Explore the most popular forest trails near Bozeman with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

trail running
6 hours ago

Pretty sweet trail that has a lot of elevation gain in a short amount of time. Views are very nice further up the trail. Went on 22nd of July 2018 around 10 AM and had a close encounter with a mountain lion towards the high point. There were lots of people there so I felt relatively safe, but I had to scare the lion away and had my bear spray at the ready. Remember, no matter how busy a trail is, there is still a chance of running into dangerous animals so always be ready.

Quick and relatively easy hike with a view from the top that's great for watching the sunrise!

hiked this trail over the weekend. would be fantastic for mountain biking. good climbing for a rewarding descent.

Beautiful! Paved trail. Bathroom at trail head. Plenty of parking.

Nice trail, plenty of parking

nice little hike before work. got off course at the top ha

As other reviewers have stated, this is a gradual steady climb to the top (meaning completely downhill on the way out). The trail was moderately crowded with hikers and dogs. The bugs were insane--flies and mosquitos all over the shore of Emerald Lake. Fishing was great, lots of grayling and cutthroat. We camped near the lake and were disappointed to have multiple groups walk through our camp between 8 and 9 PM. There were probably close to 10 different groups camping that night (Saturday 7/14) and one camp stayed up drinking and yelling until after midnight. The only plus to that was that because I was awake, I left the tent to use the bathroom and caught an amazing star show around 1 AM. Would not camp here again, but I would likely hike the trail up and back for some good exercise.

just a gravel road. would be good for beginners on bikes

hiking
6 days ago

An hour up to the first overlook (meadow) with beautiful flowers and a great view of the valley. Lots of bugs near the bottom of the trail. Didn't proceed past the first overlook but a nice 2-hour RT workout.

From the Blackmore parking lot it’s 12.4 miles. Really pretty with the wildflowers blooming. Only two small patches of snow to cross.

Beautiful views! Definitely more of a mountain biking trail, especially on the downward part of the loop. You’ll need a vehicle with a high clearance/AWD to get to the trailhead though! The road is incredibly bumpy and we got stuck.

hiking
9 days ago

There is a nice mix of easy and challenging sections on this trail. The views were spectacular and the flowers were gorgeous. The flies were pretty bad, but the mosquitos weren’t. We hiked 6.5 miles (all the way up) in just under 3 hours. It’s a great workout.

trail running
10 days ago

Fantastic, very runable trail! gorgeous views, tons of water, no bears that we saw! A lot of waterfalls

trail running
10 days ago

Pretty awesome run/hike. There is a lot of vert. we ended up with 7500' of climbing but we stopped at Ross Pass and went back on the Bridger Foothills Trail. only bad part was limited spots to restock on water and pretty technical. But all around awesome run!

hiking
11 days ago

Amazing view of ten mountain ranges from the top of Mount Ellis. About 10 miles out and back, 3050 ft elevation gain. See my two recordings for a map to ascend Mount Ellis without going to the top of Lower Mount Ellis first. This will save you a few hundred feet of unnecessary up and down. Essentially, follow the instructions I posted last year beginning at the trailhead until you arrive at the final ascent to Lower Mount Ellis. At about 7400 feet, veer left off the path toward the lowest point of the saddle connecting the two peaks. Bushwhack across a flower-filled sidehill for about a quarter mile until you connect to a game trail. Follow this game trail to the saddle, watching for cairns at the saddle as these will help you find the way back. Once you connect with the trail connecting the two peaks, it’s straightforward to Mount Ellis. Bring 2-3 liters of water per person. Our 50 lb dog drank 1.5 liters on a mild July day. About 7 hrs total. I had to record the ascent and descent as two trips because my battery died.

hiking
11 days ago

Not a bad hike, but the trail itself is also used by ATVs (though I didn’t see any while I hiked it). It will end up taking you back to a beautiful lake! The trail runs through thick woods the whole way and there is a creek that parallels most of it. This is a very gradual hike that could make for an easy backpacking trip or day hike. There are a TON of mosquitos, so bring plenty of bug spray!

