Welcome to “The Last Best Place”

Montana has long been known as the “Last Best Place,” a motto popularized by Annick Smith and 2015 faculty member Bill Kittredge in their book of the same name. The wild landscape here has  been a source of inspiration for writers from Richard Hugo to Richard Brautigan, Jim Harrison to James Welch. It continues to provide inspiration for many of our faculty, and we’re sure it will for you as well. Paradise Valley offers everything an artist needs: solitude, beauty, wildness and perspective. Livingston has become a focal point of Montana literature, attracting writers of every genre and enough readers and book-lovers to support a lively literary scene.

While you’re here, we invite you to explore beyond the seminar rooms and find your own inspiration.

120516-100802_Y1A8323-e1348567077133Chico’s amenities include hot spring pools, a day spa, two restaurants, a garden, gift shop and a saloon with live music most weekends. They host horseback riding and rafting (weather permitting). You may want to come early or stay late, get in some hiking or fishing, or take a tour of Yellowstone National Park. Nearby Livingston has a lively arts scene, great restaurants, bars and shopping. Here are some links of local interest:



Chico Hot Springs
Yellowstone National Park
Livingston, Montana information
Elk River Books
International Federation of Fly Fishers Museum
Yellowstone Gateway Museum
Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness
Wheatgrass Saloon Eco-Boutique & Juice Bar


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