When it comes to mountain getaways, Colorado tends to be top of mind. So what happens when you live in Colorado but want a mountain getaway of your own? You visit Bozeman, Montana! Both states are located in the Rocky Mountains, which means the outdoor adventure is similar, yet the experience is very different.
The main thing you’ll notice is the lack of crowds. Montana is bigger than Colorado, with a fraction of the people, (1 million in Montana to 5.7 million in Colorado.) During the summer months, this means fewer people on the trails, and when ski season rolls around, the lack of lift lines is refreshing. (Not to mention uncrowded runs with plenty of room to spread out!)
You’ll also see the similarities: great fishing, camping, hiking, skiing, climbing, food, and nightlife. The difference is in proximity. In Bozeman, you can drive for 15 minutes and seemingly be in the middle of nowhere. Adventuring in Colorado can require some time in traffic. In Bozeman, you can bag a peak during the day, and be back in time for dinner and a show.
Speaking of dinner, the food is amazing. What used to be a steak and potatoes kind of town now has a wide array of cuisine. Rest assured vegetarians, we’ve got you covered; delicious dishes can be found on most every menu!
The vibrancy of a college town makes the cultural scene hop. Two historic theaters have been renovated, bringing live theater, music and film to the area. These smaller venues are intimate, a real treat when seeing live performances, and our location on I-90 makes it a great tour stop for musicians across the country. Brick Breeden Fieldhouse on the Montana State University campus hosts big music names, Broadway theater and family oriented performances.
Getting to Montana is easy; if you prefer to drive, the open road is a great way to clear your head, and if you prefer to fly, you’ll arrive in a quick 1 1/2 hours on either United Airlines or Frontier Airlines. Did someone say, “weekend getaway?”
There are three main driving routes, and depending on your locale, length of trip and time of year, they are all worth exploring. It’s roughly 12 hours, give or take, so an early start will land you here in enough time to settle in and enjoy the evening.
If you’re coming through Utah, take I-70 West to US 191 N. and head to Provo, Utah. From there, stay on I-15 North to I-90 and cruise on into Bozeman! For a more scenic route, cut off at Idaho Falls and head to West Yellowstone. From there, you’ll go through the scenic Gallatin Canyon, where “A River Runs Through It” was filmed.
If you’re coming from the Denver area, hightailing it through Cheyenne to Billings is the most efficient and straightforward route, following I-25 N to I-90 W and down into Bozeman.
However, if it’s summer, and you have a couple of extra days, driving through Cody, Wyoming to Cooke City and then Yellowstone National Park is a memory you won’t forget. From Cody, you’ll drive over the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway to Cooke City. It’s worth overnighting in Cody or Cooke City, (though Cooke City is small so be sure to make reservations!) The next day, meander your way through the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park watching for bear, elk, bison and the elusive wolf.
Ready to start exploring? Download our travel guide and start planning!
If you enjoyed this blog, take a look at some of our other related articles:
- Yellowstone National Park History
- What Is The Best Time To Visit Yellowstone?
- 5 Underrated Bozeman Restaurants You Need To Try
- How To Get To Yellowstone National Park From Bozeman, MT