Bozeman Montana Area
Includes Bozeman Downtown Historic District, Museum of the Rockies, Bridger Canyon Scenic Drive, Gallatin Canyon, Big Sky Ski Resort, Madison Valley, Paradise Valley Scenic Drive, Livingston Historic District, Bridger Bowl Ski Area, Shields River Scenic Drive, Missouri Headwaters State Park, Hyalite Canyon Recreation Area
Downtown Bozeman Montana
Bozeman Montana Area
Bozeman Montana is a charming, thriving community that is not only home to Montana State University "Bobcats", but is also regarded by many as one of the top places to live in the nation. Nestled in the gorgeous Gallatin Valley and being surrounded by several major mountain ranges, the scenery around Bozeman is breathtaking in all directions.
The town of Bozeman itself is absolutely story book, which includes the wonderful Bozeman Downtown Historic District that offers charming coffee shops, great shopping, amazing restaurants and breweries for tourists to explore and enjoy.
And there are many other great features throughout Bozeman that make this town very special, such as the nationally renowned Museum of the Rockies. Beyond Bozeman, in the surrounding area, are some of the most popular and remarkable outdoor recreational opportunities and tourist attractions found anywhere in the Rocky Mountains.
Hikers on the "M" Trail, enjoying the view of the Gallatin Valley, where Bozeman is beautifully nestled.
"The M" rests on the southern slope of the Bridger Range, and can be seen throughout Bozeman.
Brick Breeden Fieldhouse on the Montana State University campus.
Bozeman Montana is presently one of the fastest growing cities in the West, growing from 37,280 in 2010, to 45,250 people by 2016. This charming community is now the fourth largest "city" in the state of Montana due to this growth, and there are now over 97,304 people living in Gallatin County. And by the way, the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, which is one of the busiest airports in the state of Montana, makes Bozeman one of the main "entrance points" for tourists coming to Montana.
The Bridger Range makes for a terrific backdrop throughout the Bozeman Area.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Located along U.S. Interstate 90 between Butte and Billings (85 miles east of Butte and 144 west of Billings), Bozeman Montana rests in the center of many major Montana tourist attractions that surround the area, such as Yellowstone National Park, Gallatin River Canyon, Madison River Valley, Paradise Valley and the Yellowstone River, Big Sky Ski Resort, Bridger Bowl Ski Area, Spanish Peaks Wilderness Area, Hyalite Canyon, Bridger Range, Absaroka Range, Gallatin Range, Madison Range, Tobacco Root Range, Big Belt Mountains... all providing millions of acres of National Forests and Wilderness Areas, and much, much more. You could spend a lifetime around the Bozeman Area and not get it all done!
ENDLESS OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
Understandably, the outdoor recreational opportunities found in this magical area are seemingly endless, and Bozeman Montana rests in the middle of it all! World-class fly fishing, world-class, legendary skiing, world-class hiking and backpacking and world-class whitewater rafting are just a few of the countless outdoor activities that await you in the Bozeman Area.
And combining all this with Bozeman being one of those "perfect" towns to spend time in, your Montana vacation really wouldn't be complete without visiting this remarkable place.
It's no wonder Bozeman Montana was chosen by Outdoor Magazine in 2010 as "The Best Place To Live in the West for Skiing", and elected an All-American City by the National Civic League in 2001. With all of this being said, Bozeman Montana and the surrounding area is truly one of Montana's brightest gems.
Spanish Peaks of the Madison Range are located just southwest of Bozeman Montana, and are one of six mountain ranges that surround this amazing town. By the way, there is some world-class hiking opportunities in the Spanish Peaks area that you will definitely want to check out if you love to hike!
Gateway to Yellowstone National Park
Due to Bozeman's relatively close proximity to two of the five entrances to Yellowstone Nationa Park, Bozeman is a major hub for visitors flying in from around the world to visit this world famous park.
The West Entrance of Yellowstone National Park at West Yellowstone is located 90 miles south of Bozeman via U.S. Highway 191 down the fabled Gallatin River Canyon, and is one of the busiest entrances to the park.
The North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park located at Gardiner, Montana is 78 miles to the southeast of Bozeman via U.S. Highway 89 down the legendary Paradise Valley, and is also an extremely busy entrance. Yellowstone Park is so very much connected to Bozeman Montana that Bozeman's airport is named "Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport", which really says it all.
Colorful History: Bozeman Downtown Historic District
Bozeman Montana has a rich and colorful history that includes William Clark of the Lewis and Clark
Expedition coming through the Bozeman Area in 1806 as he traveled east from the three forks of the Missouri River. Clark and his team camped only 3 miles from present-day Bozeman at the head of Kelly Canyon.
Then in 1863, John Bozeman and John Jacobs opened up the Bozeman Trail, which was a new northern trail off of the Oregon Trail that led miners to the mining towns of Virginia City through the Gallatin Valley. The trail ran right through the middle of the future location of Bozeman. John Bozeman, Daniel Rouse and William Beall then founded the town of Bozeman one year later in 1863.
