The Most Beautiful College Campus in Montana Will Leave You Speechless

Written by Nixza Gonzalez
Updated: October 4, 2023
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Montana is a very beautiful and mountainous state. Within the state are at least 24 schools offering degrees. It’s hard to choose which is the most beautiful, considering each college is surrounded by breathtaking forests and mountains. Still, one university especially stands out. Follow along to discover the most beautiful college campus in Montana and some honorable mentions.

What is the Most Beautiful College Campus in Montana?

The most beautiful college campus in Montana is the University of Montana in Missoula. So, what makes this university stand out? This lovely campus is very scenic and peaceful. While walking on campus, you can walk and view mountains in the distance.

On the University of Montana are many landmarks including the Washington–Grizzly Stadium, the Oval, Memorial Row, and the “M” trail. The Washington-Grizzly Stadium is an outdoor college football stadium that opened in 1986, 37 years ago.

The buildings are a mix of modern and historic, but what makes this college campus so beautiful is that it’s along the Clark Fork River and bordered by Mount Sentinel, originally known as Mount Woody. Mount Sentinel’s elevation is 5,158 feet. On one side of the mountain is a large hillside letter “M”.

Looking northeast over the Main Hall clock tower and The Oval at the University of Montana during Autumn, with the Missoula Valley stretching out into the distance.

The most beautiful college campus in Montana is the University of Montana in Missoula.

©David Gilder/

About the University of Montana

The University of Montana was established on February 13, 1893, 130 years ago. The motto of the school is Lux et Veritas, which translates to “Light and Truth” from Latin. This public research university is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Currently, there are over 10,000 students enrolled in this stunning university. The surface area of the campus is 220 acres. The school’s official colors are maroon and silver. 

Within the University of Montana are eleven full colleges and schools. The acceptance rate of the school is around 93%. Programs the school offers include Global Public Health, Media Arts – Game Design and Interactive Media, Digital Marketing, Wildlife Biology – Aquatic, and Pre-dental.

Some notable people who attended the University of Montana are Carroll O’Connor, J. K. Simmons, Dallas Neil, Marty Mornhinweg, Hank Green, and Emily Graslie.

View of Missoula from Mount Sentinel, in Missoula, Montana.

The University of Montana was established on February 13, 1893, before Montana became a state.

©Jon Bilous/

Things to do in Missoula, Montana

The University of Montana is in Missoula, Montana. Missoula was founded in 1866 and was incorporated as a town on March 8, 1883. Two years later, Missoula became a city. Although only established in 1866, artifacts found suggest that human settlements in the area existed since at least 3500 BCE.

The surface area of Missoula is 34.96 square miles. The population of the city is around 74,000. This mountainous city sits at an elevation of 3,209 feet. The city is only about 45 miles from the Idaho border.

So, what is there to do while visiting Missoula? While in Missoula, you can visit museums, hike trails, and enjoy the rich history of the location. Popular museums and spots include the Montana Natural History Center, the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, and the Missoula Art Museum.

You can also take a quick day trip to visit Montana’s best-preserved ghost town, Garnet Ghost Town. This old mining town was established in the 1800s when the mining business was booming.

This is an aerial morning view of the Higgins Street Bridge in Missoula, Montana on a beautiful fall day in Western Montana.

Missoula was founded in 1866 and was incorporated as a town on March 8, 1883. This beautiful city is home to about 74,000 people.

©Keegan Connell/

Honorable Mentions

While the University of Montana is stunning, it’s not the only university or college campus that turns heads in the state. An honorable mention is Montana State University in Bozeman. This stunning school was established in 1893 as the Agricultural College of the State of Montana. Its name from 1913 to 1965 was the Montana College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts.

Montana State University is charming, scenic, and filled with lovely historic buildings. One of the most beautiful buildings on campus is Montana Hall, which was the second building constructed on campus. Another lovely building on campus is the Mission Revival-style Hamilton Hall first built in 1910. Not all buildings though are historic. Cobleigh Hall is more modern and was built in 1970.

