Just outside Missoula, Montana the legendary smokejumpers train to parachute into fires burning in some of the nation’s most remote areas, from Alaska to New Mexico. Visitors are welcome to tour the facility from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
The U.S. Forest Service operates the Missoula Smokejumper Base, home to a unit of about 80 smokejumpers. All smokejumpers from the other Idaho and Montana region come here to train as well.
Visitors on guided tours get to see the 100 pounds of gear each smokejumper requires, the room where smokejumpers practice packing their parachutes and make repairs, the place where they change into their firefighting clothing, and the airstrip. The visitor’s center has a small gift shop and several interactive displays.