The Bozeman Downtown Historic District contains many historic buildings that line this charming mainsteet, which are constant reminders of days gone by. Today these remarkable historic structures, such as the Hotel Baxter and the Ellen Theater create the setting, as fantastic coffee shops, gift shops, clothing stores, restaurants and much more are found throughout the downtown area... all of which makes Downtown Bozeman a great place to visit and explore.
Bozeman Downtown Historic District is a great place to shop, dine and explore.
Gallatin River Canyon
Just south of Bozeman Montana lies Gallatin Canyon, which is where the river scenes for the popular movie "A River Runs Through It" was filmed. U.S. Highway 191 follows the Gallatin River as it meanders through a gorgeous valley, with the Gallatin Mountain Range to the east and the Madison Range to the west.
With the many trailheads found along the highway that enter the massive national forests on both sides of U.S. Highway 191, the hiking and backpacking opportunities here are limitless. The Gallatin River itself is famous for fantastic whitewater rafting and kayaking, and the road to the legendary Big Sky Ski Resort is located midway down this canyon at the small town of Big Sky Montana. The fly fishing along the Gallatin River is world renowned, as this is one of the top blue ribbon trout streams in the country. Click Here for more details on the Gallatin River Canyon.
Big Sky Ski Resort: "The Biggest Skiing in America"
Regarded as one of the top ski resorts in the West, at 4,350 feet, Big Sky Ski Resort boasts having the most vertical drop of any ski resort in the nation, and has the second largest skiing acreage in the nation at 5,800 acres. Its motto is "The Biggest Skiing in America", and that really says it all. And by the way, Big Sky Ski Resort enjoys some of the most consistent snow fall in the nation.
And not only is the skiing is undeniably amazing, the setting is like a perfect post card, with the magnificently picturesque Lone Mountain being the centerpiece of the entire area, and is the where the majority of the ski runs are located... and a tram takes skiers all the way to the summit of Lone Mountain, 11,166 feet above sea level. Without question, Big Sky Ski Resort is one of the top ski resorts in the nation, and is a huge Montana winter attraction. Click Here for details on Big Sky Ski Resort.
Bridger Canyon Scenic Drive
Just a few miles north of Bozeman is one of the most scenic drives in Montana. The drive through Bridger Canyon along State Highway 86 will take your breath away as you drive through a broad valley with the stunning Bridger Range towering above you to the west.
This wonderful back country paved road takes you northward along the long Bridger Range and then connects with the remarkable Shield River Valley Scenic Drive, which is another tremendously gorgeous scenic drive along U.S. 89 that takes you southward back to I-90 near Livingston Montana.
This is a very popular loop for visitors in the mood for a wonderful backcountry drive through some of the most remarkable landscape in Montana.
And if you like to hike, there is a forest service road to Fairy Lake, where there is a great campground near a gorgeous lake directly below the Bridger Range. This marks the trailhead that takes you on a short but steep hike to the top of the Bridger Range!
Shields River Valley Scenic Drive
Located northeast of Bozeman Montana, the Shields River Valley Scenic Drive along U.S. Highway 89 is a drive through a classic Montana valley. This broad valley is lined by the Bridger Range to the west and the Crazy Mountains to the east, with the meandering Shields River running through it on its way to the Yellowstone River.
You'll not only enjoy the views of the mountains, but there are wide open meadows with grazing cattle and horses, original ranch and farm houses and barns, and two terrific small towns (Wilsall an Clyde Park) that do not get more "Montana" that this.
You'll even drive by an original pioneer church and cemetery at Sedan. From Bozeman, the most popular way to get to the Shields River Scenic Drive is to take State Highway 86 north from Bozeman along the Bridger Canyon Scenic Drive. This remarkable paved road hooks-up with U.S. Highway 89 in the Shields River Valley, where you can then drive south through the valley and connect with Interstate 90, which is just a few miles east of Livingston.
Bridger Bowl Ski Area
Located only 15 miles north of Bozeman on the slopes of the remarkable Bridger Range along State Highway 86, Bridger Bowl Ski Area is a local favorite and is nationally renowned for some of the most expert skiing terrain in the country.
This classic Montana ski area has been providing outstanding downhill skiing opportunities since the 1950s, and one of the things that make Bridger Bowl Ski Area so attractive to the skiing purest is that it's all about the skiing. There is no "resort" here... just great ski runs.
Known for its "cold smoke", Bridge Bowl is a fantastic skiing experience and is a local favorite. Bridger Bowl is one of the "gems" of the Bozeman Area, and if you love great downhill skiing without the "resort" feel, you'll love Bridger Bowl
The Hyalite Canyon Recreation Area is an extremely popular outdoor destination for tourists and locals alike. With three campgrounds and two day use areas, the camping opportunities are outstanding. Hyalite Reservoir rests at the head of the canyon, which is not only incredibly scenic with towering mountains surrounding it, but this lake provides excellent fishing as well.
