Area Information & Links

Local Places of Interest

Lost Trail Powder Mountain, Montana’s family ski area at a base elevation of 7,050 feet above sea level, is located six miles above Lost Trail Hot Springs Resort.
Chief Joseph Cross Country Ski Trail is about fifteen minutes east up into the Big Hole Valley. Chief Joseph has twenty-five miles of beautiful, groomed trails. Eight loop trails provide a variety of lengths and skill levels. Chief Joseph Cross Country Ski Trail is groomed weekly. The trail system starts on the north side of Highway 43 at Chief Joseph Pass.
To the south, is the Big Hole National Battlefield that marks the dramatic struggle between the Nez Perce Indians and the U.S. Army in 1877.
To the north, in Hamilton, is The Stock Farm Club Golf Course, an eighteen-hole golf course. Created by Tom Fazio, the 7,000-yard masterpiece consistently appears on any list of the world’s premier club courses.
While in Hamilton, the history buffs can explore the Daly Mansion that was built in the late 1880s as a summer home for Marcus Daly, one of Montana’s copper barons. Riverside remains an amazing, historic get away for all ages.
Proceeding up the valley, one must visit the Saint Mary’s Mission in Stevensville. The mission is the site of the first permanent white settlement in Montana. Today, services in the Chapel are held on a limited basis and it is inspiring to harken back to the beginnings of the State of Montana.

For the serious bird watcher, there is the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge near Stevensville. Located along the meandering Bitterroot River, the Refuge offers spectacular viewing opportunities of the landscape and wildlife.


Location Map & Distance Information

Lost Trail Powder Mountain Ski Area 6 Miles
Big Hole Battlefield 21 Miles
Big Hole River 12 Miles
Butte/Anaconda 110 Miles
Darby, Montana 26 Miles
East Fork of the Bitterroot River 5 Miles
Glacier National Park 259 Miles
Hamilton, Montana 42 Miles
Helena, Montana 165 Miles
Missoula, Montana 88 Miles
River of No Return (Salmon River) 30 Miles
Salmon, Idaho 56 Miles
Spokane, Washington 288 Miles
West Yellowstone 271 Miles
Wisdom, Montana 28 Miles

How Sula, Montana Got Its Name

In 1885, Jim Lord, Ed Lord and son moved from Rye Creek to Ross Hole. That summer they hired a mower and rake from Mr. Harlan of Como and cut hay all over the basin where the grass was high enough. They cut forty tons of hay — this was the first haying done in Ross Hole.

The winter of 1886-1887 was when so many cattle died in Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas. The Lords got discouraged and decided to sell out and go back to Kansas. That was the winter that Charles Russell painted his famous picture, “Waiting for a Chinook.” In the Spring of 1887, Long-Haired Thompson came to Ross Hole. He bought the Lord place for $450. A baby girl was born to the Thompsons while they lived here. Her name was “Ursula” — Sula for short. When we finally got a post office, it was called Sula, as she was the first white child born in the Basin.

The first settlers never had any mail unless someone went to Como. In 1890, Jeff Whitesell used to bring the mail once a month and charged each family a dollar a month. In 1891, Will Wetzsteon was appointed postmaster. A few years later Scott Sherrill was appointed. He sent a petition to Washington to have the name changed to Sherrill, but another petition was sent in protest and it was left SULA.

Did you know? A bit of info just because!

The bitterroot plant still grows in the valley. You are more likely to find them on the drier east side on the foothills of the Sapphire Mountains. Bitterroots appear soon after the snow melts, low to the ground with a very pretty dark pink to whitish-pink flower. There are many Indian legends about this plant, the first in the spring to provide some fresh nourishment. The plant was dug up before the blossom opened and the root skinned and then cooked with berries or meat.

Montana Facts & Trivia!

