Missoula /mɪˈzuːlə/ is a city in the U.S. state of Montana and is the county seat of Missoula County. It is located along the Clark Fork River near its confluences with the Bitterroot and Blackfoot Rivers in western Montana and at the convergence of five mountain ranges, thus is often described as the "hub of five valleys". In 2016, the United States Census Bureau estimated the city's population at 72,364 and the population of the Missoula Metropolitan Area at 116,130. After Billings, Missoula is both the second largest city and metropolitan area in Montana. Missoula is home to the University of Montana, a public research university.Missoula was founded in 1860 as Hellgate Trading Post while still part of Washington Territory. By 1866, the settlement had moved east, 5 miles upstream, and renamed Missoula Mills, later shortened to Missoula. The mills provided supplies to western settlers traveling along the Mullan Road.
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