Happiest Hour: The Lochsa Lodge 

The warming weather leaves us hankering for a road trip. That's why we're spending this week's Happiest Hour at the Lochsa Lodge in Idaho.

Who you’re hanging out with: On a recent afternoon, a family wearing pointy “Happy Birthday” hats and white-haired tourists who munch on hamburgers. As the summer sets in, an increasing number of rafters, hikers and bikers keen to experience the Clearwater-Lochsa Wild and Scenic River Corridor will flock to the Lodge.

Ambiance: Inside the dining room, a locally harvested black wolf lies stuffed and prone not far from the wolverine pelt hanging on the wall. The taxidermy, coupled with the restaurant’s wooden décor, creates a rustic feel. There’s also an outdoor deck nestled among the area’s towering grand fir, larch and cedar trees.

  • Courtesy Alan Davey

What you’re eating: During the summer, the Lodge sells a lot of “Breakfast Rafter” sandwiches, says resort Manager Kelly Haley. For $5.99, you get eggs, cheese and your choice of sausage, bacon or ham on Texas toast. The Lochsa burger, topped with ham, Swiss and American cheese, is a favorite for lunch at $9.99. And at night, nachos topped with your choice of chicken, chorizo or steak sell briskly, too. Haley calls them a good deal at $10.99. “It’s a heaping mound,” she says.

What you’re drinking: Among the Lodge’s most popular drinks is the dark and smooth Irish Death, an ale from the Iron Horse Brewery in Ellensburg, Wash. A pint runs $4. Haley also speaks admiringly of the Lodge’s wine sangria served with seasonal fruit. A colorful 23-ounce glass costs $7.99. “They’re really pretty,” Haley says.

Happy Hour specials: The Lodge is selling Pabst Blue Ribbon through the end of April for $1.50. Ask about rotating Thursday night drink deals.

How to find it: Take U.S. Highway 93 south to Lolo, then head west on Highway 12. Lochsa Lodge is 57 miles from Missoula, just off Highway 12.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email editor@missoulanews.com.

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