  • Montana has the largest migratory elk herd in the nation.
  • The state boasts the largest breeding population of trumpeter swans in the lower United States.
  • At the Rocky Mountain Front Eagle Migration Area west of Great Falls more golden eagles have been seen in a single day than anywhere else in the country.
  • North of Missoula is the largest population of nesting common loons in the western United States.
  • The average square mile of land contains 1.4 elk, 1.4 pronghorn antelope, and 3.3 deer.
  • The Freezeout Lake Wildlife Management Area contains as many as 300,000 snow geese and 10,000 tundra swans during migration.
    At Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge it is possible to see up to 1,700 nesting pelicans.
  • The Montana Yogo Sapphire is the only North American gem to be included in the Crown Jewels of England.
  • In 1888 Helena had more millionaires per capita than any other city in the world.
  • 46 out of Montana’s 56 counties are considered “frontier counties” with an average population of 6 or fewer people per square mile.
    At Egg Mountain near Choteau dinosaur eggs have been discovered supporting the theory some dinosaurs were more like mammals and birds than like reptiles.
  • Montana is the only state with a triple divide allowing water to flow into the Pacific, Atlantic, and Hudson Bay. This phenomenon occurs at Triple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park.
  • The notorious outlaw, Henry Plummer, built the first jail constructed in the state.
  • No state has as many different species of mammals as Montana.
  • The moose, now numbering over 8,000 in Montana, was thought to be extinct in the Rockies south of Canada in the 1900s.
  • Flathead Lake in northwest Montana contains over 200 square miles of water and 185 miles of shoreline. It is considered the largest natural freshwater lake in the west.
  • Miles City is known as the Cowboy Capitol.
  • Yellowstone National Park in southern Montana and northern Wyoming was the first national park in the nation.
  • The town of Ekalaka was named for the daughter of the famous Sioux chief, Sitting Bull.
  • Fife is named after the type of wheat grown in the area or, as some locals contend, by Tommy Simpson for his home in Scotland.
  • Fishtail is named for either a Mr. Fishtail who lived in the area or as the area Indians prefer for some of the peaks in the nearby Beartooth Mountain Range which look like the tail of a fish.
  • The Yaak community is the most northwestern settlement in the state.
    Montana has the largest grizzly bear population in the lower 48 states.
    Near the Pines Recreation Area as many as 100 sage grouse perform their extraordinary spring mating rituals.
  • The first luge run in North America was built at Lolo Hot Springs on Lolo Pass in 1965.
  • Combination, Comet, Keystone, Black Pine, and Pony are names of Montana ghost towns.
  • Virginia City was founded in 1863 and is considered to be the most complete original town of its kind in the U.S.
  • Montana is nicknamed the Treasure State.
  • The bitterroot is the official state flower.
  • The density of the state is six people per square mile.
  • The highest point in the state is Granite Peak at 12,799 feet.
  • The most visited place in Montana is Glacier National Park, known as the crown jewel of the continent. It lies along Montana’s northern border and adjoins Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada, forming the world’s first International Peace Park.
  • Buffalo in the wild can still be viewed at the National Bison Range in Moiese, south of Flathead Lake and west of the Mission Mountains.
  • Montana’s first territorial capital, Bannack, has been preserved as a ghost town state park along once gold-laden Grasshopper Creek.
  • The Old West comes to life through the brush and sculpture of famed western artist Charlie Russell at the Charles M. Russell Museum Complex in Great Falls. The museum contains the world’s largest collection of Russell’s work, his original log-cabin studio and his Great Falls home.
  • The Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman gained fame through the work of its chief paleontologist, Jack Horner. Horner was the prototype for the character Dr. Alan Grant in the best selling novel/movie, “Jurassic Park.”
  • Montana’s rivers and streams provide water for three oceans and three of the North American continent’s major river basins.
  • Just south of Billings, Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and his troops made their last stand. Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument features the Plains Indians and United States military involved in the historic battle.
  • The western meadowlark is the official state bird.
  • The first inhabitants of Montana were the Plains Indians.
  • Montana is home to seven Indian reservations.
  • Every spring nearly 10,000 white pelicans with a wingspan of nine feet migrate from the Gulf of Mexico to Medicine Lake in northeastern Montana.
  • The Going to the Sun Road in Glacier Park is considered one of the most scenic drives in America.
  • The state’s official animal is the grizzly bear.
  • The state’s motto Oro y Plata means gold and silver.
  • Montana’s name comes from the Spanish word mountain.
  • In Montana the elk, deer and antelope populations outnumber the humans.
  • Glacier National Park has 250 lakes within its boundaries.
  • Hill County has the largest county park in the United States. Beaver Creek Park measures 10 miles long and 1 mile wide.
  • Competing with the D River in Lincoln City, Oregon for the title of the world’s shortest river, the Roe River flows near Great Falls. Both rivers lengths vary from 58 feet to 200 feet. The source for this small river is Giant Springs, the largest freshwater spring in the United States.

About Lost Trail Hot Springs

Lost Trail Hot Springs Resort is located at the base of Lost Trail Pass in the beautiful Bitterroot Valley of Western Montana. We have year round opportunities galore for photographers, bird watchers, nature lovers, hikers, bikers, hunters, fishermen - everyone!

Halfway between Yellowstone and Glacier, make this your overnight getaway from the crowds as you journey on your jam-packed once-in-a-lifetime Montana experience!


283 Lost Trail Hot Springs Road
Sula, Montana 59871
Phone: (406)821-3574 from 8am - 9pm
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