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.
Lava Lake is a great hike to a beautiful mountain lake in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. The trail is in the scenic Gallatin Canyon, 20 miles south of Bozeman and 15 miles north of Big Sky, MT. Lava Lake is 3 miles from the trailhead and the trail gains 1,600 feet elevation in those three miles.
Give this hike a try and discover why Lava Lake is one of the most popular hikes in the Bozeman/ Big Sky area.
Mystic Lake is a favorite destination for hikers, mountain bikers, anglers, and hunters in the Bozeman area. Mystic Lake can be reached from several 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.
The trail follows a small stream up New World Gulch for 2 miles then travels through mixed meadows and forest until reaching the lake.
The Chestnut Mountain trailhead is at Exit 316 (Trail Creek exit) on I 90 8 miles East of Bozeman (17 miles west of Livingston). The trailhead is on the frontage road just east of the intersection.
The out-and-back trail provides great hiking to a ridgeline that offers incredible views in all directions. Rock climbers use the trail to access the Frog Rock climbing area
From Bozeman, you can be hiking in the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness in less than an hour on the Suce Creek trail. The trailhead is only 7 miles from Livingston and the wilderness boundary is reached after a half-mile or so of hiking.
The primary hike is a 6-mile loop trail that travels from the stream bottom to the scenic ridgeline. For those seeking more, the trail connects with the backcountry trail system heading deeper into the wilderness
Less than an hour’s drive from Bozeman gets you to Pine Creek in the heart of Paradise Valley. Two great hikes begin at the Pine Creek trailhead. A beautiful 2 1/2 mile out-and-back hike follows the creek to Pine Creek Falls. Backpackers and serious hikers can head on another 4 miles to reach Pine Creek Lake.
Visit here once and you’ll discover why Pine Creek is the most popular hike in Paradise Valley
You will find some great early-season hiking at Madison Buffalo Jump State Park. Although the trails aren’t very long they provide are great for stretching your legs while visiting an interesting site. Hike to the top of the buffalo jump and enjoy the views into the Madison River Valley.
It’s only a little more than a half hour drive toMadison Buffalo Jump. Just head west on I 90 to the Logan exit and follow the signs