Tag Archives: bozeman

Reading List

by Jack Taylor

You’ve made it to Bozeman, and you’re ready to explore southwest Montana’s endless expanses. But where to go first? Start by doing some research–it pays to have a plan for every excursion. Thankfully, you have a wealth of resources at your disposal to find the best trail, mountain, or stream for your next outing. Here are some of our top picks for getting the lay of the land.

Printed Guides
Nothing beats a quality, dedicated guidebook. Build a bookshelf collection for your favorite outdoor activities, and make sure these are included:

  • The Last Best Trails: Montana (SINTR, $30)
  • Day Hikes around Bozeman: (Day Hikes Books, $16)
  • Southern Montana Singletrack: (Beartooth Publishing, $30)
  • Bozeman Rock Climbs: (High Gravity Press, $25)
  • Paddling Montana: (Falcon Guides, $25)
  • Cast: Fishing Southwest Montana: (Outside Media Group, free)
  • Stalk: Hunting Southwest Montana: (Outside Media Group, free)
  • The House of Hyalite: (Joe Josephson, $36)
  • Peaks and Couloirs of Southwest Montana: (Chris Kussmaul, $45)

Printed Maps
Even in the age of digital everything, a good ol’ printed map is an invaluable resource. For close-to-home outings, start with the Gallatin Valley Land Trust’s map, which covers all the trails in and around Bozeman proper. it’s available from retailers around town for $3. (For a free digital version, go to gvlt.org/trails/trail-maps.) For Bozeman’s premier backyard playground, Hyalite Canyon, the nonprofit Friends of Hyalite makes a great fold-out recreation map in two versions: winter and summer. Pick one up around town for $5, or view it digitally any hyalite.org/recreation-maps. Beartooth Publishing is our go-to for detailed topographic maps of southwest Montana, complete with roads, trails, and usage restrictions; order print copies from beartoothpublishing.com or find them in local stories. Our favorite all-around option is Bozeman Area Outdoor Recreation Map, which sells for $16. For general trip-planning throughout the state, pick up a copy of the DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer. For more detail, order zoomed-in, area -specific, waterproof maps from MyTopo, a custom-mapping outfit in Billings. A large-format wall map of southwest Montana from Basin and Range Mapping will help you see the big picture and make planning that much easier.

For hunter and anglers, there are three go-to apps you’ll want on your smartphone or GPS: Montana Fishing Access, Montana Hunting Access, and onWater. The first two are activity-specific and produced right here in Bozeman by Mountainworks Software; the latter is a leading map for fishing access, flows, and reports all in one place.

You’ll find plenty of information online to learn about local outdoor opportunities. For a collection of general resources, head to outsidebozeman.com and poke around–all day, if you’re not careful. Looking for specific trail descriptions? Check out outsidebozeman.com/trails, gvlt.org/trails/featured-trails, or trailforks.com. For updates and news in the world of mountain biking, including suggested rides, take a look at southwestmontanamba.org. Climbers, head to swmontanaclimbers.org for access information and stewardship projects. If you’re heading for the rivers, check out waterdata.usgs.gov for water levels, bigskyfishing.com for angling info, and fwp.mt.gov for fishing regulations. In the winter, if you plan on heading into the backcountry, stay updated with avalanche forecasts from mtavalanche.com. For general tips & tricks regarding outdoor safety and skills, check out outsidebozeman.com/skills.

Nothing beats a well-stocked retailer for hands-on gear comparison, along with free advice from local professionals. Southwest Montana teams with outdoor shops; stop in and hit ‘em up for tips and guidance. Just be sure to buy something while you’re there; Montanans are a friendly, helpful lot, but nobody likes a freeloader.

Shouldering the Burden

By: Corey Hockett

Making the most of the in-between time.

Whatever the activity, nothing beats being in the swing of the season. Skiing deep powder in February, paddling roaring whitewater during peak runoff, riding tacky dirt in the dog days of summer—you get the idea. Conditions are at their best and (theoretically) so are our bodies. We’ve had time to build muscles and adjust joints to meet the demands of the sport, all while the natural environment has grown into the fullest version of itself. Primo, as they call it.

Thing is, the swing of the season doesn’t last very long around here.

You’ll find that in Bozeman, weather and conditions are so frequently changing, it can be hard to know what to expect in any given month. Sometimes—and this is no exaggeration—the whole freakin’ year can be one giant shoulder season. Even predictable years have entire months of inconvenient transition. There will always be periods where it’s either too rainy or not snowy enough. And how as outdoor recreators do we handle this time of limbo? Luckily, there are plenty of options.

