Located 2 miles from City Center in Big Sky, the Ousel Falls Trail is an easy hike to a beautiful waterfall. Open all year, this very popular hike is recommended for everyone!
Brand new in 2022 is the Cutler-Sphinx Trail located north of Gardiner, MT, and west of the Yellowstone River in Yankee Jim Canyon. The roughly 5.5-mile point-to-point trail takes hikers and mountain bikers through sagebrush, grasslands, and juniper forest.
Campfire Lake is a beautiful mountain lake nestled below dramatic mountain ridgelines near the center of the Crazy Mountains. Trailheads on both the east and west sides of the Crazy Mountains offer options for climbing to the lake. The hike is 7 – 13 miles one-way depending on the route you choose.
The Gallatin Petrified Forest Interpretive Trail #286 provides an opportunity to explore a petrified forest area that has not been developed. Hikers delight in viewing the petrified wood right where nature put it.
Bozeman, Montana is a premier location for enjoying the outdoors. On any given day you can hike, bike, climb, float, or otherwise play in world-famous places. With so much to choose from, it’s hard to decide what to do or where to hike. Here are a few suggestions for popular day hikes in the Bozeman area.
Madison Buffalo Jump State Park is off I 90 about 22 miles west of Bozeman, MT. The park offers hiking, biking, and opportunities to explore an iconic Native American archeological site. The 640-acre park is a perfect place to learn about buffalo jumps and why they were so important to the Indians.
2023 Update – Following the historic flood of 2022, the Stillwater River Trail parking area and trailhead are closed. The trail itself is closed through the Gorge section but the bypass trail can be used to access the trail past the gorge.
The Stillwater River trail provides great hiking into the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness. While the trail leads to amazing riches for backpackers, there is a very popular day hike to Sioux Charley Lake. It’s a 3-mile hike on a good trail that climbs gradually for the entire distance. The trail includes a narrow gorge with raging whitewater, great mountain views, and a stream that becomes a wide, flat lake.
Blue Lake is the most popular hiking destination in the Crazy Mountains for good reason. Sitting at 8,282 ft in a valley between Granite Peak and Crazy Peak, Blue lake is connected to the larger Granite Lake and the smaller Thunder Lake. The hike to Blue Lake is less than 4 miles on good trails with an elevation gain of about 2,200 ft.
As of early July 2023, the Woodbine Falls Trail is closed due to a washed-out bridge. The campground has reopened after the historic flooding in 2022 but the Woodbine Falls trail and the Stillwater River trail and trailhead remain closed. The US Forest Service is working on repairs and you can get the current status from the USFS at 406-446-2103
Mallard’s Rest Fishing Access site sits on the Yellowstone River 12 miles south of Livingston, MT in the heart of Paradise Valley. The site features a boat ramp, access to miles of Yellowstone River fishing, and a campground with 13 campsites. Mallard’s Rest is on the banks of the Yellowstone and the Absaroka Mountains to the east are spectacular.