Embrace the Heart of Missoula

CARAS PARK: a special place with special meaning that connects our community in ways no other place can.



Caras Park used to be underwater when the Clark Fork river ran right up against the Historic Wilma Theatre. Over the years, the park has evolved into Missoula’s premiere town qquare. It is the place our community to gathers for special events, a place to engage with our neighbors, and a place to celebrate all that Missoula has to offer.

Caras Park became a reality in the early 1980s with the Montana Rep Riverfront Summer Theatre, and the introduction of Out to Lunch in 1986.

The permanent pavilion was constructed in 1997, and since then Caras Park has attracted millions of people to Downtown Missoula.


The Plan

The 2019 Downtown Master Plan (DTMP) and the 2020 North Riverside Parks & Trails Plan (NRSP&T) set the community vision and goals for the most valued aspects – both people and place – for the future. Missoulians love Caras Park, and they want to spend time and energy there year-round. With a finite focus on implementation, the Five Big Ideas for the parks and trails north of the river include:

  • A park for everyone & all seasons
  • Enhance ecological functions, improve views and access
  • Update materials, elements, and landscaping
  • Improve gateways & circulation
  • Support existing uses and design multi-functional spaces


Like all good things, Caras Park needs the care and support of those who value it…

-Geoff Badenoch, Downtown Supporter/Former MRA Director