Start in Hamilton

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About this Location

Hamilton, Montana serves as the county seat of Ravalli County, which spans the Bitterroot Valley area east of the Bitterroot Mountain Range divide and West of the Sapphire Mountain Range divide in western Montana. The Bitterroot River bisects the valley and flows through the town. Over 4,500 people reside in the city limits and over 13,000 live within the Hamilton postal code area. If Hamilton annexed all the homes in its postal code, it would be the 8th largest city in Montana according to city-data.

Hamilton is also the home of two microbiological research and production facilities, one private and one federal, as well as a medical/surgical hospital. These are major economic drivers for the area. There is a small amount of light manufacturing in the area. Many small businesses have located in Hamilton and many support the agricultural economy of the Bitterroot Valley, which primarily consists of small-scale ranching along with a few orchards and dairy farms. Hamilton serves as the retail hub for the Bitterroot Valley with multiple retail stores, restaurants, grocery stores, automobile dealers, and banks. Hamilton is also the headquarters for the Bitterroot National Forest. The area is favored by retirees and the median age of residents in Hamilton is 43. The populace is 95% white.

There are several protestant, evangelical congregations in the area, but only one Southern Baptist congregation, The River Church (formerly Hamilton First Baptist). It is estimated that Hamilton churches are engaging 20% of area residents, which is considered high for Montana. The River Church meets on the far south end of Hamilton and efforts have been encouraged to begin a new work on the north end that could also potentially reach people in the Corvallis area, five miles north.

The Hamilton area boasts tremendous opportunities for outdoor recreation activities, including hunting, fishing, camping, horseback riding, and off-highway vehicle riding. These activities are the focus of many residents. An outdoor lifestyle certainly pervades in this area.

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