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“Heartbeat of Smokejumper Action”

Aerial Fire Depot and Smokejumper Center
Ranked #5 of 67 things to do in Missoula
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Missoula, Montana
Level 6 Contributor
164 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Heartbeat of Smokejumper Action”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

I've visited Missoula's Smokejumper Center countless times and always find something interesting to see and something new to learn. It's a great education in the history of and current practices of wild-land fire fighting in the US. and it is the largest of its kind in the US. Visitors can access self-initiated interactive videos, plus take a tour where one can see equipment, parachutes, and the smoke-jumpers planes. I highly recommend the tour, which run about every hour. Usually, there is a smoke-jumper or two actually working on the premises, and they are great about answering questions. THE most exciting visit for us was when the alarm sounded and the smokejumpers ran in front of us, to their plane to go off and fight an actual fire.

Visited August 2012
Thank Grizingraz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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176 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Missoula, Montana
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Very interesting and informative”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

I think this is a must see for anyone interested in learning about the smokejumpers and the intense training they go through to become smoke jumpers. They are one awesome breed!

Visited July 2013
Thank Edna K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stevensville, Montana
Level 6 Contributor
305 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2013

You will learn what the word 'appreciation' means after the visit to the Smokejumpers Visitor Center. Men and Women are putting their lives on the line every time a fire call is made, and the environment is which they work is horrendous. The center gives an excellent overview!

Visited May 2013
Thank Danny5k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
113 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2013 via mobile

We stopped by here from road signs. The visitor center is neat. View the equipment, pictures, videos of smokejumpers. Some older reviews mention a tour guide...we didn't see or hear anything about that option. That would have been great! That is what our visit was lacking.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank MaverickKruse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ocala, FL
Level 6 Contributor
173 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“Interesting & Informative”
Reviewed February 26, 2013

I had a personal tour of the smokejumpers quarters in February 2013. Due to the off-season, a reservation had to be made and the gift shop was closed. I was able to see parachutes being packed and the sign-off requirements utilitzed, the sewing room where they repair gear, the tower where parachutes were hung to dry & to be inspected as well as other areas of interest. The guide, a smokejumper himself, provided detailed information about the operations including how quickly they must be ready to go once they get the call, the maximum amount of time a smokejumper may spend at the fire prior to being relieved, the type(s) of planes that are utilized as well as the process of exiting the plane. One was able to see the equipment they are required to pack in to the fire, witness the weight of the parachute & back-up parachute, and see the specific pre-packaged foods that are mandated as well as the heavy duty gear they wear for protection.

Various displays show the rigorous workouts the smokejumpers endure in order to meet the physical requirements of this profession. Another area proudly displays the number of jumps accomplished.

My husband is a firefighter and while this type of firefighting is different from the traditional role of firefighter within a municipality, I found this tour to be extremely interesting, informative and well worth the time.

Educate yourself about the rigors these smokejumpers endure to protect forests & others. You will not be disappointed!

Visited February 2013
Thank Glendawpb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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