Explore the most popular dogs on leash 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.

Less busy than storm castle, better views

1 month ago

Exactly as described - moderate difficulty and traffic. Beautiful trail that is supper well
Maintained and more or less follows Cottonwood Creek..

2 months ago

This a beautiful canyon trail with a moderate climb on switchbacks until reaching to the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. I particularly enjoyed the views of Storm Castle from the west side of Gallatin Canyon. At first, I was confused why this trail said the "end" point was at 2.5 miles but it's because that's where the wilderness boundary technically starts. For the 5 miles out and back, you descend down into Hell Roaring canyon and eventually to the drainage. The lakes are much farther ahead on the trail. I'm not sure how many miles but I imagine it is too long for a day hike. This trail is probably popular for horseback riders as there is a shit ton of horse manure on the trail.

horseback riding
2 months ago

Took this trail on horseback for the first time last weekend and I loved it. The trail itself was pretty smooth with minimal rocky spots. A few mild switchbacks in the beginning but still very easy to see what was coming ahead of you. The trail was a little wider then a horse most of the way but would periodically widen out and there was some small meadows to pull over and let the horses graze. If you were to meet up with another group of horses it could be tricky to pass in most places. Also make sure if riding horses that they are good with bikes, people and dogs because there were quite a few hikers, dogs of leash and mountain bikers (Which is to be expected being in Bozeman) Everyone we came across was courteous and seemed delighted to see horses on the trail. The river crossings were my favorite. Their were 3 nice wide shallow crossings. Horses must cross through the river because the bridges are not made for them. There was on section about midway that had a pretty steep cliff to one side. We rode until you reach the Y and turned back.
I was able to turn my 3 horse slant load trailer and short bed pickup around with no trouble in the parking lot and park alongside the road. If your trailer is larger I would recommend getting there early or checking out the parking lot before hand because it can get crowded. Over all great trail that I will definitely ride and hike again!!!

3 months ago

8/11/2018. Stayed at the Garnet Mountain lookout cabin for the weekend. It was a little Smokey but the 360 views were amazing. Highly recommend!

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!!

trail running
3 months ago

Really disappointed by this trail only because of our anticipation of a lake as shown in the pictures. There was no sign of an “end point” to the trail so my husband and I hiked about 5 miles before turning around.

Although the trail is filled with horse droppings, the creek is beautiful and worth doing if you’re looking for a shorter hike with slower, easier incline. Could be great for trail running if that’s your thing too.

3 months ago

Not a bad trail. Not to challenging. We had a six year old with us and she made it fine.

mountain biking
3 months ago

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

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!

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!

Very nice, sparsely traversed trail. There are two lakes at the end, Moon Lake and Deer Lake. Both are beautiful. Many microclimate changes and overall just a pretty amazing hike. Bring bug spray for the horse flies and skeeters at the lake. And always, bear spray!

4 months ago

Beautiful hike but full of mud and horse droppings.

noone on the trail. start early as it will get hot. steady uphill the whole trail. you can apparently rent the cabin up at the top. the last 100 yards are steep. trail is across from storm castle. there's a campground just past the trailhead too. no water source on trail.

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

A otherwise beautiful trail ruined by horses.

We passed about 8 horses as we climbed to the ridge then continued down to the creek with our heads down avoiding the droppings and plowed up trail. . After crossing over the bridge the trail was almost impassable in places torn up by the horses and we finally turned back. (See pictures)

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

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)

Saturday, September 30, 2017

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

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Loved it!

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Beautiful lightly used. Saw cub and mom black bear on way out

Sunday, August 27, 2017

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

Friday, August 18, 2017

Lots of rocks in the trail, so a lot of time looking at your feet. But very much worth the hike, both for the stream that is either always within sound or site, and the peaceful serenity of Moon and Deer lakes. Went in midAugust, and huckleberries and thimbleberries everywhere. Surprised to see so many flowers as well on the upper 2/3 of the hike.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

This was a great trail! I went in late April and there was still a lot of snow on top (waist deep). A great hike with a ton of amazing views.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Steady climb. It does get steep later on, but the views are beautiful.

horseback riding
Monday, June 19, 2017

Beautiful! This was my favorite ride so far! We didn't do the entire thing but probably did about 3 miles in. Beginning of the trail is switch backs and a few areas had steep drop offs, slightly rocky portions with larger rocks but barefoot horses had no problem without boots. There were large areas of pastern deep mud after hell roaring creek bridge. One smallish creek required riding through. Nice variety of hill climbs and flat. Nice lunch area maybe a mile after hell roaring creek by the Spanish peaks sign. Saw two other horse groups and 3 hiking groups Saturday morning.

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, June 04, 2017

Amazing Hike, wildflowers were amazing and so were the views, less traffic then Storm Castle do yourself a favor and check it out!

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