10 Reasons to Stop In Bozeman On Your Way To Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is a popular destination for people worldwide looking to experience nature at its purest. Established March 1, 1872, it was the world's first national park and was considered a "grand experiment" in preserving natural places for the public to enjoy. Today, people flock to the park more than ever to see the geysers, wildlife, mountains, lakes, rivers, and geothermal features. In 2021, the world-famous park hosted a record 4,860,537 visitors, up 28% from 2020, making it the busiest year on record


Check Out Bozeman On the Way

If you're planning to visit Yellowstone, it's worth considering basing out of Bozeman and exploring several areas in and around the park. Bozeman sits between the north and west entrances to the Park –both are roughly an hour and a half drive from downtown Bozeman. These two sections of the park are very different, and both worth a visit any time of year. Staying in Bozeman is more than convenient; it's a destination in and of itself, with incredible outdoor recreation, a vibrant downtown, and a killer dining scene

We've listed ten reasons why you should stop in Bozeman on your way to Yellowstone, but this is just a start; the delights of Bozeman are too many to name. You'll have to discover them for yourself! 


1. Lots of Lodging Options

Lodging in Yellowstone sells out very quickly, so finding a place to stay takes planning well in advance. Accommodations in Bozeman range from large hotels with national brands such as Element by Westin to locally owned boutique motels like The Sapphire Motel, unique lodges, and affordable options for the family like the C'mon Inn. Check out a full list of lodging options in Bozeman

2. Endless Recreation

Yellowstone is a phenomenal place to explore, hike, fish, and cross-country ski, but Bozeman is a mecca for adventure seekers who want more adrenaline-pumping activities. Surrounded by National Forests and clean rivers, access to outdoor recreation is vast. Whitewater rafting and fly-fishing guides are a great way to get out on the water and safely experience river activities. And, for rock climbers, Hyalite Canyon is known for some of the best climbing in the state. 


3. Great Places to Eat

Chefs and restaurateurs worldwide have made Bozeman home, bringing with them their culinary talent and a propensity for turning out some excellent food. There are five fantastic sushi restaurantskiller steakhouses, ten breweries, two distilleries, a cider house, hard kombucha, and a meadery. This list of restaurants in Bozeman can help narrow your choices. 


Couple walking downtown Bozeman

4. The Best Downtown in the Northwest

Downtown Bozeman is beautiful, with various shops, art galleries, theaters, restaurants, and bars housed in beautiful, historic architecture. It's generally bustling around town, but be sure to check the events schedule for annual favorites such as Music on Main, monthly Art Walks, and the Sweet Pea Festival during the summer. 


5. A Regional Shopping Destination

Bozeman is a booming college town and a burgeoning technology hub offering many fantastic shopping options. We've mentioned the fabulous boutiques downtown, but Bozeman has plenty more to offer. Popular chain stores such as Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, REI, World Market, and Costco fill the North 19th Corridor. The Gallatin Valley Mall is undergoing a major reinvention, with a new Whole Foods underway. Plus, you'll find specialty stores for pets, sporting goods, and jewelry peppered all over town. 


Man fly fishing

6. Exceptional Fly Fishing

Bozeman is one of the premier fly-fishing destinations in North America, with prolific waters such as the Gallatin, Madison, and Yellowstone rivers. On top of those big-name fisheries, smaller rivers and creeks such as the East Gallatin River, Hyalite Creek, and Bozeman Creek are also excellent fishing options. The area is such a fantastic fly fishing destination that Simms Fishing Products is proud to call Bozeman home, and the famous fly fishing movie starring Brad Pitt, A River Runs Through It, was filmed right here in Bozeman. Check out some local fishing shops to book a guided trip, or stop in to get some local advice.


7. Art Galleries

A thriving art community, Bozeman is home to various art galleries. Bozeman has you covered if you want to add that perfect piece over your mantle or enjoy browsing. Just take a stroll down Main Street and hit some of the popular spots like Old Main Gallery & FramingRapscallion Gallery, or Indikoi
The History. The city of Bozeman was founded in 1864 as one of the main stops along the Bozeman Trail. Both were named for John Bozeman, a frontiersman from Georgia who led wagon trains to the goldfields near Virginia City, Montana. Bozeman's rich history is worth exploring through the local museums, such as Museum of the Rockies, the Gallatin History Museum, and the American Computer Museum.


8. The History

The city of Bozeman was founded in 1864 as one of the main stops along the Bozeman Trail. Both were named for John Bozeman, a frontiersman from Georgia who led wagon trains to the goldfields near Virginia City, Montana. Bozeman's rich history is worth exploring through the local museums, such as Museum of the Rockies, the Gallatin History Museum, and the American Computer Museum


9. The Airport

One of the most challenging things about getting to Yellowstone is the lack of access. There aren't any major metro areas within hundreds of miles, so it isn't the most accessible place to reach by air. The Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport is the busiest in Montana and features 21 nonstop flights to major cities around the United States. Bozeman is the answer if you are looking for the best way to get to Yellowstone. 


10. Bozeman is Pet Friendly

If you're traveling with your furry friends, keep in mind there are several pet restrictions within park boundaries to protect your pet, other people, and wildlife. Bozeman is a pet-friendly town with plenty of dog parks for walking within city limits, endless trails throughout the National Forests, and several pet-friendly hotels

What are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Yellowstone and Bozeman today by downloading the Bozeman Travel Guide below.

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In our never-ending quest to keep up with all things new in Bozeman, we have been producing content for years and can't possibly update every blog when new businesses open or existing businesses close. Please reference the publish date and do your own due diligence when making plans.

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