Head to Drier/Warmer Climes
When the weather turns salty in either spring or fall and heading to the mountains is no longer an option, shift your gaze west of the Gallatin Valley to the rocky bluffs of Copper City. The Southwest Montana Mountain Bike Association (SWMMBA) and the BLM teamed up to make this area a standout biking destination for riders of all levels. From cross-country cruisers to expert-only downhill, there’s something for everyone. There’s even a kid’s pump track in the parking lot. The trails are foot-friendly, too, so hikers and runners are welcome as well.

Head south another half-hour along the banks of the Jefferson River, and you’ll come to Lewis & Clark Caverns. The limestone cave system is one of the most unique features in all of southwest Montana. Apart from offering a spectacular tour, the state park hosts several trails for hiking and biking, as well as campsites to boot.

Further west, but still on this side of the Continental Divide, lies the mini-Moab of Pipestone. One of the first places to dry out in the spring—and last to stay dry in the fall—this trail network is both expansive and diverse. A labyrinth of four-wheel, doubletrack, and singletrack offer both mountain and dirt-bikers their pick of the litter. Dispersed campsites are around every bend, so find one with a good view. And if you’re not planning on staying, you’re a measly one-hour drive back to town. That’s nothing in Montana.

Make it a Multisport
Sure, it’s easy to shrug off shoulder seasons with an attitude of, Welp, the trails are wet, might as well stay home. But why not go the other direction? Trail ethics in mind, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. And there’s a lot of potential when multiple seasons are acting together. Combining two or more outdoor activities in a single day can be as easy as trail running your raft shuttle or biking to a hunting spot. We’re lucky that it’s easy to get pretty creative without straying far from town.

Fairy Lake Multisport
In late spring, when the foothills have shed all of winter’s snow but a few ski lines still remain in good condition, pick a morning with promising weather and head toward Fairy Lake. The upper road is closed from December to June, which makes it a great ride when the gates are locked. Load your skis, boots, and poles to the outside of your pack and start pedaling. When you hit the trailhead, stow the bikes and take off on foot. You’ve got 1.5 miles and 1,000 feet of vertical to reach the pass where you’ll be greeted with a sweeping view of the Gallatin Valley. Turn south toward the high point of the Bridgers (Sacajawea) and climb another 1,000 feet over the next half-mile to just below the summit. Tag it if you wish, but the way down is Sac’s sister summit, Naya Nuki, another quarter-mile south.

The prominent ribbon of snow running down into the basin is known as the Great One, and it reliably holds snow ’til the Fourth of July. Ski it in shorts or be prepared to change into them at the bottom. A short hike from where the snow ends brings you to Fairy Lake. Welcome summer with a dip in its chilly waters before retrieving the bikes and enjoying the ride back down to your rig.

Hyalite Cast & Climb
Come late fall / early winter, on a day when the weather is warmish but unpredictable and getting too far from the car seems like a bad idea, head up to Practice Rock for some easy-access climbing. The pullout is on the right, three miles after the turn for Hyalite Canyon. The cliff is a couple hundred yards uphill from the parking area. Routes range from 5.6 to 5.12, with options to set up a top-rope on several climbs.

When your arms are pumped or you’ve had your fill, mosey back down to the car for a change of pace. Swap harnesses and chalk bags for fishing poles and flies or lures. The creek is a stone’s throw from the climbing access, so no need to drive anywhere if you don’t want. Explore up or downstream as your heart desires. Alternatively, if you’ve got a human-powered watercraft, make the 10-minute drive up to the reservoir, launch your vessel, and fish the deep waters of the lake. All this can be done in half a day, and retreat remains easy the whole time.

Suck it Up
Your third option is fairly straightforward. Head to one of our many local gear companies and support them (and yourself) by investing in a good fleece, a reliable rain jacket, a warm beanie, quality gloves, and some thick skin. Retailers may not be able to help with the latter, but in all fairness your well-being is up to you. Conditions here are inclement. This is Montana, by God: no place for pansies. People have been enjoying themselves outside year-round for thousands of years. If you really want, you’ll find a way, too.

Nordic Nuts

by Eli Fournier

Nordic skiing around the Bozone.

Getting outside and staying fit during the warmer months is a breeze around here, but doing so in the winter is more challenging. The short days and long nights don’t make it any easier. Fortunately, Bozeman is a Nordic skier’s haven. On any given day, you’re apt to see Olympians, child prodigies, weekend warriors, and avid recreational aficionados all on the same trails. And with bountiful options both in town and just a few minutes’ drive away, getting out for a quick jaunt is easy.

