Is there a better location for western outdoor recreation than Bozeman?
We doubt it.
Outside Magazine recently rated Bozeman on of the 15 best sport cities in the U.S. The community received this recognition because of outstanding opportunities for fly fishing, downhill and cross-country skiing, hunting, hiking, camping, climbing, canoeing and kayaking. Bozeman is an outdoor lover’s heaven, with all these recreational opportunites within an hour’s drive.
The mountains are literally at your front door. Camping, hiking, fishing, and biking are common weekend activites during spring and summer. Wildflowers accentuate the beautiful landscape along numerous trails, and these same areas offer miles of cross country skiing in the winter.
The nearby Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the Gallatin, Madison and Bridger Mountains make the Gallatin Valley the ideal residence for big game hunters, anglers, mountaineers or anyone enthusiastic about the outdoors. Antelope, deer, elk bighorn sheep, moose, mountain goat, mountain lion and black bear are more abundant in the Greater Yellowstone area than any other region of the American Rockies. Upland game birds include grouse, partridge, pheasant and wild turkey to name a few.
The rivers near Bozeman are widely recognized as the standard by which blue-ribbon trout fishing is measured. Cutthroat, rainbow and brown trout abound in the long ripples of the Madison and Yellowstone as well as Gallatin River’s deep pockets. Whether angling is a lifelong passion or the lifestyle change you’ve been looking for, Bozeman’s plentiful river access points and countless streams and tributaries put the best of the west in your backyard. And even if fishing isn’t your excuse for wading into these beautiful rivers, you won’t be alone—kayakers, canoeists, and rafters can be seen lazily gliding down these numerous waterways on any summer day.
If skiing is your favorite outdoor activity, 400 annual inches of “Rocky Mountain Powder” falls in Big Sky, home to North America’s longest vertical drop of 4,350 feet without the crowds of more popular resorts. Big Sky’s aim is to combine 150 trails through the endless wilderness of the Madison Range surrounding Lone Peak with four star lodging, fare, and spa facilities. The Huntly, Shoshone, and Summit Condominium hotels complete this heavenly combination, making Big Sky Montana’s premier winter destination.
Moonlight Basin, located on the North face of Lone Peak in the Madison range, opened in 2003. A short time ago, this deep bowl’s powder stashes were available only to backcountry explorers willing to hike all day. Now you can travel up the mountainside in comfort on the “Six Shooter,” Montana’s first high-speed six-passenger lift. Moonlight Basin also offers extensive snowcat skiing and hospitable accommodations at Moonlight and Madison Lodges.
Only 16 miles from downtown Bozeman, Bridger Bowl is one of the best local secrets in the country. Celebrating over 50 years as a nonprofit ski area, Bridger Bowl is the best a local could hope for—world class terrain at rock bottom prices. More than 350 annual inches fall in this alpine oasis, providing 2,000 vertical feet of maintained trails, and an additional 500 feet for those hiking the ridge—an easily accessible system of drops and powder fields that connect back into the maintained trail system. Bozeman thrill-seekers ventured off the ridge on wooden skis and leather bindings long before enthusiasts coined the term “extreme sports.”