Day Hikes At Hyalite Reservoir

The Hyalite Lake Trail (not to be confused with Hyalite Reservoir) is a Bozeman classic. Folks throw around the words "stunning" and "breathtaking" quite a bit, but about the scenery along this hike, they would not be overstatements.

Many hikes are all about the destination, but this hike follows Hyalite Creek, passing eleven spectacular waterfalls along the way. The waterfalls are memorable and each has its unique personality. Each waterfall is signed along the way, so you don't have to worry about missing one. I recommend the Day Hikes Around Bozeman guidebook. It's the hiking bible for this area. It features directions to the trailhead and detailed descriptions of various hikes in the area, including Hyalite Lake.

Imposing peaks and sheer canyon walls flank you for most of the hike and as you make your way upwards the canyon views become increasingly spectacular. At 5.5 miles you reach Hyalite Lake in a cirque with Hyalite and Fridley Peak looming ahead. If you're feeling energetic you can reach Hyalite Peak with another 2 miles of travel. The trail to the peak switchbacks up a steep bowl which can hold snow well into summer, an ice axe wouldn't be ill-advised if you plan on making the summit. Once out of the bowl, it's an easy finish along the ridge to the summit of Hyalite Peak. The views from the peak are breathtaking, and I don't use that word lightly!

Don't forget to bring your camera! Photo opportunities abound, and you may find yourself making frequent stops to snap pictures. This is the hike I would advise for folks who are spending a short time in the area; it's one of those places that represents a lot of what the Bozeman area outdoors has to offer, in an 11-14 mile nutshell. Primetime to hike the trail is mid-summer when wildflowers are in bloom, and the waterfalls are running full throttle. 

You can also check out these waterfall hikes in Bozeman.


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