Classic vs. Skate
Nordic skiing can broadly be broken down into two general styles: classic and skate. The two differ in several key ways. Classic skiing is more beginner-friendly, and is done with a walk-kick technique similar to running, while skating is more of a moving duck-walk.

The skis used for each technique differ as well. Classic skis have distinct “kick” and “glide” zones on the bottoms that are waxed differently. As a lower-maintenance alternative to wax, a “fish scale” pattern on the kick section can provide traction and prevent backwards slippage.

The base of a skate ski, on the other hand, is consistent across the entire ski, coated entirely with temperature-specific glide wax that make the entire ski slippery. Good luck “walking” with these—you won’t make it far. Instead, a “skating” pattern (similar to ice skating) propels you forward.

Where to Go
Classic skiers can use both groomed and ungroomed trails, while skate skiers are limited to the former. We’ll touch on groomed trails first.

Right in town are the Sunset Hills and Highland Glen trail systems. Thanks to snowmaking and grooming operations by the Bridger Ski Foundation (BSF), these two tracks are among the first to come into shape, usually in early December. Hit them in the morning, or practice your agility on skis by navigating around gaggles of kids at afternoon ski lessons. Also in town is the Bridger Creek Golf Course. Park at the clubhouse and warm up on the flat lower loops before doing a few intervals on the upper, hillier section.

A 20-minute drive from downtown is the Sourdough Trail. This track is also groomed by BSF, but is open to shared use. Realistically, most hikers, snowshoers, and runners only make it up to “the bridge,” around mile four. Beyond that, the track is in much better shape, and continues another five miles to Mystic Lake, or over Moser Pass to the Moser trailhead up Hyalite Canyon.

Speaking of Hyalite, there are several groomed trails stemming from the main parking lot at Hyalite Reservoir. These trails snake around the lake and surrounding forests, and are groomed intermittently at best—usually just a few times per season—making them a better option for classic skiers.

For classic and skate skiers alike, Crosscut Mountain Sports Center is far and away the best locale for Bozeman-area Nordic nuts. The grooming is immaculate, with all trails being hit by the snowcat once or twice per day. Check their detailed forecast for hour-by-hour weather and snow reports.

A little farther away, and more suited for a weekend trip, are the West Yellowstonetrails. These tracks are a few thousand feet higher in elevation than those around Bozeman, and are the first to load in with snow every winter. In a typical year, college Nordic teams from across the country descend on West Yellowstone over Thanksgiving for an early-winter training trip. For serious skiers looking to test their skills (and endurance), there are a couple of annual races on the West Yellowstone trails.

For classic skiers looking to get off the beaten path, backcountry singletrack trails like Brackett Creek, Goose Creek, and Bear Canyon are good options for more solitary excursions.

The single largest Nordic-skiing faux pas is damaging a ski track—be that snowshoeing on a singletrack or walking on a groomed trail (with the exception of Sourdough—and even then, it’s important to minimize the damage by sticking to the side of the trail). Nordic skiing on a lumpy track is no fun at all.

Additionally, don’t be a snob. Nordic skiing ain’t a cheap sport, and especially in the competitive world, it can be a touch elitist. Do your part to counter that by being friendly at the trailhead and on the trails. If someone asks you a question about wax or conditions, share what you know in a non-condescending way to encourage more participation in the sport. And on Sourdough, be nice—a friendly request to keep the dog out of the track is way better than a nasty comment as you ski past. Honey catches more flies than vinegar.


Birds of a Feather

By Jamie Rankin

Bozeman brims with not only outdoor-recreation opportunities, but also close-knit communities dedicated to getting outside. If you’re looking to get involved in the outdoors and meet new people along the way, here are some local groups and clubs to scope out.

Big Sky Wind Drinkers: started in the 1970s; they hold races year-round, as well as weekly fun runs in the summer and winter. winddrinker.org

Hunting & Fishing
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: is dedicated to protecting fish & wildlife habitat, public land, and public access. backcountryhunter.org

MSU Fly Fishing Club: brings folks together to fish, tie flies, and get involved with local conservation events. @bozotroutbums on Instagram

Gallatin Valley Bicycle Club: holds training events, races, and group rides; and keeps members apprised of other local biking events. gallatinvalleybicycleclub.org

Southwest Montana Bike Association: is a nonprofit dedicated to maintaining trails and organizing group rides for those of all ability levels. southwestmontanamba.org

Wave Train Kayak Team: teaches adult paddling courses of various skill levels. wavetrainkayakteam.com

