Why stay at Downing Mountain Lodge?
It is the most private location in the Bitterroot Mountains and home to the best views of the Bitterroot Valley, long considered an overlooked gem of the Northern Rocky Mountains due to its lack of having a National Park. Next you might ask when to visit? An often overlooked time is May and June when the skies are mixed with Sun waves and cloud showers, the weather pleasant, the wildflowers blooming around the lodge, and there is little chance of forest fire smoke. Our most popular seasons are from June through October for summertime and fall vacationing and fishing and hunting and excursions and then January through April for backcountry skiing.
Downing Mountain lodge is not for everyone though. With a 3 mile, dirt, mountain road in good condition to access the property and set in a wild, forested environment, this is a semi-wilderness experience. Inside the lodge, while comfortable and on one level with an additional sleeping loft, there are no bathrooms connected to bedrooms and only one indoor shower and two toilets. The kitchen is a well supplied commercial kitchen, but well used and by no means fancy or boutique. Furthermore the lodge is heated primarily by wood and guests will have the opportunity to split their own wood and start their own fires in the woodstove and fireplace. Welcome to authentic Montana, where access is still a challenge and you must interact with your group in real ways. Enjoy!
Delivering in house excursions and able to connect you with many others, we offer a backcountry skiing guide service, flyfishing trips and instruction, rafting trips both scenic and whitewater, hikes to high mountain lakes and peaks, rock climbing adventures, mountain biking trips, horse riding trips, power boat and sailing trips to Flathead Lake, wildlife and photographic safaris, and catered dinners. Visits to Downing Mountain Lodge are usually arranged including excursions. Come share an adventure with us in Western Montana.
On the mountain, close to town, near the rivers, and within an hour of a multitude of trailheads, the Downing Mountain Lodge is a comfortably rustic three bedroom, two bathroom log chalet built in the round with sixteen sides. The cozy home has all the amenities and is hands down the most private and amazing location on 80 acres of open forest land and wildflower fields adjacent to the Bitterroot National Forest. Located near hiking, fishing, boating, skiing, biking, climbing, and at the end of a private mountain road, the lodge is as private as you can get while still being close to town. With panoramic vistas out of all windows from South, East to North, the mountain house is located two thousand feet above the Bitterroot Valley with amazing Mountain and Valley views and during May and June, the lands are covered in wildflowers. We are only a fifteen minute drive to the Bitterroot River and Hamilton, the Bitterroot Valley's largest town with plenty of dining, shopping, and entertainment options.
A massive central fireplace supports the log rafters and provides the authentic ambiance of a mountain lodge living room. The master bedroom faces east and catches the sunrise. With a queen bed and twin over full bunkbed, this room can accommodate up to five. The second bedroom contains another double bed and can accommodate up to two guests. The third bedroom contains a twin over twin bunkbed as well as a twin over double bunkbed in addition to a single bed and can accommodate up to six guests and is perfect for the kids or grandkids. There is also a pull out Queen couch in the living room and a child's crib. The lodge is a single story allowing handicap and elderly access to the entire lodge and entryway deck.
The two bathrooms are communal and located at the lodge entrance. There is a vanity entryway to the bathrooms with two sinks. There is a shower bath and two toilets. The living room has three couches by the fireplace, a piano, a guitar, a large dining table for up to twelve people, and a few smaller tables, a foosball table, a board games table, and a woodstove.
The kitchen is a full commercial setup with a gas range, four burner top and two ovens, a separate griddle top, and a charbroiler grill with a large venting hood. A double commercial sink, commercial dishwasher, and a freezer over fridge rounds out the essentials with plenty of room and tables for prep work and a sitting table for six. With plenty of tableware, silverware, and kitchen appliances including a toaster, microwave, crock pots and mixer, our guests or caterer is setup to prepare the most audacious of feasts. An access door to the outside and the hot tub deck is located in the west wall of the kitchen which is in the southwest quadrant of the building.
Outside, via the kitchen access, is a wood stove sauna. On the front lawn is a 5 person hot tub. On the spacious east deck is a large charcoal or wood fired barbecue with a picnic table. In the covered entryway there is room to park one car, a love seat swing adjacent to a small lawn. Up the mountain behind the lodge is a dirt road leading to the northwest and a spring creek, a ridge and the trail to Downing Mountain and the high mountain tarns 2,000 feet above, and to the south after a short climb a descending old two track roadway to Owings Creek where it springs from the Earth.
