Visiting St. Ignatius, Montana is a quick trip that is well worth your time. Driving in your Missoula car rental, St. Ignatius is approximately 40 miles north of Missoula on Highway 93.
One of the most recognized attractions of the St. Ignatius area is the St. Ignatius Mission. It offers a glimpse of Jesuit Catholic missionary life on the Flathead Indian Reservation dating back to the mid-1800s. The St. Ignatius mission was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, partially due to the church’s Gothic revival architecture. The church at the mission is adorned with a series of hand-painted murals reminiscent of a mini-Sistine Chapel. Brother Joseph Carignano was better known as the mission’s cook and handyman, but painted the murals when he had free time from his regular duties.
You can follow the signs off of Highway 93 to find the mission, or set your Missoula rental car coordinates to 300 Bear Track Avenue, St. Ignatius, MT 59865. Admission to the mission is free, and they are open from 9 am-7 pm in the summer and 9 am-5 pm in the winter. Mass is held on Sunday mornings at 9:15 am.
Taking a walk around the St. Ignatius Missions two-acre property, you will quickly realize that the views of the Mission Mountains that majestically surround the area from a distance are a captivating attraction of their own.
The highest peak in the Mission Range is McDonald Peak that towers over multiple counties at 9,820 feet in elevation.
Almost located in the shadows of The Missions, The Mission General Store is another must-see stop before you leave the area. Located off of Airport Road, the store is run by area Amish residents and offers a variety of discount, gourmet, and unique items worth seeing. Open from 9 am to 5:30 pm every day except Sunday, the store offers a wide variety of meat, cheese, jam, jellies, and spreads to sample that will tempt you into buying a bunch of tasty items to bring along with you to your next destination in western Montana.
Between the beauty and serenity of the Mission and the mountains, you may just talk yourself into buying something to snack on as you drive off to your next adventure.