Path to Freedom

Peets Hill runner

Welcome to Bozeman.

If you’ve come to live in Bozeman, outdoor activities are surely a big part of why you’re here. So first of all, welcome: you’re in the right place. And now that you’ve picked up a copy of the Blue Light Guide, you’re going to be pointed in all the right directions.

This guide covers everything from outdoor etiquette, to gear recommendations, to activity-specific advice on where you can delve into southwest Montana’s spectacular landscapes. So take it all in, because around here, we pride ourselves on outdoor savvy. That doesn’t mean you have to run faster, climb higher, or ski harder than anyone else. Rather, it means that you’re doing it right: keeping outdoor spaces clean, respecting wildlife and other people, and above all, having a damn good time out there.

This place may seem daunting at first. Trust me, we’ve all been there. When I first arrived in Bozeman, I had so much gusto for adventure—but nowhere to point it. Where’s the best place to go hiking? Camping? Skiing? Climbing? I want to do it all! And I want the very best of it.

There was some trial and error. Trying new activities led to bumps and bruises. Meeting new adventure buddies made for some mismatched partnerships. Spending money on outdoor gear dwindled my savings account. This is a process we all go through. There’s no right or wrong way to do it—the road will inevitably have some peaks and valleys, just like all the peaks and valleys you’ll soon be exploring.

In due time, you’ll find your stride, settle in, and call Bozeman home. Because as long as you love spending time outside, you’ll naturally fit with the Bozeman crowd. So turn through these pages and set your sights. Once you’ve hit all the popular destinations, wander off the map. Find your own little slice of the outdoors in southwest Montana—after all, there’s plenty of it to go around. The journey will be trying, rewarding, and liberating. And in the end, you’ll be better for it. Happy trails, newcomer.