There are also several fantastic trailheads that hikers can use to enter the breathtaking backcountry of the Gallatin Range, some being located directly adjacent to the reservoir such as the trail to Mount Blackmore. At the end of the road beyond the reservoir is a magical hike to amazing waterfalls such as Palisade Falls and Grotto Falls that is an extremely popular, easy hikes on a well-maintained trail. This trail eventually takes you up into the high country of the Gallatin Range near the Hyalite Peak Area.
Madison River Valley
Southwest of Bozeman, State Highway 84 takes you into the world famous Madison River Valley, which is home to truly one of the most iconic fly fishing rivers on earth. On the way to this gorgeous, wide open valley in the shadow of the towering Madison Range to the east, historic Norris Hot Springs awaits you, and once you enter this remarkable valley, the charming tourist town of Ennis Montana is there for you to explore and enjoy.
But aside from the Madison River Valley's breathtaking scenery, the major attraction here is the world-class fly fishing, which is one of Montana's top attractions. And just over the hill from the charming tourist town of Ennis is Virginia City, which is the largest intact ghost town in the United States. Click Here for more details on the Madison River Valley.
Paradise Valley is located to the south of Livingston Montana, which is only 20 minutes to the east of Bozeman along U.S. Interstate 90. The Yellowstone River leaves Yellowstone National Park at Gardiner, Montana, and runs through the middle of Paradise Valley all the way to Livingston. With the towering Absaroka Range to the east, and the Gallatin Range to the west, with the Yellowstone River running through it, Paradise Valley is without question one of the most scenic valleys in the nation, and is just a short 26 mile drive from Bozeman Montana.
And of course the fly fishing here is world-famous, as this section of the Yellowstone River is regarded as one of the top blue ribbon trout fisheries in the country. Click Here for more details on Paradise Valley.
Livingston Historic District
Livingston Montana was once the only gateway into Yellowstone National Park, which made this charming small town an important part of Yellowstone history. Located only 26 miles east of Bozeman on the other side of Bozeman Pass, Livingston Montana today is a terrific place to visit if you like classic Montana towns with a rich history. Calamity Jane lived here for 20 years, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
There are 17 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, many of them residing in Livingston's incredible Downtown District. So if you like amazing Montana history, with many of the original buildings still standing, check out Livingston Montana while you're in the Bozeman Area.
And by the way, Livingston rests at the mouth of the world-famous Paradise Valley, which is an amazing scenic drive along U.S. Highway 89 as it takes visitors to the north entrance to Yellowstone Park. Click Here for more details on Livingston Montana
Missouri Headwaters State Park
Located only 36 miles west of Bozeman Montana on U.S. Interstate 90 near Three Forks Montana is the fascinating Missouri Headwaters State Park. This marks the place where the Jefferson, Gallatin and Madison Rivers merge to form the magnificent 2,300 mile long Missouri River.
This wonderful state park takes you back through time when this area was the main focal point during early day trappers, Native Americans, traders and settlers... and of course the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Interestingly, the Sacajawea was kidnapped here as a child, and eventually returned here as Lewis and Clark's guide during their famous expedition through Montana and beyond.
Another member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition was John Colter, who came back to this location several times in search of furs... and his famous run known as "Colter's Run" happened near this location. In addition to the fascinating history of the Missouri River Headwaters, the Missouri Headwaters State Park also preserves much of the area's plentiful wildlife, lush vegetation and the astounding scenic beauty which as attracted people to this special area for hundreds of years. The Missouri Headwaters State Park offers 17 campsites (with dump station, vault toilets), a picnic area, tipi rentals, along with several foot trails to fascinating points of interest and interpretive displays. This wonderful 532 acre park is just off U.S. Interstate 90, and is well worth the stop if you're interested in Montana history as well as scenic beauty with abundant wildlife you and your family can enjoy viewing.
Museum of the Rockies
Affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute, the Musuem of the Rockies in Bozeman Montana is nationally renowned for its remarkable paleontological (dinosaur) collections as it is the home to the largest collection of dinosaur remains in the United States.
Among the museum's cherished "trophies" is the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex skulls ever discovered, and a thigh bone of a Tyrannosaurus Rex that has soft-tissue remains still on it. The Museum of the Rockies is part of Montana's Dinosaur Trail, which includes several towns throughout the state of Montana that are associated with fantastic dinosaur finds, and is the official paloentological specimen repository for the entire state.
In addition to dinosaurs, the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman Montana also focuses on the cultural and physical history of the Rocky Mountains, including the people and animals that have lived here through the ages and who presently live here. The Museum of the Rockies is a national treasure, and is a "must see" while vacationing in the Bozeman Area.
Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana
This is a view of the Gallatin Valley and the town of Bozeman from the "M" Trail in the Bridger Mountains. Bozeman rests in one of the most beautiful locations in the state of Montana, as it sits in a broad valley with 6 mountain ranges surrounding it.
The Bridger Canyon Scenic Drive is just a few miles north of Bozeman!