Nonlymphoid T cell populations control local infections and contribute to inflammatory diseases, thus driving efforts to understand the regulation of their migration, differentiation, and maintenance. Numerous observations indicate that T cell trafficking and differentiation within the lung are starkly different from what has been described in most nonlymphoid tissues, including intestine and skin. After systemic infection, we found that >95% of memory CD8 T cells isolated from mouse lung via standard methods were actually confined to the pulmonary vasculature, despite perfusion. A respiratory route of challenge increased virus-specific T cell localization within lung tissue, although only transiently. Removing blood-borne cells from analysis by the simple technique of intravascular staining revealed distinct phenotypic signatures and chemokine-dependent trafficking restricted to Ag-experienced T cells. These results precipitate a revised model for pulmonary T cell trafficking and differentiation and a re-evaluation of studies examining the contributions of pulmonary T cells to protection and disease.