Mountain recreation at its best: If you enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, hunting, skiing, snowmobiling, horseback riding, photography, or just relaxing as the alpine days drift by… Montana is the place to be. The world’s finest trout streams, ski resorts, and wilderness areas are all close by. You will have easy access to many mountain wonders, including Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Glacier National Parks. The recreational possibilities are endless!
Bozeman is near ten national forests that accommodate a variety of outdoor recreational experiences. Eight miles south of Bozeman in the Hyalite Drainage of the Gallatin National Forest is the Hyalite Challenge area. This area includes six handicapped-accessible trail systems, a renovated rental cabin and several fishing piers. These facilities are specifically designed to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities, families with small children and senior citizens.
Bridger Mountain Range:
Location – Northeast of Bozeman
Highest Point – Sacagawea Peak
Elevation – 9,670 feet
Location – Southwest of Bozeman
Highest Point – Hilgard Peak
Elevation – 11,316 feet
Location – South of Bozeman
Highest Point – Mount Chisholm
Elevation – 10,333 feet
The Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin rivers join together to form the Missouri River at the Missouri Headwaters State Park near Three Forks, Montana. The rivers, steams and lakes in the region offer some of the finest fly fishing for trout found anywhere in the world, and the scenery around our trout waters is spectacular.
Fly fishing enthusiasts will find blue ribbon trout streams minutes from town. Fishermen from all around travel to the Bozeman area to spend quality time on our rivers. Cold clear streams and lakes provide loch leven, rainbow, cutthroat and golden trout, as well as grayling and mountain whitefish. The nationally renowned Madison River, the storied Yellowstone River and the famous Gallatin River are all blue ribbon fisheries located in or adjacent to Gallatin County. Hunting opportunities abound in the area. In fact, there is the opportunity to hunt more species here than in any other area in the western states.
Yellowstone National Park and additional wildlands mangaged by the U.S. National Forest Service, Montana Department of Fish and Parks, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and private agricultural interests provide wildlife hunting, photography, or viewing opportunities for many species.
Elk, bighorn sheep, mule and white-tailed deer, coyote, pronghorn antelope, bald and golden eagles, moose, mountain goat, black and grizzly bear, and an array of less obvious, but no less remarkable animals, still find suitable range and habitat here.
BRIDGER BOWL SKI AREA
Bridger Bowl is one of the most unique winter recreation sites found anywhere in the Northern Rockies. This community gem is known for its incredible terrain spanning 1,240 skiable acres, and its reputation for spawning some of the best skiers in the world. Bridger Bowl is renowned for offering one of the best ski experiences for the money anywhere in the world! Bridger Bowl Ski Area has provided quality service for over 44 years as a private nonprofit ski area. This status translates to incredible value and savings for skiers. The full day adult lift ticket is only $60!
Unspoiled charm and pristine alpine surroundings set Bridger Bowl apart from most other major ski resorts. The Bridger Range offers skiers classic Rocky Mountain features: large, snow-filled bowls, beautiful alpine glades, and wide open slopes. With an average snowfall of 350″ and 2,000 vertical feet of lift-served terrain (plus an additional 500 vertical feet for those hiking to the ridge), Bridger Bowl offers an incredible variety of terrain for skiers of all abilities.
BIG SKY RESORT
In 1995, the Lone Peak Tram was built – hoisting the courageous to 11,166 feet and giving Big Sky one of the nation’s largest total vertical drops at 4,180 feet. Skiers and Snowboarders can enjoy 78 runs on over 3,500 skiable acres. The resort has set the standard for nonexistent lift lines and uncrowded slopes.
Big Sky has a variety of runs to choose from, ranging from the tame, wide beginner slopes of Southern Comfort to the steep chutes, narrow couloirs and wide open powder fields of Lone Peak, and plenty of intermediate terrain in between. Skiers of every age and ability will find terrain to suit their skill and comfort level. And most importantly, they’ll be able to enjoy their favorite runs in relative solitude.
Shredders also have something to cheer about now: Big Sky’s state-of-the-art terrain park with half-pipe, board jumps, banked turns and kickers. The park features an inter-park rope tow, piped-in music and snow making capabilities.
Sources: Bridger Bowl Ski Area, Big Sky Ski Resort.
Weather / Climate Information
Bozeman’s climate reflects its mountain valley location. Summers are pleasant, characterized by warm days, cool nights, and an abundance of sunshine. Hot weather and humid conditions are infrequent. Bozeman is located in one of the few regions in the country where the average summer climate is comfortable due to the moderate combined heat and humidity. Most summers have seven or fewer days with temperatures exceeding 90 degrees. The average high temperatures for summer are in the 70s and 80s and the average lows are in the mid 40s and low 50s.Early in the Autumn season, high daily temperatures average 70 degrees. Indian summer can linger until the middle of October. During the months of October and November the temperatures generally reach highs in the 40s and 50s and lows in the 20s or 30s.
Winters in Bozeman are characterized by fluctuating temperatures. Mild winter weather is not unusual and a week or more of consistently cold weather is rare. For the winter sports enthusiast, the relatively low humidity (averages around 58.9) and light winds provide an ideal climate for outdoor winter activities. Downhill ski season usually extends from mid December to the beginning of April.
The average monthly high and low temperatures for December, January and February are 35 and 16, 31 and 11, and 37 and 17 respectively. Spring tends to come late in the Gallatin Valley, with high average temperatures in April, May and June of 53, 63 and 72 respectively. One third of the annual precipitation of 18.61 inches falls during May and June.
The average annual mean snowfall in Bozeman is 73.1 inches and the average length of the growing season is 107 days. The first killing frost usually occurs about September 12th.
Sources: Gallatin Development Corporation, Montana State University Weather Station.