History buff or not, exploring the museums in Bozeman is well worth the time. From dinosaur fossils to hanging gallows, the exhibits range from western culture to world history. Each museum is unique and well worth a visit, so set aside time to add a little education to your vacation!
Whether you are a professional geologist, an amateur rockhound, or simply looking for an interesting day trip, there are several spots around Bozeman to play with rocks. From geological wonders to gorgeous gems, exploring these areas is fun for any age. Not to mention, the colorful personalities of the surrounding towns are well worth enjoying. There is more than one reason Montana is called the Treasure State!
Ringing Rocks, Butte, Montana
Just outside of Butte, Montana, there is a small batholith called the Boulder Batholith. This huge granite formation was shaped by magma shoved upwards by volcanic eruptions 60-70 million years ago. Within this batholith sits a unique geological formation of boulders that chime methodically when tapped with crescent wrench or mallet. While there is no scientific explanation, it is believed that part of the reason is the composition of the joining patterns; when a boulder is removed, it no longer rings. The area consists of thousands of rocks of all shapes sizes and colors, each with different tones and pitches which sound like a bell. There are only four other sites like this in the world: Mexico, England, Western Australia, and Pennsylvania. Be sure to bring hiking boots, a hammer and an automobile with good clearance, the road is tricky. The area is located 18 miles east of Butte, on BLM land north of I-90, beyond Pipestone Trailhead.
Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine, Philipsburg, Montana
The largest, oldest, and best sapphire mine in Montana, the Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine has turned out 180 million carats of sapphires over the past 120 years. The mine allows guests to wash sapphire gravel in search of stones, which vary in size. When you find one you like, the mine offers heat-treating which improves the clarity and enhances the color, and faceting, which grinds and polishes the stone to prepare it for jewelry. Be sure to pack layers, the weather can range from sun to rain to snow, (sometimes in the same day!) Bug spray, sunscreen and a hat are also recommended. For hardcore sapphire hunters, there is a small campground on site which is first-come, first served. The mine is located 22 miles west of Phillipsburg on the Skalhao Pass Road off of Montana Highway 38.
July hits and Bozeman-ites start running fast and hard to get in as much summer fun as possible! The month is packed with special events; long-standing favorites like the state fair, big name musicians and fun runs throughout the valley. From date night to family day, there is something for everyone to enjoy!
Fourth of July!
Kick off the month with a serious Fourth of July celebration. Start the day with an invigorating hike up the College ‘M’ or Drinking Horse trails. You’ll get a great view of the whole valley. Both trails are moderate, but if you’re feeling especially motivated, the ‘M’ has a steep route. Enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of Bozeman’s many restaurants, then perhaps take a little rest before the night gets going.
A long-time favorite, the Music on Main free concert series starts at 8:00 p.m. on Main Street. The street shuts down, food trucks come out and the watering holes offer drink specials. There’s a fun zone for the kids and bleachers if you need a little break!
Festival of the 4th
Denecke Park, Gallatin County Fairgrounds
Thursday, July 4, 2019
Bozeman goes all out when it comes to fireworks. The blasts are big and the show is long. For front row seats, plan to get to the fairgrounds early. However, the show can be seen all over town. Peet’s Hill and the Westlake Park Children’s Memorial Garden are great places to watch!
If you like to light your own fireworks, city regulations are in effect for certain times:
- July 3 and July 5, 12:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
- July 4, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
Fireworks are not allowed on major streets or within 300 feet of hospitals or healthcare facilities. You can find firework stands on Huffine Lane and Highway 85 headed south.
Other July Events
Yellowstone National Park is a beautiful summer destination for families, friends, and outdoor adventurers. When the sun is out and the kids are out for summer vacation, it is a center for breathtaking views and surprise animal sightings. There is enough to see to fill numbers of trips, countless hikes and years of memories. Check out these posts to inspire your next trip to the park and whet your appetite for a new stunning adventure.
Our National Park System is nothing short of phenomenal. These vast swaths of land preserved for their natural wonders are something everyone should experience. Montana has a total of nine National Park service areas, but the two most famous, Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park, are also the most different.
Glacier’s tall, jutting mountains, massive moving glaciers, and mountain lakes are a vast contrast to Yellowstone’s wide open spaces, big rivers, simmering hot pots and shooting geysers.
Yet, the two can’t be compared; each has its own beauty and intrigue.
One of the highlights of visiting Yellowstone National Park is watching the wildlife move about in their natural setting. Spring is especially magical with newborns playing alongside their moms, giddy with new life. The park is less crowded in the spring, which makes it a nice time to leisurely make your way through. You’ll definitely see the more common animals such as bison and elk; but if you’re diligent, (and an early riser) you have a good chance of seeing bear, moose and even the elusive wolf. Stop at the local visitor center to find out where the most recent activity is taking place.
If there is one thing that all snowboarders have in common, it’s the love of a good carve. Whether it’s deep powder and wide open terrain, or technical tree runs, the feeling of digging that board in is what distinguishes snowboarders from skiers. Fortunately, there are plenty of spectacular turns around Bozeman and it takes no time at all to earn them.
Bridger Bowl is located just sixteen miles from Bozeman up Bridger Canyon, and Big Sky Resort is just an hour from town. Both are renown ski areas with terrain that is both exhilarating and humbling. While the areas are very different from one another, both will leave you wanting to come back for more!
Some days it’s nice to just hop in the car, relax and enjoy the scenery. Bozeman receives a significant amount of snow, but Montanan’s are no rookies to keeping the roads clear. If the weather isn’t inclement, you generally don’t need to worry about driving, but these two scenic winter drives tend to be less snowy than some!
Yellowstone National Park is just a stone’s throw from Bozeman, and seeing it in its winter glory is something special. Snowshoeing is one of the most intimate ways of experiencing the natural beauty, and it’s an easy activity for any age and ability.
The options are plentiful; you can plan an excursion for any duration and skill level. All trails and roads are open to snowshoeing; however, if you are on a ski trail, snowshoers are required to walk alongside the trail to keep the ski tracks in order.
We’ve created a couple of itinerary options with one short and one long, but don’t be afraid to get out and make tracks on your own!
Whether you’re an expert skier or just starting out, a day at Bridger Bowl is a ski and snowboard lover’s dream. Dubbed the “cold smoke,” Bridger receives an average 350” of the lightest, driest powder anywhere. Located just 16 miles from downtown Bozeman, you can enjoy a full day on the slopes and be home in time for a night on the town.