5 Day Trips You Can Take from Bozeman, Montana
Bozeman sits in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, just a stone’s throw from Yellowstone National Park, and surrounded by mountain ranges at every turn. Dotted along these mountain fronts are charming small towns, each with unique adventures, characters, and an overall casual vibe. Southwest Montana is breathtakingly scenic and getting to these towns is a fantastic experience in and of itself. You’ll see incredible cloud patterns, tall peaks, winding rivers, and rolling hills. If you’re lucky, you may even encounter some wildlife along the way!
Here are five worthwhile day trips you can take from Bozeman, Montana.
Distance: 52.4 miles
Route: MT-84 W and US-287 S
In the spring, this is one of the prettiest drives around. Rolling hills turn bright green while the towering peaks in the background still have snow. Add in a bluebird sky and the scenery is exceptional. Ennis is a small town with a big fishing game. The Madison River is one of the more popular fishing locations, and anglers come in droves to fish. The town itself is full of some great shops and restaurants, including Burnt Tree Brewing and Willie’s Distillery.
Distance: 45 miles
Route: US 191-S
The road to Big Sky takes you through Gallatin Canyon, the beautiful backdrop in the movie, "A River Runs Through It." Don’t rush it – the canyon is busy, and the road is a two lanes with lots of bends. But just as important, you’ll want to soak up the scenery! During the winter, Big Sky is known for its world-class skiing. During the summer months, hiking, biking, and fishing are the primary activities. Big Sky Resort also offers lift-served downhill mountain biking! Or, take the Lone Peak Tram to the top of Lone Mountain where you can see three states and two national parks!
Distance: 89.2 miles
Route: US 191-S
Beyond Big Sky, West Yellowstone sits at the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park, the busiest entrance to the park. We suggest visiting in the spring or fall when the crowds have died down. Or you can take a guided snowmobile or snowcoach tour during the winter months. The west entrance takes you to the majority of the geysers and hot pots, including Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic. Plus, the park looks grand in its winter whites. West Yellowstone is known as being one of the best places to snowmobile in the lower 48 states, so if you’re looking for some exciting adventure, there are several tour companies available.
Distance: 25.8 miles
Route: I-90 E
Once a railroad town, Livingston is now full of artists, writers, cowboys, entrepreneurs, and mountaineers. The restaurant scene is stellar, and the art galleries and boutique shops are full of interesting treasures. The Shane Lalani Center for the Arts brings live theater and film to the area year-round, and The Attic hosts live music. The Yellowstone River flows through town, with relaxing float trips, or guided fishing trips available.
Gardiner and Yellowstone National Park
Distance: 77.9 miles
Route: I-90 E and US-89 S
Gardiner, Montana, sits at the north entrance to Yellowstone. This side of the park includes the Lamar Valley, which is great for wildlife watching, and Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces, which are different than other features in the park. Plus, it’s the only road in Yellowstone that stays open year-round, so you can still drive through this section of the park during the winter. In Gardiner, stop and peruse the shops and restaurants. On your way home, allocate some time to stop at Yellowstone Hot Springs.
Ready to plan your trip to Bozeman and beyond? Download the Bozeman Travel Guide to get started.
If you enjoyed this blog, take a look at some of our other related articles:
- Winter Scenic Drives; Safety While You Drive
- Scenic Winter Drives Around Bozeman
- Plan the Perfect Day Trip to Yellowstone National Park from Bozeman