Camping, Hiking and Traveling in Montana
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The Goose Creek trail area is a popular destination for all types of outdoor recreation. Located close to both Bozeman and Livingston Montana, most of the Goose Creek area has been logged and the abandoned logging roads provide the trail system. This is a popular area for both motorized and human powered activities so expect to find yourself sharing the roads and trails.
Goose Creek Trail Area
The Goose Creek trailhead is easily reached from Bozeman or Livingston Montana. It is accessed by exiting Interstate 90 about 7 miles east of Bozeman at Exit 316, the Trail Creek exit. Head south on Trail Creek road for 3 miles to the well marked road heading up Goose Creek. Follow this road for 2 miles through private property until you reach the locked gate and parking area. Please respect the private property owners and stay on the road only until you reach the parking area. The trail is obvious from the parking area as it follows the road upward.
The trails here are all old logging roads that wend their way upward from the parking area. There are lots of trail options where side roads split off and you can chose the routes that look good to you. The main road continues about 5 1/2 miles to the Trail Creek Cabin. This cabin is available as a rental cabin from the US Forest Service and is typically reached by access the Newman Creek Road which intersects the Trail Creek Road east of the Goose Creek turnoff.
No matter where you go on the Goose Creek trails you will find relatively flat and even slopes that climb steadily away from the parking area. All of these trails are old roads so they are wide and flat. In places the "road" quality of the trails is gradually lessening as time has softened the road cut but its always obvious that you are on a road. Consequently, the Goose Creek trails are not great for hiking but I highly recommend them as ski trails. Goose Creek offers great cross country skiing for all abilities and even provides easy access to good backcountry downhill runs. You can switchback up the mountains on the logging roads or head straight up but either allows you to access some excellent downhill slopes.
The Absaroka Mountains as seen from Goose Creek
A typical stretch of Goose Creek trailDepending on which roads you follow you will get great views of a number of mountain ranges while on the Goose Creek trails. The Absaroka range is seen off toward the east. The views from Goose Creek look across the Paradise Valley from west to east. The Crazy Mountains are often seen to the Northeast. The Bridger Mountains are to the North of this area and all of the vistas are great.
Goose Creek is a popular area for motorized recreation so if you are seeking a wilderness experience you will not find it here. Snowmobiles are common in the winter and 4 wheelers and motorcycles are common in the summer. The roads make for pleasant mountain biking and are a great option for a family bike ride but avid bikers will prefer a more challenging ride. However, for ski touring Goose Creek provides a lot of opportunities for trails.