Hamilton has the largest choice of motels in the Bitterroot Valley, where the best choice for budget lodging is the City Center Motel (415 W. Main St., 406/363-1651, $50 and up), at the quiet end of Main Street. Pets can be accommodated here, and some rooms have full kitchens.
The Best Western Hamilton Inn (409 1st St., 406/363-2142 or 800/426-4586, $75 and up) offers more standard rooms and a free continental breakfast. Similar amenities, plus an attached casino and pet rooms, are at the TownHouse Inn (1113 N. 1st St., 406/363-6600, www.townpump.com, $85 and up).
In downtown Stevensville, the old community hospital has been turned into the attractive Stevensville Hotel (107 E. 3rd St., 406/777-3087 or 888/816-2875, www.stevensvillehotel.com, $65–125). The rooms are decorated with antique furniture and with art from the owners’ travels in the South Pacific (they spent many years living and traveling on their sailboat). A newly constructed annex is a couple of blocks from the main hotel and includes rooms with kitchens. Pets are permitted in a few rooms here.
For a different twist in lodging, consider staying at Lolo Hot Springs (38500 Hwy. 12, 406/273-2294 or 877/541-5117, www.lolohotsprings.com, $55–65 camping cabins, $85 and up deluxe cabins), which is 25 miles up Highway 12 along Lolo Creek, or the adjacent Lolo Trail Center (406/273-2201, www.lolotrailcenter.com, $90 and up), where accommodations are in comfortable motel rooms without phones or TVs.
A well-run Bitterroot Valley B&B is Deer Crossing B&B (396 Hayes Creek Rd., 406/363-2232 or 800/763-2232, www.deercrossingmontana.com, $100–149), south of Hamilton. Rooms are in a large log house or one of two cabins; dogs are permitted with advance notice.
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition