Missoula, Montana is the second largest city in the state and one of the country's most beautiful cities. Montana University provides educational and cultural anchor to the West Montana city. Unfortunately, Missoula lost its service in Amtrak in 1979 and the only low-cost airline flying to the city directly to the Southwest.
For UM students and other residents in the Missoula area, using the combination of Amtrak and buses, the cheapest route is to travel to other parts of the country. Here are five tips for traveling to Missoula:
One: Going to Missoula, ignore Amtrak's recommendation to connect to Whitefish Trains. Amtrak, a sign of the Empire Builder Road between Chicago and Seattle / Portland, indicates that the link between Whitefish, MT and Missoula is available. The Rimrock Stages, part of the Trailways system, provides the service. Unfortunately, Rimrock's schedule does not work well with the West Amtrak's timetable.
The only bus leaving Whitefish at 11:35 pm and arriving in Missoula is ca. 3 and a half hours later. This works well when you arrive from Washington or Idaho, and the train arrives at Whitefish at 07:26. It's not convenient if you arrive from the east and the train arrives at Whitefish at 9:16. The next day you have to get the hotel before the bus arrives.
Two: If you come from Missoula, you should not join the Amtrak at Whitefish. The only Rimrock bus leaves Missoula at 8:00 and arrives at Whitefish at 11:25. We've missed the East Ship Empire Builder train for the day. The Western train leaves Whitefish 10 hours later – long wait!
Three: The best way to get from Missoula to Amtrak is Spokane, Washington. Greyhound Lines is a convenient schedule that works well with Amtrak. Part of the beauty of Spokane's connection is that trains arrive from both directions and start early in the morning. So if you go to Missoula, the train arrives in Spokane no later than 2:00 pm. You can take the 5:05 Greyhound bus and arrive at Missoula at 10:30. There is a 9: 10 bus from Missoula, which comes to Spokane at 12:35. The earliest train leaves Spokane at 1:15.
Four: Spokane's connection is simple, as Greyhound uses Spokane's train station as a warehouse. Because the connections take place in the middle of the night, this is very convenient.
Five: Empire Builder is a fully maintained train. Whether you experience the Amtrak's Advanced Training Service with a meal at the meeting and with the big pillows or the Superliner sleeping compartment, you have to make advanced reservations. By purchasing tickets pre-purchased for both Amtrak and Greyhound services, you may be able to receive discounted pre-purchase fees or special students and elderly discounts.