If you’ve just arrived in Bozeman, you’re surely eager to get out and explore our great outdoors. But where to start? Easy—just let your fingers do the walking. Throughout the Activities section of the guide, we’ve sprinkled in some of our favorite destinations for each outdoor activity. These “Passport Spots” are approachable for beginners, but equally exciting for experienced folks.
Hiking: Drinking Horse
This is a short, easy hike with great views across the valley and into Bridger Canyon. The trailhead is only four miles from Main Street, with a paved bike-friendly path all the way out. Make several visits throughout the spring and summer to watch the changing wildflowers.
Fishing: Gallatin Canyon
If you’ve watched A River Runs Through It, you’ve seen this spot. Though the story is set on the Blackfoot River near Missoula, a good chunk of the movie was filmed on the Gallatin. Cast your own line on this stretch of the river that fishes well any time of year.
Nordic Skiing: Sourdough
This trail is popular in the wintertime with both classic and skate skiers. you can ski up as far as you like, then turn back for a gradual descent back to the parking lot. Using the trail is free, but we recommend buying a voluntary BSF Trail Pass to support the grooming costs.
Ice Climbing: Genesis I
G1, a the locals call it, is an awesome place to learn how to ice climb. You can easily scramble to the top and set up a towrope on routes from WI 2 to WI 4. It’s not uncommon to find people climbing here well after dark by headlamp.
If you’re looking for a trail built for biking, look no further. Just a short drive south of town (or ride, if you’re feeling ambitious), this one-way clockwise loop clips high above the Gallatin Valley before diving into a smooth, fast, termed descent. Let’er rip!
Climbing: Practice Rock
This is the closest crag to Bozeman, offering excellent routes for beginners and accomplished climbers alike. It’s a popular evening hangout for local rock-hounds on long summer days, but if you go in the morning or during the off-season, you might have the place to yourself.
Camping: Fairy Lake
From mid-June through mid-October, when the road is devoid of snow, this is a great place to enjoy some fresh mountain air in the beautiful northern Bridgers. There are plenty of hiking and biking trails in the area, along with fishing in the lake and even some rock climbing.
Downhill Skiing: Sluice Box
This run at Bridger Bowl is pure type-one fun. Head skier’s right off the Bridger Lift into a natural half-pipe with berms, bumps, and jumps. It’s not a beginner’s run, but you needn’t worry about getting clipped-out or lost, as it funnels right back to a groomed run above the chairlift.
Paddling: Lower Madison
Famous for its popular “Bikini Hatch”, the stretch from Warm Springs to Black’s Ford makes for an easy, low-risk float. Load up the cooler, rally some friends, and take to the water in a kayak, canoe, or whatever vessel you have—tubes are most popular.
We want to see how much fun you’re having out there, so swing by our office (313 W. Mendenhall St.) with a photo from your outing at a Passport Spot and get a stamp on that page. As you rack up stamps and share cool photos, you’ll be in the running for prizes from the O/B Treasure Chamber—a fully loaded gear-and-apparel closet that’ll make your head spin. So what are you waiting for? Pack the guide, get outside, and start exploring!