Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Lolo, Montana, Square Dance Center & Campground


We wanted to spend a few days in Missoula, MT but other than Walmart and Cabela’s for an overnight there aren’t many choices for places to stay. Our friend Maureen recommended the Square Dance Center & Campground in Lolo, about 12 miles south of Missoula. Not being fans of square dancing it sounded a bit odd, but we decided to take a chance and spend a week here. A big cold front with rain is moving this way, dropping temps to highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s over the next couple days, so we thought it would be nice to be plugged in. Plus we just wanted to stay in one place for more than a few days.

A very pleasant RV park with grassy sites well spaced and not just lined up side by side like most RV parks.


Our sites have water and electric but no sewer, but there is a nice dump station that we used on the way in. We paid a very reasonable $154 with tax for the week. The restroom building with showers is old but clean, with plenty of hot water and good water pressure. They also have a few free washing machines but no dryers. And a big hall for square and round dancing, if that’s your thing. (Marial, you would love it!)

Yesterday Jim and I took a little scenic drive and a hike on the North Fork Howard Creek Trail in the Lolo National Forest. I just had to research the unusual name Lolo. The park office lends books about the area and I found this:

“Lawrence “Lolo” Rence was an early 19th century fur trapper who lived in a cabin on Grave Creek, a tributary of Lolo Creek. Lolo shot and wounded a grizzly bear, who charged and mauled him. Lolo died a short time later in his cabin and was buried on a grassy bench above Grave Creek. His grave was recently rediscovered and a large white cross marks the location. Since his death, a Montana town, a historic trail, a hot springs, a 5,235-foot pass, and a national forest have all been named after him.”

The trail was remote and overgrown but we hiked over four miles. It seemed like a good place to see moose or bear, being right along the creek, but no luck. Some of the leaves are already beginning to change color at 4,500’.




While we have power this week I plan to borrow Debbie’s sewing machine to make some new privacy curtains, and of course we plan to check out some of the breweries in Missoula, along with more hiking.


  1. FREE washing machines !?!?! I guess the downside is the no-dryer thing. But still ....

    I have wondered where "Lolo" came from. The part of the Lolo NF I saw was just breathtaking. Glad to see that Jim is ambulatory once more.

  2. I think that blast of cold air is headed this way as well.

  3. I enjoy hiking on trails like that. Makes me feel like we are out in the wilderness.

    Looks like you have some changing colors going on.

  4. I wish we had a blast of cold air here in FL. Its been in the 90's forever. Another delay getting back on the road(medical problems), but at least we now have a home base to fall back on, to bad its not winter. Oh well it gives us time to plan in which direction we want to head when all is well. Your pictures are wonderful.

  5. We stayed there once AND square danced. We're just such squares. Also stayed at the fairgrounds in Missoula, but that's not nearly as pretty.

  6. You should check out Naps Grill in Missoula for an awesome burger and home made fries!!!

  7. Looks like a great little campground, and you can't beat good, hot showers! Love the curly-cue photo :-)

  8. Really been enjoying your hikes and adventures of the Pacific Northwest the last couple of months. Have added Maple Pass Loop in the Northern Cascades to my to do list. Lolo Pass and Lolo Trail were used by Lewis & Clark back in September 1805. I have always wanted to hike part of Lolo Trail just because it is part of the Lewis and Clark trail. You can reach Lolo Pass off US 12 not far from Lolo. Thanks for all the great stories and photos!
    John Q