Share the Snow

Winter etiquette on public lands.

Bozeman is home to a broad spectrum of athletes, ranging from world-class to couch-class. No matter where you fall, our public trails are here for everyone to use. Winter road-closures confine recreationists to smaller areas as trailheads become more difficult to reach. For that reason, it’s even more important for us to share these resources and get along with our neighbors. As you hit the trails in the Bozeman Ranger District this winter, keep the following in mind:

–Smile and say hello as you pass others.
–Slower traffic should yield to faster traffic.
–Politely let others know you are approaching from behind.
–Turn down the music (or maybe enjoy the sounds of nature) so you can hear people approaching.
–Yield to downhill skiers and control dogs to prevent collisions.
–Clean up after your dog all the way to the trash can or pack it home. Keep the trails aromatic and your drinking water clean!
–When stopping along trails, step to the side and allow others to pass.
–If you ski, snowshoe, walk, or run in Bozeman Creek during the winter, you benefit from Bridger Ski Foundation grooming. Buy a pass and do your part.
–If you recreate in Hyalite during the winter, you benefit from plowing funded by Friends of Hyalite. Consider making a donation.
–Hyalite groomed trails are for traditional cross-country skiing.
–Respect the set tracks on ski trails by not walking, running, or snowshoeing on them. (And try to keep your lumbering dog out of them, too.)
–Preserve the tracks set for classic skiing by not skate-skiing on them.
–Did I mention to smile and say hello?

Whether you’re using the trails for serious training or for an afternoon stroll, a friendly hello makes everyone’s day better and lends a pleasant environment to a day in the woods. Kindness is contagious, and you can learn more about becoming a friendly, responsible trail user with Ski Kind, part of the Outside Kind recreation program. For grooming information and community-pass sales, visit and, and check out the Custer Gallatin National Forest's Facebook page for trail updates.

trailhead, sourdough, winter