Explore the most popular kid friendly trails in Gallatin National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Nice hike. Trail got a little slippery because of snowmelt and a light rain.

Loved the trail but be prepared for stepping over rocks the whole way!

Very nice, moderate hike! Didn’t take too long, beautiful views!

Easy and fun hike. Great for families and kids. I hiked it in January with snow boots. The waterfall is beautiful half frozen.
View my blog post here: https://www.brisul.com/blog/2018/1/23/ousel-falls-trail-big-sky-montana
And my vlog here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6mgW3d1x9o

Amazing little trail. I hiked it in the winter with tennis shoes and Yak Tracks. My feet were soaked at the end. Next time I will wear my new waterproof hiking boot. The trail is about 5 miles but you can continue along to Hyalite or other trails. It winds along and crosses a creek. I believe cross-country skies and/or snow shoes might be needed when it snows. The trail was packed for me. More can be found on my blog post (https://www.brisul.com/blog/2018/1/29/south-cottonwood-creek-trail-bozeman-mt)

Lovely view at turn around/ peak

Fairly easy hike with great views! It can get a little crowded at the top, but definitely worth it.

very beautiful and scenic route. easy trail but the views are amazing. went in may and there were still a few deep snow piles after around mile 2, very glad i had gaiters

pretty easy hike, great views

hiking
18 days ago

Awesome trail

Favorite daily hike near, close to town. Gets a little crowded on weekends, but it’s good for kids. It’s also fairly short so it’s nice to go on weekdays if you have time.

Takes 1-2 hours depending on how much time you spend at the top. It's a nice less popular alternative to the M with a great view of Bozeman

Great shorter hike that's conveniently close to town. Has some good views. A little steep

Easier than the M hike. Hiked this trail with my 5 year old. Took 2 hours with plenty of stops and breaks along the way.

Love this trail; we walk in multiple times a week and even with the ice/snow currently on it, it’s still very doable!

Beautiful hike, we went beginning of April so there was still a lot of snow and trails were icy in spots. I can’t imagine how beautiful it is in the summer!

Great short little hike, upper trail was a touch muddy. Took 1.25 hours, and that was with plenty of stops and geocaching along the way.

Pretty hike up to Lava Lake. The route is a nice, casual incline throughout the entirety.

Went a few miles back yesterday, trail is pretty packed down and slick from skiers, so make sure to wear ice grips.

Icy in spots, but beautiful scenery along the way. People need to pick up after their dogs!
A nice hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Very beautiful trail. A little difficult only because of the ice. Additional trails that go lower near the waterfall and above as well.

A little Ice. We did it with just hiking shoes. Gorgeous trail!

Made this hike on a weekday in August 2000 (5 stars) and then again on a weekend in 2016 (4 stars). I would not do it again on a weekend due to the heavy trail use.
The moderate hike is very tolerable due to the shade. My legs grew more tired from the descent than the climb.
If you like wildlife, golden mantled ground squirrels and american pika are around when it's quiet. It was a lot of fun to watch them. The lake is gorgeous with the talus slopes and peaks in the distance.

I took the trail to the waterfall in February on a beautiful sunny day. The trail was easy and about 0.8 miles winding through the woods and alongside the river to Ousel Falls. Well worth it.

Always a fun hike, no matter the time of year. Family favorite!

Great hike. Just very busy. Lots of off leash dogs.

Superb views but steep climb and slippery in winter

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful in the winter time. The gate will be closed at the first parking lot past the dam when you make the left turn up for palisades. So it adds about an extra mile each way to the hike. Worth it.

great short hike in the winter! beautiful weather today. freshly flocked trees and everything

Nice loop trail close to downtown. I was visiting a friend and she took me out. The views are good and the trail is dog friendly.

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