Missoula, Montana is surrounded by rivers, ponds, and lakes, and as a result the city offers a wide variety of water-based recreation including: white water rafting, skiing, snorkeling, swimming, and boating opportunities. To fully enjoy the city’s wild recreation opportunities it is a good idea to brush up on your swimming
and scuba skills before the summertime. When looking at where you should take lessons you need to identify lessons that are structured for safety and that cater to the level of swimmer that you are, whether it be a novice, intermediate swimmer, or advanced swimmer.
Option Number 1
3000 S. Russell
Missoula, Montana 59801
(406) 721-YMCA phone number
The first place that you can go to for swimming lessons is the Missoula branch of the YMCA. This organization has been serving families and individuals for decades, providing them with top-notch instruction for a reasonable price. The YMCA has many advantages over other swimming lesson providers in the city. First they provide day care for its members, so you can take your lesson without having to worry about finding a babysitter. Secondly, the amount of money that you are charged is based on your ability to pay, your age, and the membership plan that you select. If you have a limited budget, the YMCA offers financial assistance, and they also offer discounts for family memberships, students, and senior citizens. A family membership is $65 per month, a couple’s membership is $62 per month, 19 to 29 year olds pay $28 per month for individual memberships, children 7 years to 18 years pay $21, seniors 62 and older pay $31, and people with disabilities pay $28 per month. You can pay monthly, semi annually, or annually for your membership and you have accesses to not only swimming lessons and pool privileges, but you also will have access to the other gym activities, lessons, and activities. The final advantage that the YMCA swimming lessons offer is that they are able to accommodate most disabilities and impairments that you may have. Most private swimming lesson providers will not be able to deliver service to people with some types of disabilities.
Swimming lessons are scheduled in the pool Monday through Thursday 9:40 a.m. through 11:00 a.m., and 1:05 p.m. through 2:45 p.m., and on Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:05 p.m. through 7:45 p.m.
To sign up for membership and swimming lessons the YMCA membership office is open 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Fridays during the months of September through May. From June through August the membership office is open Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Option Number 2:
The University of Montana Fitness and Recreation Center
Missoula, Montana 59812
(406) 243-6482 phone number
The second option for taking swimming lessons in Missoula is to sign up for lessons at the Grizzly Pool. The Grizzly Pool is part of the University recreation system and is one of the best pools in the city. The Grizzly Pool offers classes for the whole family, and for every level of swimmer from novice to advanced swimmers. They offer pre-beginner lessons for swimming levels I to IV, American Red Cross levels IV to VI, Water Works, Tiny Tots, and adults only swimming lessons.
To register for classes you will need to contact the Recreation Department of the University of Montana to see when the next set of lesson will begin, and when registration will open. Generally speaking there are three sessions of swimming lessons per season. Each session lasts about a month with registration opening up for the session about one week before the first lesson. You should know that you will need to register in person on the first day that registration is open, however, you can register by phone during the remaining days of registration. For current prices, schedules, and openings you will need to contact the University at (406) 243-2763.
Grizzly Aquatics and Scuba
1429 S. Higgins Avenue
Missoula, Montana 59801
(406) 721-2505 phone number
If you would like to expand your underwater swimming abilities and see what is under all that Montana water, then you may want to consider taking a scuba lesson from Grizzly Aquatics and Scuba. It is one of the few SSI (Scuba Schools International) certified scuba schools in Montana, and they provide a wide range of scuba classes including: snorkeling, scuba skills update, Scuba Rangers and Scuba Explorers for kids 8 to 12 years of age, Open Water Diver for those who want to dive like the professionals, Advanced Open Water Diver which will broaden your underwater abilities to include navigation and deep level diving, Diver Stress and Rescue, Dive Control Specialist which will provide you with the skills to lead a dive group, and Open Water Instructor Training.
For specific information on when classes will take place, when special dives around the state will take place, and what it all will cost you will need to call Grizzly Aquatics and Scuba at (406) 721-2505. Their hours of operation are Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m., and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. However, if you call ahead they are willing to open the shop during normally closed hours.