Darby Montana located at the southeastern end of the Bitterroot Valley

Darby is a small town located at the southern
end of the Bitterroot Valley in southwestern
Montana, just one hour from Missoula and
thirty miles to the Idaho border. The Sapphire
Mountains are to the East and the gorgeous Bitterroot Mountains are to the West, with
many recreational opportunities abounding
in the Bitterroot National Forest. The
Bitterroot Valley is known as Montana’s
‘Banana Belt’ for its slightly warmer
temperatures than the surrounding
mountains. Darby’s overall architecture
has a distinct western flair.
Contact: South Valley Civic Club Laura Orr (406) 544-5536


Annual Events in Hamilton Montana

Annual Darby Fun Day that includes a 1-mile, 5K, and 12K fun runs (starting at Lake Como), parade, community market, live entertainment, evening dance, kids' games and events for the whole family. A deep-pit BBQ is offered as well as a variety of refreshments, plus great specials from local businesses.

The Strawberry Festival old-fashioned ice cream social. Music is provided by local musicians. Enjoy angel food cake with strawberries and ice cream. This is the annual fundraiser for the Darby Volunteer Fire Department.

Darby Logger Days is an annual event for Darby, with many old fashioned logging competitions. This event has become bigger every year and is one you will not want to miss.

Things to do in the area:

There are so many activities to participate in
and enjoy, because Darby is the gateway to nature’s playground. Highlights of this prime recreation area include Alta Ranger Station, Darby Pioneer Memorial Museum, Lake Como Recreation Area, Lost Trail Ski Area, Painted Rocks Lake, Skalkaho Falls, and 3.5 million acres of untouched wilderness.
  The first USDA Forest Service ranger station was established in Darby, and visitors will enjoy the National Museum of Forest Service History located there. This is a great place to visit for families, four-wheelers, hikers, bicyclists, motorcyclists, anglers, hunters, nature lovers, photographers,
skiers, and sightseers. The incredible scenery
in western Montana will revitalize you.

With a population in 2007 of 853 people, the town
is a quiet one with spectacular scenery and fabulous fishing opportunities. Just minutes away are the East and the West Fork of the Bitterroot River, known for some of the finest fishing in the country. The Painted Rock State Park and reservoir, as well as other streams and lakes, make Darby prime territory for the fishing enthusiast. With Brook Trout, Mountain Whitefish, Rainbow Trout, and Westslope Cutthroat Trout prevalent, Darby and its surrounding areas is the perfect fishing destination providing a once in a lifetime “Big Sky” experience.

Darby is located on Highway 93, which constitutes part of the Lewis and Clark Trail. This scenic highway going all the way from Canada to Mexico, is part of the Transcontinental Bicycle Path and is close to the Continental Divide Hiking Trail. Skalkaho Falls, just north of Darby, is one of western Montana’s “must sees.” This breath taking waterfall can be viewed close up from the road!

Lake Como Recreation Area, approximately four miles north of Darby, is a beautiful mountain lake and is one of the Valley’s most popular camping and boating sites. The six-mile loop trail around Lake Como is suitable for hiking, mountain biking and accessing the lake for swimming or picnics. The first quarter mile is wheelchair accessible. Lake Como dam was constructed in 1905 to provide late season irrigation for the Bitterroot Valley farmers and ranchers.

History of Darby Montana
Darby was named in 1888 by its Postmaster James Darby; and its overall architecture has a distinct western flair. Log buildings still stand as a reminder of the gold dust days. Darby’s Pioneer Memorial Museum was originally one of the first hand-hewn homestead cabins built in the area. Warm, friendly people will greet you at the unique shops, grocery store, post office, library, restaurants, saloons and lodging establishments. Visitors will enjoy the National Museum of Forest Service History located here.

Early Forest Rangers, Than Wilkerson and Henry Tuttle, constructed a one-room Lodgepole Pine cabin with a sod roof in June 1899. The resulting Alta cabin is the first ranger station in the United States and still stands on the West Fork Ranger District. Alta Pines are the oldest ponderosa pines in the Bitterroot Valley and can be seen before reaching the ranger station.

Other Community Information:

Darby, Montana

Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce Calendar of Events

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It's a Beautiful Day in Darby Montana, the Old West Gallery is open.

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