In Bozeman, we love being outside. As the snow melts, the people of Bozeman can be seen all over town taking advantage of warmer temperatures. The trailhead parking lots begin to fill up with hikers, people leave the gyms to jog around the neighborhoods, fly fishermen can be seeing pulling drift boats behind their trucks, and local patios become popular hangout spots again. The active people are not the only change we see during spring. Here are some of our favorite things about Bozeman in the spring.
The Mountains Come Alive
As the snow melts around Bozeman, it reveals a brown, lifeless landscape full of mud and dead vegetation. During the months of April and May, a transition plays out, on an almost daily basis, as we watch the mountains change from brown to green and come alive. Seeing the snow-capped peaks and beautiful green mountains are one of the best views of the year. It reminds you that how beautiful each season in Montana truly is. The further we get into May wildflowers begin to bloom and the trees leaf out. Birds that have made their way back north fill the air with song making each hike a little more enjoyable. The renewal of life after a long winter offers a feeling of excitement of the upcoming summer.
The Rivers Fill Up
Snow in the mountains is the ultimate resource in the West. As warmer temperatures begin to melt the snow, water flows down each gully, canyon, and valley to fill the rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. For kayakers and rafters, this means the most thrilling time of year. The more water flowing through the rivers, the more intense the experience can be. For fly fishermen, the spring signals the emergence of various insects that the fish feed on, including the Mother's Day caddis hatch and usually includes a transition from fishing underwater nymph flies to dry flies that drift on the surface of the water.
Spring is also the time when many animals become more active as they forage for food after a long winter and give birth to the newest generation of animals. This is a great time to visit Yellowstone, as the crowds are usually minimal, the bears are emerging from hibernation, and the bison and elk calves are a lot of fun to watch. Spring also reveals the animals that didn't make it through the winter which attracts bears, wolves, coyotes, and other scavengers to feast on the carcass. This is a brutal fact of life in Yellowstone but makes for some great animal watching during the spring. Just remember to keep your distance to all animals, remaining at least 25 yards from bison and elk and 100 yards from bears and wolves.
With the lifestyle here in Bozeman we tend to blur the line between indoors and outdoors. We value spending time outside, so the springtime is the start of patio season. Bozeman offers some great outdoor dining experiences at locations that include Montana Ale Works, Bar IX, Map Brewing, The Garage, Cafe Fresco, Starky's, Plonk, Santa Fe Red's, Roost, and the Rocking R Bar. There is just something about enjoying a delicious meal or a cocktail in the Montana sunshine that enhances the experience. If you enjoy dining outdoors, Bozeman is the place for you.
We can't mention springtime without talking about hiking. After waiting all winter, the mountains become our playground once again. In early spring, many trails are still covered in snow, but as the temperatures continue to rise, more hiking options become available. Some of the popular early season hikes are The College 'M' Trail, Drinking Horse Trail, Pete's Hill, Beartrap Canyon, Sypes Canyon, and Middle Cottonwood Canyon. These are all located in areas that usually get a lot of sun and melt off first. If you are itching to enjoy some springtime hiking while visiting Bozeman, check out these spots.
If you are headed to Bozeman this spring, you are in for a treat. It truly is a great time of year to visit as the town and mountains come alive. Whether you are just stopping on your way to another destination or spending a few days in Bozeman, take some time to enjoy all that Bozeman has to offer.
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