Undoubtedly, Bozeman's natural beauty is what draws people. More than one vacationer has found themselves changing their life course after visiting Bozeman and deciding to relocate to the mountains. No matter which direction you arrive, the views are awe-inspiring. Here, our air is clean, the water is fresh, and we enjoy an endless outdoor playground. We have a lot to be grateful for.
Maybe because ski season ended early last year, or perhaps because they are nervous about spending too much time indoors this winter, but many people are already chomping at the bit for ski season to start! Social media feeds fill with shots of powder, and countdowns, until the lifts start turning, have begun. Our local ski areas are working diligently, putting measures in place to open safely.
When members of the Bozeman community put their minds to something, good things happen. Crosscut Mountain Sports Center is one of those things. A few years ago, this community non-profit raised $8 million to secure the properties of Bohart Ranch Cross Country Ski Center and the defunct Crosscut Ranch, both Nordic ski venues. This purchase effectively saved the land from development and ensured access to this pristine recreation for generations to come.
Hunting has always been an integral part of Bozeman's life; families respectfully fill their freezers each fall and enjoy healthy, local game meat throughout the year. While most hunters do it for the sustenance, they will also tell you that the entire experience is significant. Watching a spectacular sunrise with a hot cup of coffee in hand while the colors light up a vast expanse of the skyline is humbling. There's something about getting deep into Montana's mountains with family and friends, tuning in to the natural world, and harvesting sustainable meat.
When the open road calls, Bozeman is the perfect spot to follow its siren song. Whichever route you take, you’re bound to stumble upon the delightful and unexpected. But for the planners out there, we know you don’t want to leave everything to chance. Here are some of our favorite stops along the major road trip routes to Bozeman.
Rent a bike and head for the hills—the hills at Copper City, that is. This area just west of Bozeman is a great spot to get going with the sport of mountain biking. With trails optimized for pedal power and miles of singletrack to explore, Copper City is worth the drive, especially since its prime location in the shadow of nearby mountains means it's one of the first places to dry out after the snow melts.
Spring is here, and needless to say so is the need to get some fresh air, exercise, and peace of mind. Wildlife watching in Yellowstone is superb in the spring, with baby animals playfully bounding around, their mamas happy that the long winter has ended. As the park continues to open up and we continue the COVID recovery, we want to whet your appetite for the animals that you will still be able to see as you visit, even if it's not in March or April as initially planned.
Summer in Montana is divine. As soon as the snow melts, locals start running fast and furiously, soaking up as much sun as possible. Standing at the top of a towering peak is a fantastic feeling, and the rivers provide a fertile playground for fishing and boating. However, for all its grandeur, the wilderness is also a dangerous place, and proper preparation is essential. Search and rescue professionals define backcountry as anywhere they can’t drive an ambulance, and around Bozeman, that’s a lot of places! It doesn’t take much to plan, and it’s well worth the effort.
Experiencing our wild spaces up close and personal is something everyone should be so lucky to do. The intimacy of seeing wildlife in their habitat, thick vegetation, dynamic weather patterns, and sheer beauty — it does wonders for the soul. But as more and more people venture out, it’s not just important to keep the trails in good order but to look out for your well-being. Weather can be more intense in the mountains, and if you run into trouble out in the wild, getting help may not be as straightforward as it is in other places. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind before heading out.
Guest post by: Mariah Leuschen-Lonergan
Bozeman and much of southcentral and southeastern Montana are interspersed with amazing National Forest System lands, home to the Custer Gallatin National Forest. A forest of close to 3.1 million acres spanning from Bozeman and West Yellowstone on the westernmost stretches to the vast expanses of southeastern Montana and far northwestern South Dakota. Truly the Big Sky state.