The Downing Mountain Lodge is located on 80 acres of open forested land and borders thousands of acres of National Forest land to the west. With two spring creeks within easy walking distance and private trails and two tracks roads leading up and down the mountain, private paradise is how its often aptly described. There are elk, deer, moose, black bear, mountain lion, wolf, marten, mountain goats, and a variety of birdlife with grouse often roosting in the trees surrounding the lodge.
Please visit our unique website at downing mountain lodge dot com.
|Lodging Tax 7%
Additional Guest Fee $55
Rates are seasonal and may change. We host weddings. We take special considerations, last minute deals, and prices are negotiable depending on individual circumstances and group size or events. We offer additional services: shuttles, grocery shopping, adventure and travel consulting, fishing trips, hiking trips, whitewater rafting trips, rock climbing trips, sailing trips, and mountain biking and hiking trips.
This was our second time staying at downing mtn lodge and it's always so relaxing. The place is cozy and beautiful. It's a gorgeous get away from missoula with hot tubs, sauna, and endless hikes in the area. The owners took great care of us and plowed the roads before we arrived and they are quick to respond to emails or phone calls. I wish I lived at this place all year round. Ps. The new flooring looks great!
We searched long and hard for the right place to have our wedding. Many of the options were very nice but quite pricey and would not provide the view of this valley we call home. Once we realized that Downing Mountain Lodge was an option our decision was all but made. John let us visit the lodge and take measurements to see how many people we thought we could fit in the lodge as well as on the grounds. Our wedding was small (65 guests) and the weather was great. Everyone fit and we probably could have squeezed a few more in. Everything turned perfectly. I believe every guest went home with at least one photo on their phone showing the amazing view the lodge has from it's perch on the hill. We could have all squeezed inside if absolutely necessary but the ceremony on the deck, food in the lodge, and games outside felt ideal. I would highly recommend this lodge for any events you may have planned where you want to show your guests why this valley is so great. A little decorating was all it took for a beautiful wedding. The owners are great and very easy to work with. Since I don't plan to get married again, I need to find a new excuse to rent it again next summer or even in the winter!
My father-in-law and I got soaked as a storm rolled through the bitterroot while we were passing through on a motorcycle excursion.. John was incredibly nice and let us stay the night when we called last minute. We had never been here, and when we pulled up we were in awe. The lodge is beautiful and the view is breathtaking. The hot tub was clean and exactly what we needed being soaked and chilled to the core. It has everything one could want, and I realized that in the winter it has great access to backcountry skiing. This lodge will see us again. Thank you so much!
We had a fantastic time at this beautiful lodge away from it all. John was a great host, too. Hot tub, sauna, gorgeous views... couldn't have been better. Thanks for the most relaxing vacation ever!!
Incredible setting in the mountains, quiet and remote. The interior is comfortable and spacious. Thanks for loaning it to us.
This place is the best! If you want a kick ass view up in the mountains away form eveone this is the place !!! I love the history in this place the fact it’s on the side of a mountain,your surrounded by wildlife and nature it the best!!! This place is great for huge groups! The kitchen is such an amazing addition to the trip make it wonderful knowing you can cook for everyone and not be cramped!! John was a great host I stayed in close contact with him and he was extremely helpful. We left a little early on our last day since we had a 11 hr drive back but next time I’m out there I’ll make timeto stop by and shake Johns hand! I know I’ll be back for sure totally love this place !!!
My husband and I live in the Bitterroot Valley and hike around a lot but have never seen the views quite like this. Truly beautiful and will definitely be coming back. The lodge is so inviting, and we enjoyed nights out in the hot tub. Such a nice getaway yet close to home. Thank you, Johnny!
Very comfortable lodge with stunning views. Beds were snuggly, hot tub the perfect temperature and everything was ready for our arrival. Gorgeous country to hike and explore. Great swimming and fishing nearby in the bitterroot river. Highly recommended!
We were just there in August 2015 - nice lodge with a wonderful view. Very private, large kitchen and fireplace. Clean and enjoyable
Our group of 9 (5 teenagers) stayed at the Downing Mountain Lodge and absolutely loved it. The views are spectacular and at night the sleepy town of Hamilton twinkles beneath you. From the seventeen switch-backs that lead you up to the secluded lodge, to the wrought-iron anchor that holds the door, to the fireplace, piano, drums, comfy sofas, this place is loaded with rustic charm. We enjoyed the commercial kitchen, stocked with the essentials and every kind of pot, dish or utensil imaginable. My favorite was the large griddle which made it easy to feed our group quickly and the dishwasher did a load in 90 seconds! There were deer and rabbits and a fox who visited at dusk. Get away from the crowds that flock to Glacier. There are beautiful drives, horseback riding, and the serene Bitterroot River. John, the owner, was a pleasure and made us feel so welcome. We love this place!