Recently, we were contacted by Scott Moses, an avid outdoorsman who is passionate about our nation's National Parks. Scott launched his own website, LiveOnceLiveWild.com, which is dedicated to sharing his passion with the world. We asked Scott if he would write a guest blog post for us about the best hiking in Bozeman, Montana and he enthusiastically obliged. As is the case with nearly everyone who investigates our little slice of heaven, Scott's response after writing the article for us was that it makes him want to move to Bozeman.
Best Hiking in Bozeman, Montana
by Scott Moses
Big Sky Country in Montana is a place that everyone should plan to visit sometime during their life. There is something magical about staring up into the never ending blue sky that stretches from horizon to horizon. Of course, one of the best ways to appreciate the natural wonder of the Montana countryside is by getting on to the trail. Below you will find five of the best hikes around the charmed landscape surrounding Bozeman, Montana.
The Natural Beauty of Bozeman
Bozeman is perfectly situated in between two majestic mountain ranges; the Bridger Mountains to the north and the Gallatin Range to the south. One of the best parts of Bozeman is the proximity of the natural world to the vibrant heart of the city. In less than an hour you can go from eating at a posh restaurant in downtown to Bozeman to the trailhead of a hike that will take you into enchanting wilderness areas.
What´s more, the Bozeman hiking scene offers something for everyone from easy nature trails for the less experienced hiker to challenging summits of alpine mountains. Whether you´ve just moved to Bozeman or a planning a visit, make sure not to miss out on any of these great hikes.
Skypes Canyon Trail
This four mile hike might not be the longest that Bozeman has to offer, but it is certainly unique. After following a creek for several miles, the trail takes you up into the woods where you can get gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Skypes Canyon Trail is also a great option for folks looking to see some early season wildflowers.
Who says that you have to be in top physical shape in order to discover some of Nature´s most fantastic sites? Palisade Falls is a mesmerizing 80 foot waterfall that formed from ancient lava flows millions of years ago. To get to the falls, you don´t need anything more than a pair of flip flops as this paved pathway is less than a mile long round trip.
There is something strangely enchanting about an emerald lake set amongst a backdrop of green pine trees and a crystal clear blue sky. What´s best is that to get to Emerald Lake, you´ll also pass by several waterfalls, including a 60-foot fall whose mist will cool you off. The hike to Emerald Lake is about 7.5 miles long, the last couple of miles being the steepest. Once you´ve made it to the lake, you can choose to go another half mile to make it to nearby Heather Lake making it two mountain lakes for the price of one.
This roughly 2.7 mile hike isn´t for beginners as you gain some serious elevation in a few short miles. However, the views from the top are breathtaking as you´ll have panoramic views of the Gallatin Canyon. If you can, plan to hike Storm Castle in early spring as the wildflowers tend to bloom earlier than other areas.
Drinking Horse Mountain
There is no better place to enjoy the views of the Bozeman area mountains than from Drinking Horse Mountain. A relatively new trail will lead you up to the over 5,500 foot summit. To get there, however, the trail takes you through beautifully shaded woods before offering striking views from the summit.
Enjoy the Great Outdoors of Bozeman
Besides these five great trails, you could opt to simply take a drive down pretty much any highway leading out of Bozeman and find a secluded, hidden gem of natural beauty. The Bozeman countryside is brimming with opportunities to explore the beauty of the area. If you are planning a road trip out west and looking for other great places to hike and explore, check out this website for a number of complete guides on the top National Parks of the western part of the United States.
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