Bozeman Whitewater: is a group that organizes day trips on local rivers. @Bozemanwhitewater on Facebook

Bridger Ski Foundation: offers educational and competitive ski programs for all ages. bridgerskifoundation.com

XC Skiers of Bozeman: os a group dedicated to coordinating Nordic ski days. @XCSkiers of Bozeman on Facebook

SW Montana Climbers Coalition: is a nonprofit that advocates for climbing access and works to maintain routes. swmontanaclimbers.org

Lady Runners Bozeman: connects runners of all skill levels in the Bozone. @Lady Runners: Bozeman on Facebook

Bozeman Pedal Project: is a biking Facebook group that coordinates group rides. @Bozeman Pedal Project of Facebook

Mountain Belles: and the MSU chapter of Backcountry Squatters organize trips of all type & activity year-round. Find the both on Facebook. @MountainBelles & @BackcountrySquatters

Sliding High

by the editors

Of all the outdoor activities available around Bozeman, downhill skiing is among the most celebrated. When that first dusting of snow comes in late fall, the upcoming ski season becomes the talk of the town. People come from all over the country to ski our famous cold smoke—fine, dry powder that stacks up by the hundreds of inches. It takes a hardy soul to get outside in the dead of winter here, but a fun day on the slopes with good friends makes it a whole lot easier. So whether you’re a lifelong skiing addict or a magic-carpet-riding neophyte, you’ve come to the right place.

Where to Go
Look around you—there are mountains in every direction, and every range offers good skiing. You’ve probably heard of Bridger Bowl and Big Sky Resort, and you can spark debate at any bar by asking which mountain is better. Go find out for yourself.

Outside of Bozeman’s immediate area are plenty of mom-and-pop hills to put on the list, most of which offer cheaper lift passes than Bridger, let alone Big Sky (got an extra $200, anyone?) Discovery, outside of Butte, is a great weekend trip with terrain for all levels. Other noteworthy ski areas are Maverick near Dillon and Red Lodge Mountain west of, yes, Red Lodge. Grand Targhee and Jackson Hole are also three hours away for those looking for a slightly longer road-trip. And don’t forget Showdown, the laid-back hill near White Sulphur Springs.

Backcountry adventures are near-limitless around here, and we’ll leave it to you to discover the hidden gems. But if you’re just getting started, check out Lick Creek, Goose Creek, or Telemark Meadows (full route descriptions can be found at outsidebozeman.com). All of these places have low avalanche danger and will let you get dialed in with your equipment before delving into snow science and risk assessment.

Essential Gear
There are no two ways about it: skiing is gear-intensive and it can be expensive to get started. Our local retail shops are top-notch, though, and several big sales happen throughout the year. And because Bozeman has so many skiers, there’s always a huge used market, too. Every fall, Bridger Ski Foundation hosts a ski-swap that draws in thousands of folks to buy and sell gear. If you miss the swap, you’ll still find plenty of offerings on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and secondhand stores around town.

So what exactly do you need? Of course, skis, bindings, and boots are the foundation. Skis come in all different shapes and sizes, and have changed a lot over the past 20 years. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, aim for a pair of skis about the same height as you are, and around 90-100mm wide underfoot. Don’t buy some old clunkers that your friend’s dad grew up skiing on; they’ll be much harder to learn on than modern skis. Look harder for something newer—they’re out there. If you’re buying used, the skis will likely already have bindings on them. If you’re buying new, take the shop’s advice on bindings.

Boots are the most important—and most oft-overlooked—part of the ski setup. They’ll make or break your skiing experience. Poor-fitting boots are the most common reason why new skiers don’t stick with the sport, but a good fit will keep you comfortable all day long. Ski boots come in many different shapes, and what fits one skier perfectly could be disastrous for another, so don’t buy boots based on recommendations or reviews. There’s no substitute for a professional boot-fit at a shop.

If you’re interested in backcountry skiing, things get a bit more complicated. First off, there are many more nuanced options for backcountry bindings compared with the generally-universal models for pure downhill skiing. Many folks are tempted by heavier, more-secure touring bindings that mimic the safety mechanisms of downhill bindings, but keep in mind that the extra weight is going to tire you out in the skintrack. If it’s your first pair, go for something middle-of-the-road.

The same pattern goes for backcountry boots. Heavier boots offer better downhill performance, but lighter boots—often built with a smoother walk-mode—will take less effort when skinning. A good boot-fitter will point you in the right direction.