If you’d like to avoid ATV and motorcycle traffic and take a single-track trail in, go up New World Gulch and cut east once you reach the intersection with the overgrown forest service road. You’ll reach this intersection after crossing the east side of Mystic Lake. This’ll also add a few more miles to the trip.

backpacking
11 days ago

This is one of my favorite hikes within 30 minutes of Bozeman! You can expect a gradual, steady climb on a wide trail that winds through thick trees the majority of the way up. You’ll also get a few opportunities to admire the canyon walls towering above you as you make your way up. There is also a beautiful section that runs through a small open area next to a creek. Once you near Emerald Lake, you’ll start to enter a few larger meadows. When you reach Emerald lake, you’ll have a great view of the peaks and plenty of spots for a picnic or camping.

If Emerald lake is too crowded, continue up the west side of the lake through yet another beautiful meadow. The trail takes you one mile further to Heather lake. It is slightly smaller and has more bugs, but will likely be less crowded. There was still quite a bit of snow to go through to get to Heather Lake, last weekend, but it was manageable as long as you have a general idea of where the lake is.

hiking
16 days ago

The road to Fairy falls is TERRIBLE ( 7 miles of VERY rough gravel pitted road) but once you make it, Fairy lake it beautiful and worth it! Just keep driving until you cannot drive anymore! The road will dead end into a parking circle. The trail that takes you around the lake starts behind the restrooms. If you take the trail to the RIGHT of the restrooms, this is to Sacajawea peak ( 5+ miles up and back). Lake is stunning - a true gem. A wonderful easy walk around the lake but you will have to navigate fallen trees and muddy banks.

hiking
17 days ago

Another favorite hiking trail. This is a really nice trail that has a steady incline but starts out very gradually. Once the switchbacks start it can be a steep climb. I got to the meadows and just loved the views and wildflowers up there. I made my turn around at the meadows, for me this was a great hike.

This is nice walking trail. It is a paved trail so I cannot consider it a hiking trail. It is really nice for families with small children. I enjoyed the walk along with our two dogs.

hiking
17 days ago

This is one of my favorite hikes. I hiked this trail during the weekday and I was the only one there at 9 am. The trail starts out in a meadow then starts a steady incline up the mountains, It is a gradual climb so it makes it for a nice hike in the woods. I have not come across any wild life during my two hikes there, but i have come across foot prints of elk and possibly bears, so be careful and aware. The History Rock is halfway up the trail, so if continue pass the rock, you will experience more of the hike until you get to the switchbacks and a more steep climb up the mountain.

hiking
18 days ago

I’ve hiked this trail so many times I can’t even count. It’s a favorite fast fitness hike with great views. Challenging with my kids on my back given the initial switchbacks and steep incline, but always pleasurable.

We actually hiked part of this trail a few days ago but. ame back and mtn biked the entire route. Challenging for mid westerners but the views are all spectacular. More mtn bikers than hikers.

Fantastic hike. We only did 6 miles due to time but the uphill hike was a great incline. A few muddy spots but everything was passable and the trail was in great condition. Def a must do if your in the area.

Easy hike on a paved trail ending at a beautiful waterfall! Great hike for families!

Georgeous! Gets really busy but I think there’s plenty to see just past the falls. And most of the traffic dyes off there!

Climbed to the top today, 6-30-18. I would do it again but maybe next year. 4 hours up, 2 hours down. Lots of people but all were very friendly and encouraging. Cold and windy on top but I moved about 10-15 feet down the off wind side and was pretty comfortable.

hiking
22 days ago

The lower fields with the wildflowers is bloom was beautiful. The trails itself was OK but the map has many problems:
- The west branch track looks like it’s in error as it doesn’t represent any path I could see. Also, while we went back after this, it’s not clear where it goes. Maybe next time I’ll walk out further and record a better track.
- The East track also seems to end when the rambler gave up as it stops in the middle of nowhere. Other tracks seem to have a destination and I’ll try one of them.

So: do the hike, stick to the East trail at the fork and keep going. Linda Thompson’s directions below are probably a better approach.

wildflowers everywhere. seemed more moderate than hard.

Thought this trail was great! Had to hike first part but run down was great! Clean trail and saw about 4 bikers so felt safe the whole time!!

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