ADA Accessible Trails Near Bozeman
Bozeman is known for its impressive mountain ranges, majestically surrounding the Gallatin Valley. It’s hard to look at them and not want to envelop yourself in their forests and soak up the natural wonders. And, for those needing accessible hiking trails, there are plenty of options to get out and enjoy the outdoors.
The Pine Creek Trail
Driving through Paradise Valley is a treat any time of year. The Yellowstone River runs between the Gallatin and Absarokee Mountain Ranges and is lined with substantial cottonwood trees along the banks. The trail toward Pine Creek Falls is wide and flat and gradually climbs to a bridge crossing the stream. Depending on the capabilities of your chair, you could continue across the bridge and onto the falls, although the trail gets a bit rockier and narrower. Check the weather; this trail can be tricky when muddy.
Palisade Falls Trail
Located just past Hyalite Reservoir, one of the busiest recreational areas in Montana, the drive up to the trailhead is worth it. The beautiful winding mountain road runs along Hyalite Creek, lined with incredibly colorful trees in the spring and fall. The trail begins at the East Fork of Hyalite Creek and is a short, mostly paved trail with a few somewhat steep sections. The falls are an 80-foot drop off a vertical wall at the Southern Base of Palisade Mountain. If you love to camp, the sites along the lake all offer spectacular views, and the nighttime stargazing is awe-inspiring.
Grand Prismatic Hot Spring
The Grand Prismatic, the most photographed site in Yellowstone National Park, draws people to its crazy bright colors. This enormous hot spring is broader than a football field and deeper than a 10-story building. The boardwalks also take you to Excelsior Geyser, Turquoise Pool, and Opal Pool. This is a popular destination, so to avoid the crowds, visit early in the morning or after 6 p.m., which is also the ideal time for photos!
This short out-and-back trail gives you a beautiful view of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and the falls. Initially, the spot was incorrectly named for Thomas Moran’s sketches and paintings that captured the interest of Congress and the public, leading to the designation of Yellowstone as a national park. It was later found that the sketches were drawn from the North Rim, but the name stuck!
Old Faithful Geyser Loop
Old Faithful is one of nearly 500 geysers in Yellowstone National Park and one of six that Park rangers can predict. Old Faithful continues to erupt on a regular schedule, but with the constant shifting of the earth, this may not always be the case. While you’re there, take the boardwalks to other nearby geysers, such as Morning Glory Pool, a deep turquoise blue. The Old Faithful Visitor Education Center has hands-on, interactive exhibits, or plan to spend a night at the historic Old Faithful Inn.
Fairy Falls Trail
If you’re looking for a longer trail, Fairy Falls is 4.8 miles out and back, averaging 3-5 hours. The falls are 200 feet high and considered one of Yellowstone’s most spectacular waterfalls.
Biscuit Basin Interpretive Trail
Located near West Yellowstone, this .7-mile loop is popular for birding and fascinating hydrothermal features such as Sapphire Pool, Avoca Spring, and Jewel Geyser. The trail was named for the unusual biscuit-like deposits that used to surround Sapphire Pool. After the Hebgen Lake earthquake in 1959, the Sapphire Pool erupted, and the “biscuits” were blown away. Sapphire Pool is one of the most beautiful blue pools in the park, while nearby Mustard Spring is a lovely contrast. And you’ll likely see Jewel Geyser erupt while you’re there, as it generally erupts every 7-10 minutes.
If you enjoyed this blog, take a look at some of our other related articles:
- Bozeman Scenic Drives; Gallatin Canyon to Madison Valley
- Make a (Fantastic) Day of It with These Bozeman and Yellowstone Day Trips
- Patio Dining in Bozeman, Montana
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