DISTANCE
10.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,290 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
10 days ago

New World Gulch has plenty of great features including creeks, meadows, plenty of wildflowers, and ends up at Mystic Lake. There is also a rentable forest service cabin at the lake. There are a few steep places, one small section in particular that can be difficult to keep your footing. There are also a few creek crossings. You’ll eventually end up on a closed forest service road that’ll take you down to the lake.

The hike is not too difficult, but there is also nothing to really make it stand out among the other area lake hikes. When I did it back in June, the lake was unusually low (especially for the snowpack that we had this season). There is also a closed road coming up sourdough canyon that’ll take you to the lake which takes away from the natural surroundings a little in my opinion, though it’d probably be a great cross country sky trek in the winter.

If you are really looking for a hike, head back down from the lake by cutting over to Bear Canyon! You’ll come out at the Bear Canyon Trailhead which is just 1/4 mile from The New World Gulch Trailhead. You’ll get to see a few more secluded ponds and lakes along the way, but you’ll end up hiking nearly 20 miles round-trip. Also, be careful hiking at dusk or at night; there is plenty of mountain lion scat to be found on the trail.

Overall, this does make a good day hike or could also make for good backpacking; and the lake is pretty great when it’s full. It’s minutes from Bozeman and easy to access. Personally, if you want a Great Lake hike, I’d check out the Hyalite Lake or Emerald/Heather Lake hikes up Hyalite canyon.