History of Missoula

Archaeological artifacts date the Missoula Valley's earliest inhabitants to the end of the last ice age 12,000 years ago with settlements as early as 3,500 BCE. From the 1700s until European settlements began a hundred years later, the land was primarily used by populations of the Salish, Kootenai, Pend d'Oreille, Blackfeet, and Shoshone tribes. Located at the confluence of five mountain valleys, the Missoula Valley was heavily traversed by local and distant native tribes that periodically went to the Eastern Montana plains in search of bison, leading to inevitable conflict. The narrow valley at