Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

hiking
1 day ago

Walked this trail yesterday to the summit. Beautiful views and we saw a goat that was very interested in us also! I feel that this trail is pretty steep with lots of rock so I was glad I brought my walking poles. Getting to the top was so worth it!

hiking
1 day ago

It was incredible. My 8 year old son was able to do it with me. We got rained on at the top but came back to a stunning rainbow!

this is one of my favorite trails in Bozeman. It's great for dogs there's a lot of shade the views from the top are spectacular. And as On Any Trail you always meet lots of amazing people. lots of wildflowers too.

Stunning views. Easy trail. Have cold beer for the end

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
5 days ago

The hike is beautiful with the first part of it being in the trees and then it opening up to beautiful views! There was still snow pack and some run off.
Downside was the road going up. It’s a terrible 6 miles. If you have a mountain bike or 2 wheeled vehicle it would be a little better but it’s not for beginners.

trail running
7 days ago

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

trail running
7 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
7 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
8 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.

hiking
8 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.

hiking
9 days ago

Great hike, but be prepared to get a leg workout with the steep hike to the peak! Once you make it, the views are breathtaking! Also be prepared for all the rocks that might move when stepping in them, ankle high boats are recommend. also make sure you have a car with good clearance for the rough road up!

Favorite hike in Montana so far. All the waterfalls were amazing. The trail conditions were great. Our feet got wet but we made it all the way to the lake with 3 dogs (one small). Still some snow. Took us 5 hours up. 2 hours back. Overall an easier hike- the distance was hard. 12 miles.

hiking
10 days ago

Awesome hike. Views at the top are worth it. The road on the way in is really rough so be prepared. We did this hike on July 8th and there was still snow and ice on trail.

Always a good hike when in the bozeman area. Pretty short hike for the summit views that you are rewarded with ! There seems to be more and more people each time we go so it can be a fairly trafficked hike. A good chance of seeing mountain goats if you keep your eyes peeled!

hiking
13 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
14 days ago

This is a great hike. Be aware that, to get to the top, you go up a very steep hill to the saddle using switchbacks. Some of these switchbacks are not well marked so it's a good idea to look up every now and then to get your bearings. The climb is very steady until you get to the final 100 feet - at which point, it gets MUCH steeper and you have to climb over a lot of shale. Getting up just takes some time and the views (and goats) at the top are incredible. If you are afraid of heights, this probably isn't for you. Also, while the road is open and passable as of 7/4/18, there are potholes that might be able to swallow a VW bug - so, bring your 4WD or, if you don't have one, borrow one from somebody you don't like very much.

Remarkable hike going up but really tough in a lot of snow (which there was in early June). If you’re willing to climb on all 4s through snow, the views at the top are worth it!

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful trail! First mile thru rolling fields, then a bit of a climb to the top. At the base of the loop, if you go right there are multiple switch backs as you climb. The left side is more of a straight climb. I found the climb to be more moderate than easy!

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.

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
19 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.

Didn't get to see the view at the top, but it was still a fun hike! Will definitely do it again!

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!!

Loved this hike! Be prepared to get a little muddy and wet as the runoff has turned part of the trail into mini streams. Snow starts to appear after mile three and had to turn back at mile four because a the water was moving too fast to safely cross with my dog. If you love waterfalls this a hike for you!

Lots of people but a good little run, jogging stroller accessible which is nice.

If you're looking for beautiful views and a killer workout, this is the trail for you.

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