Hamilton area information


What does Hamilton and the Bitterroot Valley offer?

Located in western Montana, Hamilton is 45 minutes south of Missoula.  Missoula is serviced by Major airlines including Allegiant Air, Delta, Northwest and United Airlines. The Bitterroot River flows Northward for about 75 miles from the Idaho border to Missoula.   The valley is surrounded by the Bitteroot’s of the Rocky Mountains to the West and the Sapphire Mountians to the East.

Bitterroot Valley: (Banana Belt of Montana) Stretching from Missoula south 96 miles to the Idaho border, the Bitterroot Valley, is 25 miles wide at the widest spot for total of 2,394 square miles.  Land ownership is 74% is public and 26% is privately owned.

Hamilton: In the middle of the Bitterroot Valley, in Ravalli County, is the county’s seat of Hamilton. Home to over 4,000 people, and the immediate area around the town has somewhere over 12,000 people. Downtown Hamilton has several historic buildings with many unique shops and restaurants.  Just finished in the spring of 2004, there is a newly revitalized downtown. New streetscape, trees, and street lamps make way to enjoy the unique downtown shops. 

Hamilton, the county seat, has an elected mayor in the community of 4,163 in the city limits, an immediate drawing area of about 12,000 and county of 40,000 residents.

Population  (2010 Census)                                          Population projection (County)

Age                Number          Percent                                            2010 actual                40212

0-4                 2324               5.8                                       2011                          50868            

5-9                 2245               5.6                                       2012                          56540

10-14              2712               6.8                                       2013                          62370

15-19              2876               7.2                                       2014                          68360

20-24              2088               5.0

25-34              3539               8.8

35-44              4849               12.1

45-54              6461               16.1

55-64              5961               14.6

65-74              3860               9.6

75-84              2052               5.1

85+                1086               2.7


Temperatures (F)                                                             

Month            Avg. Low       Avg. High                           

January          18                  33                                        Growing days   130 to 150 days

April              32                  60                                        Average Rainfall   14” per year

July                50                  84                                        Elevation  3572’

October          31                  61




History: Hamilton was a planned town of wide streets and avenues, a complete economic center for an area of farms and stock ranches. History of Hamilton began when Marcus Daly, a great copper king of the 1880 era in Butte and Anaconda mining development, made his way into the Bitterroot Valley seeking interests other than mining. About 1887, Daly bought up small saw mills west of the present site of Hamilton and established a lumber mill on the bank of the Bitterroot River. Marcus Daly’s next move was to bring two men from another state to plan and develop his dream town. They were James Hamilton and Robert O’Hara, who came from Minnesota in 1890. Daly named Hamilton after James Hamilton and the town was incorporated in 1894, and Mr. O’Hara was named the first mayor.

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