When the ski lifts stop turning, outdoor junkies start tuning up their mountain bikes and waiting for the trails to dry out. Surrounded by six mountain ranges, beginning to advanced riders can find adventure in every direction. The rides listed below are all relatively short, but if you’re feeling aggressive enough to carry gear, some have Forest Service Cabins, (reserve early, they are popular!) We’ve provided some general information, but always check a detailed map and trail conditions before heading out, weather changes quickly in Montana!
It’s on! The peak of summer fun in Bozeman is well underway, and there is no shortage of activity. Whether you choose to adventure by day, and enjoy a night out on the town, or prefer a low-key day of exploring Bozeman, you won’t lack for entertainment.
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.
Yellowstone is so vast, you could spend weeks exploring. For those on a tighter timeline, there are a few sights not to be missed, but also some lesser known, off-the-beaten-path areas that are well worth seeing. We’ve selected a few that span different aspects of the park, each unique and all awe-inspiring.
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.
Summer kicks off with music, film, food and serious adventure. One of the beautiful things about Bozeman is its proximity to the mountains, lakes, and rivers. We’re not kidding when we say you can fit both recreation and culture into the same day! We suggest building these great events into your itinerary, you’ll love the variety of entertainment in this vibrant college town.
Honestly, there really isn't a bad time to see the nation's first National Park. Yellowstone is a magical place year round. Each season has its benefits or natural cycles to look forward to, like the elk rut in the fall or the bears coming out of hibernation in the spring. The real question is what do you want to experience in Yellowstone? Is it the breathtaking scenery, the wild animals, the incredible thermal features, or the historic landmarks that dot the map? We will give you some of our favorite things about each season and then you decide when the best time to visit Yellowstone is.
Bozeman-Yellowstone International Airport is the busiest airport in Montana—with good reason. Whether you’re a thrill seeker, an outdoor enthusiast or simply love the pace of a mountain town full of culture, Bozeman will not disappoint. Lucky for you, access is easier than you might think. Seven major airlines service Bozeman, and 16 of the flights are nonstop to major cities. While not all of them fly daily, the flight schedules make it easy to plan your trip accordingly. Below is a quick outline of the year-round and seasonal non-stop flights to help you get started.