We love our winters in Bozeman, but once the ski hills close and the snow starts to melt, spring fever sets in and we’re off chasing new activities and adventures. Part of Bozeman’s allure is the combination of outdoor recreation coupled with a cultured and vibrant community. It’s easy to be out in nature for the day and back in time for dinner and a live show! We’ve outlined a few of our favorite local activities, complete with ideas the whole family can enjoy.
Bikers get anxious for the trails to dry out, fortunately, there are options around town to get out and get pedaling. Hyalite Canyon closes the road to vehicles until May 15 providing 15.6 serene miles and 1,180 feet of elevation gain to really get your legs pumping! (Rest assured, it’s a gradual grade.) There are also plenty of loops around town. Try Sypes Canyon to Penwell Bridge Road into Belgrade. Stop for a cold beer at Bar 3 BBQ and Brewing, then circle back to Bozeman via Cameron Bridge Road.
The spring photo opportunities are spectacular in and around Bozeman. The colors range from bright chartreuse to deep green and the blue skies are endless. As it warms up the wildflowers start to pop, perfect for grabbing the camera and taking a hike!
If you’re in the mood for a relaxing day, try one of the scenic drives. Bridger Canyon to Wilsall is a lovely drive spanning the Bridger, Crazy and Absarokee mountain ranges. Or pack a lunch (and your bike) and head to Missouri Headwaters State Park. There are miles of trails and great picnic spots along the way.
Catch a Little Culture
The music, museums, theater and dining are abundant in this energetic college town. The Ellen Theatre and Rialto book weekly shows, and Brick Breeden Fieldhouse at Montana State University brings in big name musicians, Broadway shows and family friendly entertainment. The museums in Bozeman are top notch. The Museum of the Rockies, a Smithsonian affiliate has one of the largest collections of dinosaur bones in North America and rotating exhibits from around the world. The American Computer and Robotics Museum holds thousands of artifacts spanning 4000 years of Human and Technology history and Gallatin History Museum tells the story of Bozeman’s rich western culture.
The Bogert Farmers’ Market starts Tuesday, June 4, from 5pm-8pm and the Gallatin Valley Farmers’ Market shortly after. More than just markets, families and friends gather to enjoy art, crafts, music, food trucks, kid’s activities, and of course, the fresh produce!
Wildlife Watching in Yellowstone
Spring is a wonderful time to visit Yellowstone National Park. Summer visitation hasn’t yet ramped up so you can enjoy the park at a leisurely pace. Babies are everywhere, frolicking near their mamas. You’ll find bear cubs, bison calves, baby elk and if you’re lucky, the elusive wolf pups!
Before the runoff starts, fly fishers have a window of killer fishing. Fish are hungry and active and the famous Mother’s Day Caddis hatch signifies the move from nymph fishing to dry flies. Lake fishing is just as good with the cool weather and is often best in the spring before the heat hits. Hyalite Reservoir and Hebgen Lake are both close, but watch the weather, depending the winter, it may take a while for the ice to melt off!
Whitewater Rafting and Kayaking
Once the runoff hits, whitewater rafting season hits its prime! The Gallatin and Yellowstone Rivers are known for their challenging water and experts take full advantage. Even if you’ve never rafted, you can take enjoy of the sport with a guided trip. You’ll be outfitted with a wet suit, helmet and some pre-launch instruction. These experienced guides instill the confidence and knowledge you need to help row the boat—it’s a full participation sport!
Seasonal tours ramp up. The Main Street and Neighborhood Walking Tours are a great way to learn about the history and architecture of the town. For the brave souls, try the Bozeman Paranormal Ghost Walking Tours, another way to learn about Bozeman’s colorful history!
For more trip planning ideas, download the Travel and Relocation Guide!
If you enjoyed this blog, take a look at some of our other related articles:
- A Guide To In-Town Exploration In Bozeman
- What You Need To Know About Museums In Bozeman
- Montana's Creative Capital: Art Galleries In Bozeman, Montana
- Iconic Bozeman: The Ellen Theatre