Summer Hiking in Bozeman

Posted by Tamara Williams on Friday, May 22nd, 2020 at 3:12pm.

 Just in time for Memorial Weekend! Get out and enjoy some of the beautiful scenery Bozeman and Montana has to offer!

Photo taken at Middle Cottonwood Trail July 2019 

Baldy Peak Summit 
Distance: 9.6 miles, out and back 
Skill Level: difficult
Features: mountain biking, backpacking

Bear Canyon Trail
Distance: 8.1 miles, out and back
Skill Level: moderate
Features: creek/river, lake, mountain biking 

Drinking Horse
Distance: 2.2 miles, out and back
Skill Level: easy to moderate 

Emerald Lake
Distance: 10 miles or 11 miles to Heather Lake, out and back
Skill Level: easy to moderate
Features: creek, lake, fishing, mountain biking, camping

Fairy Lake
Distance: 1.2 mile loop
Skill Level: easy
Features: lake, creek, fishing, camping

Garnet Mountain Fire Lookout 
Distance: 7 miles from Rat Lake or 8 miles via Garnet Mountain Trail, out and back
Skill Level: difficult
Features: creek, lake, mountain biking, camping,
overnight at Lookout Tower (reservations full Summer 2020)
Connects to: Pioneer Lake, Rat Lake

Golden Trout Lakes 
Distance: 5 miles, out and back
Skill Level: moderate
Features: ponds, creek, lake, fishing, camping
Connects to: Hidden Lakes Trail

Grotto Falls 
Distance: 2.4 miles, out and back
Skill Level: easy
Features: river, waterfall 

History Rock
Distance: 2 miles out and back or 10 miles one way
to South Cottonwood Creek Trailhead
Skill Level: easy to moderate
Features: creek

Hyalite Peak
Distance: 14.7 miles, out and back
Skill Level: intermediate
Features: river/creek, waterfall, lake

Hyalite Reservoir Trail
Distance: 2.8 mile loop
Skill Level: easy
Features: lake 

Lava Lake 
Distance: 6 miles, out and back
Skill Level: moderate
Features: creek, lake, fishing

Leverich Canyon
Distance: 4.5 mile loop
Skill Level: moderate
Features: creek, mountain biking 

Middle Cottonwood (pictured above)
Distance: 2.8 miles, out and back
Skill Level: easy to moderate
Features: creek, mountain biking
Connects to: Bridger Foothills Trail, Baldy Mountain, Truman Gulch, The M Trail

New World Gulch Trail 
Distance: 4 miles to meadow or 11 miles
to Mystic Lake, out and back
Skill Level: easy to moderate
Features: lake, fishing
Connects to: Bozeman Creek / Sourdough Trail 

Palisade Falls
Distance: 1.2 miles, out and back
Skill Level: easy
Features: creek, waterfall, mountain biking

Pioneer Falls
Distance: 7.5 miles, out and back
Skill Level: easy to moderate
Features: creek, waterfall, camping (Spanish Creek Campground)
Connects to: Jerome Rock Lakes, Summit Lake, North Fork Trail, Big Sky

Rat Lake 
Distance: 1.3 miles, out and back
Skill Level: easy
Features: creek, lake, fishing
Connects to: Garnet Mountain Lookout Tower 

Sourdough Canyon/Bozeman Creek 
Distance: 2-19 miles, out and back
Skill Level: easy to moderate
Features: creek, lake, fishing, mountain biking, overnight at Mystic Lake Cabin (reservations full Summer 2020)
Connects to: Mystic Lake

South Cottonwood Trail
Distance: 4-12 miles, out and back
Skill Level: easy to difficult
Features: creek, mountain biking, backpacking
Connects to: History Rock, Hyalite Canyon, Mount Blackmore, Hyalite Reservoir

Storm Castle / Castle Rock 
Distance: 5 miles, out and back 
Skill Level: moderate to difficult
Features: creek

Sypes Canyon
Distance: 4 miles to first lookout or 6.2
miles to Foothills Trail, out and back
Skill Level: moderate
Features: creek, mountain biking
Connects to: Bridger Foothills Trail and Mount Baldy

Triple Tree 
Distance: 4.5 miles, out and back
Skill Level: easy
Features: creek, mountain biking 
Connects to: Painted Hills Trail

Truman Gulch 
Distance: 5 miles, out and back
Skill Level: moderate
Features: gulch, mountain biking
Connects to: Bridger Foothill Trails, Middle Cottonwood Creek, The M, Ross Pass

Safety

Before you hit the trails, we wanted to review a couple of quick tips to help you stay safe out there.

  • Know before you go. It is smart to look up recent trail conditions before you head out. Some trails still have snow coverage and some are too muddy to travel.
  • Be sure someone knows where you are hiking. Whether you are hiking with a group, or by yourself, always be sure to let a friend know where you are going and when you expect to be back. 
  • Bring appropriate gear. This time of year we have increasing amounts of lightning storms. Be sure to pack appropriate layers, extra socks, first aid kit, and of course, plenty of water and snacks.
  • Be aware of wildlife. Always carry bear spay this time of year. With spring ending, babies are out and mamas are protective! Be sure to make noise as you hike by calling out or wearing bells. Moose are also out with their babies and you definitely don't want to get between them! Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Bears and moose aren't the only ones to keep an eye out for, mountain lions, rattlesnakes, and ticks are also of concern. Read all signage at trailheads for recent sightings. Be sure to check yourself and your pets for ticks if you are venturing out to the trails. 
  • Be aware of your surroundings. With the seasons changing trail conditions are also changing, prepare for mud and snow melt. Watch your step, proceed with caution, and if you can’t make a clear distinction of which way a trail goes, do not continue. As summer progresses and temperatures rise, pack extra water. Be sure to allow yourself enough time to get back down your trail of choice before sundown. Always pack warm equipment, extra water, and snacks in your vehicle in case of an emergency. 

For more trail etiquette or to locate a trail map for Gallatin County, CLICK HERE 

Are you new to Bozeman and in the market for hiking companions?
Don’t stress! There are so many people looking for companions and outdoor buddies. Search Facebook for a local Bozeman hiking forum (there are tons!) and you will quickly be connected to like-minded individuals looking for the same thing. 

Say Hi on Social Media and share your hikes with us!

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