South Cottonwood Creek Trail

EASY 49 reviews
#18 of 92 trails in

South Cottonwood Creek Trail is a 4.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Gallatin Gateway, Montana that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.4 miles
488 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly



nature trips

trail running



2 days ago

this was an awesome trail for the whole family. my 4 yr old did the entire route and my retriever loved it. Great Family Hike!!

mountain biking
22 days ago

Great trail, with many water crossings. Not too technical, or too much climbing great for an easy ride to enjoy the scenery.

28 days ago

Very enjoyable! Lots of shade, three easy river crossings before the turn-around as mentioned in an earlier review, but take time to sit on the rock and enjoy the view before you head back. Alternating short climbs and descents make this very pleasant!

1 month ago

Great hike. Mostly shaded with some open areas. Beautiful wild flowers and creek crossings with single log and handrail. Lots of dogs (most off leash) and mountain bikers. Alternates climbing/descending so it's not all up, then all down. Very enjoyable hike!

1 month ago

one of my favorites. Wildflowers, water, dog friendly and fun!

2 months ago

my favorite, conveniently located trail for running. does get pretty busy on weekends and in the evening.

3 months ago

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 (

10 months ago

Loved it!

11 months ago

Shady. Good trail. Lots of dogs off leash. And a whole lotta dog sh*t.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Beautiful hike. Trail continues beyond what's on the map, and would have continued had I not brought two kids. It was not too much for my 8 year old who really enjoyed it. My 2.5 year old loved it too, and it wasn't too steep for her but she did get tired and was carried most of the way back. There's a couple bridges that were too narrow to allow a young child to cross next to the parent, but we were able to successfully cross with her riding on my shoulders.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Easy and pretty hike. As of May 5th, there is still snow and mud on parts of the trail. We wanted to go further up past the second bridge but the trail was snow covered.

Monday, March 27, 2017

lovely hike ❤❤

Monday, December 05, 2016

Run on packed snow before dark. Well packed with lots of stream crossings. 5.25 out and back. Keeps going winding along creek interesting contours good for running.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Beautiful trail with several water crossings. You can go as long or short as you wish. Parking can be difficult as are most trailhead smear Bozeman.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Great leisure trail. Well maintained.

trail running
Friday, August 26, 2016

Nice single track trail, not to many people and was a cool run on a hot day!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

We walked to the second bridge about a week ago. Everything was clear and all the snow had melted. Great for a walk, great for dogs, and fairly busy. There were people of all ages and a bunch of mountain bikers. The windflowers were blooming and the colors were beautiful.

Friday, June 24, 2016

It was nice and fairly easy. We enjoyed all the different views this trail offered.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Easy relaxing hike, not that crowded! Watch out for bikers

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Great trail! love that it runs along the creek

Thursday, May 12, 2016

love this trail!

Monday, June 15, 2015

this was a good hike i had 4 kids youngest being 6 and we went to the third bridge and back little less than 6 miles. Fun for all and not too tough.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

This was a really beautiful hike! Went in early June and it was so green and lush with tons of wildflowers! I went past the third bridge and came to a fourth right before a huge meadow with a great view of Blackmoor mountain in the background! this is a gorgeous hike and not that difficult! Highly recommended it!this was a really beautiful hike! Went in early june and it was so green and wash with tons of wildflowers! I

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

This is a good trail that fallows a creek almost the entire way. Great for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking. There is a forest service cabin for rent about 6 miles up the trail witch could make for a fun multiple day shuttle trip as the trail connects with at lest 3 other trails.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I really enjoyed this hike. It's scenic, not too difficult and there's plenty of tree cover to keep you nice and cool. I will definitely be back and plan on going even further than the second bridge next time (which is about two miles in).

Saturday, August 17, 2013

really pretty hike, a few uphill sections but i would rate it very easy, lots of flat sections and slight inclines. from my understanding you can go as far as you want, it connects to other trails at 6 and 8 miles… i think i went about 3.5 or 4 and turned around. stopped seeing people once i crossed the creek for the third time.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Not a bad hike, steady climb on the way in. Went to the 2 mile mark then headed back down. A couple of spots were narrow, straight up on one side and straight down on the other, I probably will not take my "old" dog on this one again, he worried me a couple of time slipping close to the edge but my other dog did fine. Saw one mountain biker and two other hikers. I wouldn't attempt it on my mountain bike but I am only a beginner, maybe one day! Even with the rain storm that hit us it was really pretty.

3 days ago

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