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!
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.
At the Missouri Headwaters State Park three great rivers; the Madison, the Jefferson, and the Gallatin join to form the Missouri River. The Missouri flows 2,341 miles downstream until it joins the Mississippi River and ultimately reaches the ocean in New Orleans. In 1805 the Lewis & Clark expedition became the first known European explorers to reach the area. They traveled up the Missouri and named the three rivers they found coming together here.
Mystic Lake is a favorite destination for hikers, mountain bikers, anglers, and hunters in the Bozeman, Montana area. Mystic Lake can be reached from a couple of different trailheads but the access in Bear Canyon is the shortest. Located about 5 miles east of Bozeman, the Bear Canyon area offers hiking, mountain biking, and cross country ski opportunities.
Lava Lake is a great hike that climbs to a beautiful mountain lake in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. The trail is located in the Gallatin Canyon between Bozeman and Big Sky and is one of the most popular trails in the area. The lake is almost exactly 3 miles from the trailhead but the trail gains 1,600 feet elevation in those three miles. This climb can make it a tough hike for those who are unprepared.
Located just outside of Bozeman, MT, the Chestnut Mountain Trail and Frog Rock Trail opened to the public in 2010. The trail was developed after more than a decade of hard work by the Gallatin Valley Land Trust, the Trust for Public Lands, the Custer Gallatin National Forest, and many others. This easily accessible trail provides great hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing opportunities. The acquisition and development of this trail is a testament to the people who worked to make it happen. All of us owe them our appreciation for working so hard to provide new public access.