Unseen Missoula Historic Downtown Tours!

UNSEEN MISSOULA! The Downtown Missoula Heritage Program (Unseen Missoula), a partnership of the Missoula Downtown Association, City of Missoula’s Historic Preservation Office, and Historical Research Associates, began offering historical guided walking tours every Thursday and Saturday to the public in June 2018.  Unseen Missoula is comprised of two tours: Basements & Back Alleys and Secrets of the Clark Fork. Unseen Missoula tours promote the heritage and uniqueness of downtown Missoula and works to engage Missoulians, visitors, civic groups, downtown businesses, and property owners in fostering cultural identity and promoting heritage tourism. Check out the summaries below!

*Please contact us if someone in your party needs special accommodations*

Payment is Required Upon Reserving Your Spot!


  • Adult (18-64) – $10
  • Senior (65+) – $7
  • Youth (Under 18) – $7
  • Military (With ID) – $7

Buy Your Tickets Before They’re Gone!

Secrets of the Clark Fork (River Walk)

Thursdays @ 5:30pm and Saturdays @ 11:30am

Floods, Rails and Trails.   The history of a river flowing through Missoula.

The Clark Fork River has been a barrier, a sewer, a transportation corridor and a cornerstone of Missoula recreation.  On this walking tour you will learn about its history including the people, the opportunities and the oddities that made it what it is today.  The tour, which begins at Caras Park, will take a little over an hour and will cover a mile on flat, level surfaces.  Comfortable shoes should be worn, as well as weather appropriate clothing including hats.

Secrets of the Clark Fork Map



  • “Learning interesting things about Missoula that I never knew before. I also liked the fact that our guide had some specific knowledge about Fort Missoula’s Internment Camp which he shared with us.”
  • “I liked learning that the river walk was not always there and that a lot of people worked hard to bring about its existence. We take so many things for granted…”

Basements & Back Alleys: SOLD OUT

Thursdays @ 5:30pm and Saturdays @ 11:30am

Climb up, down, into and around parts unseen in Downtown Missoula. The tour will explore an assortment of nooks and crannies unseen – basements, the secret Bluebird Theater, an historic bomb shelter and barber shop, all located in the gems of Missoula. Tour stops include, but are not limited to, the Hammond Arcade, the Florence, the Montana Building, the Bluebird Building, the Elks Lodge, as well as the Unseen Missoula Museum filled with artifacts, maps, photos and documents from the Missoula Mercantile and more. The tour starts at Caras Park and lasts approximately 90 minutes. This tour is not ADA accessible and also please refrain from bringing strollers. These less-accessible spaces remain hidden the majority of the year, so catch them while you can…

Basements & Back Alleys Map

Unseen Missoula // September 2017


Unseen Missoula FAQ’s

  1. Can I reserve a spot on the Unseen Missoula tours?
    • Absolutely! We ask that you reserve your spot in advance – online or by phone – by the end of the previous day. Go to missouladowntown.com/tours/unseen-missoula to reserve a spot online or call (406) 543-4238 to make a reservation.
  2. The Basements & Back Alley tours are all sold out! Is there a waiting list? Or will there be more tours offered later in the summer?
    • Yes and yes! There is a waiting list that you can be added to, so that when we release new tours you will have the first chance to sign up. Which leads to the second part of the questions, yes we will be adding more tours. The tours will be added in July, so keep your eyes peeled!
  3. Where do we meet?
    • Both tours meet a few minutes before the tour start time (5:30 pm on Thursdays & 11:30 am on Saturdays) at the base of the Higgins Bridge Staircase, by the bulletin board. There will be a large sandwich sign indicating where to meet.
  4. Can I get something to eat or drink before, on, or after the tour?
    • Not on the tour, but please do so before or after! We will be beginning the tours on Thursday at Caras Park during our Downtown ToNight Summer Series and on Saturday mornings at Caras Park during the Clark Fork River Market. There are food and beverages at each event and the events themselves are free! We hope that everyone takes advantage of these awesome Downtown summer events!
  5. Where do I park?
  6. How many tickets can I buy?
    • You can buy as many as you’d like, depending on availability. Our capacity for these tours are 10-12, so if you have a group larger than 10 we can get scheduled for a private tour. Please contact (406) 543-4238 to schedule a private tour.
  7. What if I need to cancel? Can I get a refund?
    • We understand that things come up! We will refund the purchaser up to 24 hours before the tour. If there is an extreme circumstance, please call our offices at (406) 543-4238.
  8. What if my kid is under 2 – do they have to pay?
    • Kiddos under 2 years of age get to come along for free!
  9. I can’t find the date on my confirmation email! What happened?
    • Apologies! Since this is a brand new program we have been working through kinks like this. We will be switching over to a more user-friendly ticketing process very soon, but for the time being your confirmation emails will not have your specific tour date on them. If you do not remember your date, please email [email protected] and we will find your reservation for you. Also, feel free to call the MDA office at (406) 543-4238 for additional information.
  10. How long are the tours?
    • The tours are approximately 90 minutes long and cover about a mile and a half on foot.

Unseen Missoula Guidelines

  • Silence cell phones
  • No pets
  • Tell guide if you need to leave the tour
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes
  • Stay with the guide
  • Have the best time ever!


Contact Unseen Missoula