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!
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.
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.
In Bozeman, the transition from winter to spring is seamless with events that help ease the inevitable spring fever. From inspiring talks and high caliber theater, to rowdy rodeos and ski hill shenanigans, April is a month to look forward to!
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!
Short on days but long on events, February packs it in. Bozeman is hopping with professional theater, outdoor adventure, and inspiring films. As the days get longer, so does après-ski— check out the happy hours around town and keep an eye on the live music scene; local, regional and national bands frequent venues around town. The deep of winter doesn’t stop Bozeman from having a good time!
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.
All photo rights belong to Instagram user @powdermagazine.
Bozeman is a year-round wonderland for outdoor recreation - and we've got the photos to prove it! As the popularity in this amazing town has grown, more and more breathtaking shots have found their way online. We've been sharing the best shots throughout the year with the hashtag #OnlyInBozeman and have curated a list of our most popular Instagram posts of 2018. Enjoy!