Another honorable mention is the Montana Technological University, which is rich in history. Just one look at the aerial view of the campus and you’ll understand why it’s one of the most beautiful college campuses in the state. Surrounding this STEM university are mountains and green hills. The school first opened in 1900 as the Montana School of Mines. Interestingly, the first student was a woman, Clara Clark of Butte.

Bozeman, Montana, montana state university

Montana State University, located in Bozeman, has the largest college campus in the state.

©Colton Stiffler/

Wildlife in and near Missoula, Montana

Missoula is a stunning city home to many animals. Montana alone has over 550 species of land animals and about 90 species of fish. Follow along to discover some animals and plants you may encounter while visiting the most beautiful college campus in Montana and the surrounding area.

Great Blanketflower

Starting our list of animals and plants in Missoula is the great blanketflower. This fiery, beautiful plant is native to parts of North America from Yukon to Connecticut and California. However, this vibrant and tough plant has been naturalized throughout the world. The great blanketflower is a member of the sunflower family. The plant can reach as tall as 3 feet. Great blanketflowers bloom during summer to fall from July to September.

Gaillardia aristata red yellow flower in bloom, common blanketflower flowering plant, group of petal bright colorful flowers

Great blanket flowers are very common in the United States.

©Iva Vagnerova/

Northern Flicker

Northern flickers are one of the most common woodpeckers in Montana. It’s also one of the largest. Northern flickers are native to most of North America, parts of Central America, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands. Males and females have few differences, except for the color of the stripes/bands on their faces. For instance, male northern flickers have a distinct black or red mustachial stripe at the base of the beak.

A Northern Flicker (2)

Northern flickers have a wide range across North America.

©Fiona M. Donnelly/

Oxeye Daisy

Another beautiful flowering plant you can find in Montana is the oxeye daisy. This lovely daisy goes by many names. It’s sometimes called the dog daisy. Although common in North America, it’s native to Europe and parts of Asia. This stunning perennial herb reaches up to 31 inches tall. The plant produces bright flowers with 15 to 41 white petals and a yellow center.

daisy vs chamomile

Oxeye daisies aren’t native to Montana, but they are very common.

©Smyshliaeva Oksana/

Red Fox

Although it’s unlikely you’ll run into a red fox while on the University of Montana’s main campus, red foxes are common in the surrounding area. In Montana, experts estimate there are thousands of red foxes within the state. Red foxes aren’t entirely red though. The coloration of their fur varies. Some are almost entirely silver. The size of a red fox also varies a lot. They can weigh anywhere from 7 to 15 pounds, although 11 pounds is more common.

Cute Red Fox, Vulpes vulpes in fall forest. Beautiful animal in the nature habitat. Wildlife scene from the wild nature. Red fox running in orange autumn leaves.

On average, red foxes weigh between 7 to 15 pounds.

©Ondrej Prosicky/


Last but not least is the bullsnake, which is sometimes called the gophersnake. This is Montana’s largest snake, reaching a maximum length of around 8 feet. Most bullsnakes though are between 3 and 5 feet long. Bullsnakes have large brown and black blotches throughout their bodies. Typically, these snakes live in dry habitats. They live throughout the Great Plains and parts of the Midwestern United States. Sometimes, bullsnakes are mistaken for rattlesnakes like the western diamondback rattler.

The Bullsnake is similar to the Western Rattlesnake. It has black, brown, reddish or white dorsal blotches on a yellow, cream-colored or beige ground.

The Bullsnake is similar to the Western Rattlesnake. It has black, brown, reddish, or white dorsal blotches on a yellow, cream-colored, or beige background.

©steve estvanik/

The photo featured at the top of this post is © DCBoutte Photography/

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About the Author

Nixza Gonzalez is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering topics like travel, geography, plants, and marine animals. She has over six years of experience as a content writer and holds an Associate of Arts Degree. A resident of Florida, Nixza loves spending time outdoors exploring state parks and tending to her container garden.

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