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

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)

pretty easy hike, great views

hiking
24 days ago

Hiked this trail last weekend. Trailhead parking lot was closed so we had to park about 1/2 mile away and walk up the road. For the most part the trail was dry. When we reached the tree area (about a third of the was up). some ice and snow. There was a ton of snow the last 50 yards but that didn’t stop us. Great day!!

Great spring hike!! The first hike I do every spring..

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!

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

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

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!

Such a beautiful hike with amazing views throughout. Would highly recommend to anyone in the area.

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

If going in the winter time you will want some sort of micro spikes or yak traks. Very packed trail that can be basically a solid sheet of ice. Beautiful to see in the winter.

Absolutely beautiful hike, giant boulders moss covered trees! Hot during the day, but absolutely freezing at night, especially the camping sites near the water. Great camp spot!

Beautiful hike. Easy pace with a nice mix of flat and climb. Snow on last 20 minutes of climb made it very challenging. Trail was busy when I started at noon so compacted snow was very slippery especially on the decent. Personally witnessed two slips/falls.

Love it! So beautiful!!

backpacking
7 months ago

Bring bear spray! Had a grizzly bear encounter at 1am on the morning of 10/17 (Bear circled our tent for an hour and a half). Hike up isn't bad, it's steep and the back half was frozen with snow. Once at the top the view of the lake is beautiful. Coming back down the trail the steeper sections of the the trail that are iced were hard to get down. All in all a nice trail but bring bear spray as the grizzly there is massive and isn't afraid to get up close and personal.

backpacking
7 months ago

Large grizzly entered campsite late at night, bring bear spray. If camping, be careful about where you cook. Last 1/3 of the trail was iced over and very slippery in the morning. Beautiful scenery at the lake, definitely worth the hike.

backpacking
7 months ago

Lake is frozen over as of 10/15/17. Road up to lake is nice however you need 4wd in some spots and there are no signs until you're right at the spot to park at the top of the mountain.

A gorgeous hike. Definitely challenging (especially if you're not used to higher altitudes...which as a NY native I am not!) Parts of the trail are really narrow so be careful. The views overall were beautiful and the view from the top was totally epic! I definitely recommend. ☺️

Very rocky approach, great tent spots on the right side of the lake before the peninsula. No campfires allowed within half mile of the lake. No accumulated snow at the lake yet (9/30/17)

The hike was definitely harder than I thought it would be. I consider myself fairly in shape but was dripping sweat most the way up. Was relieved to find some snow toward the top to help cool me off..finally got to the lake and it was absolutely beautiful. Very well worth the hike!!!

hiking
7 months ago

The views are amazing and very little traffic. Definitely worth it.

Gorgeous!

hiking
8 months ago

Incredible hike. Took my son who started running and was poking fun that I couldn't keep up and was walking. "Settle down young bull, won't be long and I'll catch up!"
Fair amount of traffic on the hike but easy to step off and get around each other. Switchback trails make the hike doable for all ages and abilities...but it isn't easy by any measure.
Leave enough time to enjoy the views from the top. We were lucky enough to watch a helicopter come up the valley and land near the hike entrance below us. Enjoy!!

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