The Jack Saloon

The Jack Saloon

One of the great Montana dining experiences is only a short 45-minute drive from Missoula, MT. The Jack Saloon west of Lolo on Highway 12 is an old rustic dining hall that sits on a large property that also contains lodging including cabins and RV parking. They also host live music as well as outdoor weddings and other functions in the summer.

The saloon was built out of red cedar in the 1970’s and has been referred to in the past as one of the best bars in America. The Saloon is very family friendly and the interior has a classic rustic Montana feel. Antique chain saws and other forestry and logging tools decorated the ceilings and walls giving it a very homely and woodsy feel. The swinging wood stump bar stool is a key spot if you happen to be sitting at the bar.

The menu is standard American fare but the quality of food is outstanding. The burgers are exceptional with tons of options as well as some interesting sides such as Green Bean Fries. The Jack Steak Sandwich is a perennial favorite and usually cooked perfectly to order. There is also a decent selection of chicken and fish entrees for the non-meat eater. And make sure you order the Jo-Jo’s instead of fries or tater tots (you’ll have to visit to see what a Jo-Jo is).

Although warm weather visits are fantastic and one of the best times to visit, we made the trek on a cold January day after a recent snowfall. It was myself, the three boys and a friend on this trip. We had just spent some time at Lolo Hot Springs doing some swimming and soaking so we had worked up an appetite. Located just 20 minutes east of Lolo Hot Springs, you turn of Highway 12 and head north on Graves Creek Road for about 10 minutes. Although usually plowed, good snow tires or 4WD is recommended in the winter. The boys immediately took to the historical atmosphere and after ordering spent the time before the food arrived looking at artifacts and wall hangings. When the food arrived, four hungry boys ate like starved wolves (and me as well to be fair).

This piece of rustic Montana history is a must visit place to check off your list. The problem is, you won’t just check it off.  You’ll be back again and again, summer and winter.

Information on The Jack Saloon can be found here, or call 406-273-6264. An extensive gallery of pictures can be found here.

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