Hiking Trails

Reviews and details about southwest Montana's most popular hiking trails.


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Located southwest of Bozeman, this trail follows South Cottonwood Creek through a dense old-growth forest with lush riparian areas and meadows, criss-crossing the creek along the way. This well-maintained trail is great for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking. Read more >>
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In the Gallatin Range lies a constellation of lakes, and all of their secrets, which can be found by you. Bring a fishing rod. Five of the lakes contain golden or rainbow trout (or both), and all enjoy the high-mountain air of a trail that begins above 8,000 feet. Read more >>
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With looming cliffs overhead and framed by lodgepole pines and moss-covered boulders, this trail captures all of the area's natural beauty without the elevation gain. Read more >>
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Bear Canyon is a stream-fed canyon that drains the area between Mount Ellis and Chestnut Mountain southeast of Bozeman. The Bear Canyon trail follows Bear Creek up the lush, shady canyon and eventually to Bear Lakes. Read more >>
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A popular dog-walking trail, Mt. Ellis Trail begins by crossing an open field with a gradual incline. At the top of the field, the trail continues up and around the backside of the mountain. Read more >>
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 Dry when other trails aren't, L&C Caverns is a favorite spring ride for singletrack-hungry cyclists. It's good all year, but gets a fair bit of hiking traffic in the summer. Read more >>
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New World Gulch is located southeast of Bozeman, branching off of Bear Canyon along the east slope of Mount Ellis. The stream-fed gulch is due north of Mystic Lake. New World Gulch Trail climbs up the drainage, first to a meadow below Mt. Read more >>
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This trail begins at the Gallatin River, across from the big pull-out at the 35 MPH Bridge. It follows Cascade Creek through a thick evergreen forest, continuing past a few waterfalls to a forest-lined lake surrounded by rock walls and treeless mountaintops. Read more >>
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Storm Castle is a rocky peak sitting atop the east wall of Gallatin Canyon. The hike begins at Storm Castle Creek and climbs the mountain's south-facing slope to a dramatic, multi-tiered summit, where there are sweeping 360-degree views of the adjacent mountains and canyons.  Read more >>
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Bear Trap Canyon is a spectacular drainage encompassing 6,000 acres in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness within the Madison Range. The Madison River, its headwaters in Yellowstone National Park, rages through the remote, roadless canyon for 9 miles, from Ennis Lake to the Madison River Bridge.  Read more >>
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Palisade Falls is located south of Bozeman, in the Hyalite Recreation Area, just beyond the reservoir. The trail begins at the East Fork of Hyalite Crk., then follows a tributary for approximately a half-mile to a bridge fronting the falls. Read more >>
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This trail is on the south side of Bozeman, close to town. The trail begins on a grassy ridge, crosses Limestone Creek several times, and loops through state land on the northwest slope of Mount Ellis. There is a steep climb to an overlook, offering great views of the Gallatin Valley.     Read more >>
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This trail climbs 2,200 feet in 4.6 miles, past the spectacular Frog Rock pinnacles, to the ridge of Chestnut Mountain. After about a mile, a short spur trail traverses west, providing climbing access and a spectacular hike or bike ride to the base of Frog Rock. Read more >>
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The Story Hills rise from the northeast corner of Bozeman. Though private, this property is open to the public during daylight hours. This is a great in-town biking, running, or dog-walking destination with nice views of the town and valley. Read more >>
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Drinking Horse Mountain is the prominent hill across from the popular “M” trail at the mouth of Bridger Canyon. The trail meanders along the Fish Technology Center to a bridge over Bridger Creek, followed by the official trail arch. Read more >>
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 Fairy Lake is a gorgeous green lake in a forested bowl at the base of Sacagawea Peak. The trail loops around the perimeter of the lake for an easy 1.2 miles. This is a great place to have a picnic, fish, and swim. The lake is a short distance from the Fairy Lake Campground. Read more >>
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