Housing will be so unaffordable that all in the service industry or single parenting will not be able to afford to live here or be forced to the north side. (Tina, 28 years)
  • Probably get more conservative and more violent. (Anonymous, 30 years)
  • It’s gonna get more normal and boring. (Taco, 30 years)
  • It’s going to get too expensive for locals to live here. (Melody, 34 years)

Missoula Facts

Any other interesting facts about Missoula?

  • Have dreamed of living in Missoula for years. So glad I am finally here. (Kerry, 6 months)
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson of Modern Family is from here. (Jared, 7 years)
  • 15-20 years ago, Missoula was a great small town feeling community. It has become too liberal and I don’t think most people here realize how bad the criminal element really is here now. (Sara, 11 years)
  • Lots of weed. (Austin, 18 years)
  • It’s called zoo town! Or the Garden City. (Jordan, 27 years)
  • If you drive up to Shadows keep at night you can see all Missoula lit up. If you drive over Patti Creek you end up in deer creek by the gun range and the golf course in Bonner. (Tina, 28 years)
  • When I moved here as a tween, drivers were easy-going and stopped for pedestrians. Now, if they even pay attention at all, they are flat out hostile and threatening. I walk and cycle a lot here but I try hard to avoid main streets and use the trail as much as possible to avoid drivers. (Anonymous, 30 years)