The elevation gain on Missoula’s south side is a distinguishing geographic border separating the Missoula Valley from the Bitterroot Valley. Residents of the South Hills Neighborhood have the advantage of living upon the hillside with views of both Missoula and the jagged and dramatic peaks of the Bitterroots as well. Although locals call it a hill, South Hills residents themselves are on a mountain that climbs to a good 6,000 feet at its tree topped summit. You’ll also hear the area referred to as Moose Can Gully, a name with several different interpretations behind it. Up here, there’s a definite line where residential development stops and open space begins. Historically, these hills were dedicated to the agricultural trade with excellent sunshine and moisture from a mix of weather systems colliding between the two valleys. And well before that, these hills were the shallows of Glacial Lake Missoula that created the flat valley below. Today, South Hills neighbors are happily above water, enjoying the hallmark sunshine and expansive views, as well as the convenience of having everything Missoula has to offer on the valley floor.
The Southgate Triangle Neighborhood is central to most of Missoula so you’ll never feel lost. Nor will you be at a loss for things to do. There is a little of everything in this neighborhood, from brick homes built in the 1960′s on larger lots to craftsman and bungalow styles built in the 1930′s and 40′s along Brooks Street. There are also commercial businesses. Most notably of course is the Southgate Mall. This triangular neighborhood is a result of Missoula’s strange and intriguing historical layout and the Bitterroot Spur Railroad tracks that run through the area. You can have the quiet comfort of a residential street yet still easily get where you need to be almost anywhere in town. If you prefer to bike or walk, you can access Missoula’s trail system quickly as well. And the diversity of the population from students to retirees means you’re sure to find commonality with your neighbors and fellow Missoulians.
It’s not inaccurate to say that the South 39th Street Neighborhood is in the right place, all of the time. Minutes from local grocery stores, movie theaters, schools, and the mall, everything you need is at your fingertips. Pleasantly located in the southwest corner of town, 39th Street’s landscaped center boulevard is also a thoroughfare to the recreation gateway down Highway 93 into the Bitterroot Valley. Head the other direction and you’ll be in Pattee Canyon in just a few minutes. There are also small patches of wildness in this neighborhood, including a great place to bird watch in an unlikely spot just behind a local convenience store. These are the treasures one can expect even in the more populated parts of Missoula. South 39th is also centrally located to half of Missoula’s golf courses as well as ice-skating, hockey, soccer, and baseball. The level landscape, sidewalks, and bike lanes make this major roadway friendly to the cyclists and walkers sharing the road with motorists. Yards, whether large or small, are a place for residents to enjoy the beautiful Missoula weather and see one another passing by. From young families to students to long-time residents, a diverse mix of people live here, which offers so much to so many calling this neighborhood home.