“Heroic parachuting firefighters”
Smokejumpers are highly trained specialists who parachute into remote areas of national forests to fight the spread of wildfires. The nation's largest training base for smokejumpers is located in Missoula, Montana. The visitor center at the depot offers updated displays, dioramas and videos related to fire suppression. Guided tours are given of the parachute loft and training facilities. Open memorial day through labor day 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Duration of tour 45 minutes to an hour. Minimum time to visit depot without tour: 20 minutes. Admission free, donations accepted.
Nice, little FREE visitors center. Displays of gear used by smokejumpers in the field plus a mockup of a tower. Small basement display as well. Various merchandise for sale. We did not go on the tour due to time constraints in our schedule, but it sounded interesting. NOTE: the center is located outside of town past the airport, not where the pin shows it in the downtown area. We were headed out that way anyway so it was no big deal.
This was a pleasant surprise. From the outside it wasn'twhat I expected, but once inside it had a lot to look at and some cool information. If we had more time we would have taken the guided tour. FYI, the map is not accurate, it is past the international airport.
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Smokejumper Visitor Center
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