Touring skins come in lots of varieties these days. Skins designed for SkiMo racing are the lightest and most compact, and are usually cheaper than other models due to their minimalist design. These skins will also glide the most efficiently—again, saving you energy. You can opt for bigger skins with more grip, but as your technique improves, you won’t need it.

You’ll also need a beacon, shovel, and probe for venturing into the backcountry—and some training to learn how to use them. There are avalanche-safety courses offered all winter long around here—consider the course tuition just as important as any gear purchase. And last but not least, don’t forget your helmet!

For better or worse, skiing has a myriad of unwritten (and some written) rules. Some are arcane, but others are worth keeping in mind to ensure you don’t piss anyone off—or worse, put yourself in danger. First and foremost, remember that we’re all out there to have a good time. Keep a positive attitude, gab with strangers, and don’t hesitate to whoop and holler from the chairlift. Ski areas have a universal “responsibility code,” which many a skier, beginner and experienced, would benefit from studying up on. Know the code and it’ll be smooth sailing at the resort.

The backcountry has its own etiquette. Within your group, make sure that everyone’s voice is heard when making decisions. You’ll learn how to render informed judgements in an avalanche class, but a less-experienced person’s opinion is no necessarily less valuable. Keep your group size small—four or fewer is ideal, not only to ease decision-making, but also to lessen your impact on other groups. People are out there to experience nature, and no one wants to reach a hard-earned summit to find 10 other people hanging out. In a similar vein, give folks plenty of space. If another group is getting ready to ski an untracked line, don’t cut in front of them. A few other pointers: don’t pee or let your dog pee (or, God forbid, defecate) in the skintrack, don’t boot-pack up the skintrack (leaving annoying pockmarks for those behind you), and make sure to let people pass if they’re skinning faster than you.

Bozeman loves skiing. Here are some popular events to prove it.

Ski Swap – Bozeman. Out with the old, in with the new(ish). If you’re new to skiing, don’t miss this. Bridger Ski Foundation’s annual swap at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds offers huge discounts on quality gear. Drop your old gear off the day before. bridgerskifoundation.org

Opening Day – Big Sky. 36 lifts, 4,350 feet of elevation, and 5,800 acres to play on. Have at it. bigskyresort.com

Projected Opening Day – Bridger Bowl. Weather permitting, chairs will start spinning for another season of winter fun at Bridger Bowl. Whether you’re first in line or last to leave, opening day is always a party. bridgerbowl.com

Community GS Racing – Bridger Bowl. See how you stack up against the rest of the local crowd in this series of two-run GS races. Categories for ski, snowboard, and telemark. bridgerbowl.com

King & Queen of the Ridge – Bridger Bowl. Think you have what it takes to hike the Ridge more times than anyone else? Give it your best shot at this annual fundraiser for the Avalanche Center. bridgerbowl.com

Editor’s note: dates are subject to change. For the most updated information, visit outsidebozeman.com/events.

Parks & Rec

by Nora Mabie

Where to park it in Bozeman.

Whether you’re looking to socialize with friends or enjoy some recreational alone-time, Bozeman’s incredible park system is the place to do it. These are some favorites, but the list doesn’t stop here.

Bogert Park has a spacious field and large pavilion, which makes it an ideal picnic spot. Not hungry? Get your feet wet in the creek, head over to the tennis courts to hit a few balls with a friend, watch an evening concert by the stage, or ice skate during winter.

Runners on top of Peets Hill.

Runners on top of Peets Hill.

Burke Park, also known as Peets Hill, is one of the best off-leash dog parks in Bozeman, so let your pooch gallivant while you walk, run, or ride the trail system. In the evenings, post up at one of the many benches for a breathtaking Bozeman sunset.

Got a problem that needs solving? Head to Depot Park and check out the boulder that challenges climbers with a variety of scenarios. This is one of several in-town boulders, so be sure to hit them all.

The East Gallatin Recreation Area is also a great picnic spot, especially on warm days. It features a sand beach, volleyball courts, a fishing platform, a climbing boulder, and horseshoe pits—plus a trail system that meanders over and along the East Gallatin River.

East Gallatin Recreation Area, formerly known as Bozeman Beach.

East Gallatin Recreation Area, formerly known as Bozeman Beach.

Kirk City Park has picnic tables, baseball fields, and basketball courts. It’s also home to the Bozeman Skate Park, so bring your board or bike.

Into disc golf? Rose Park has a great course, perfect for honing your skills before heading to more challenging locales like Battle Ridge in the Bridgers.

Westlake BMX Park is open year-round, so don’t hesitate to ride on the track or hit the dirt jumps whatever the weather (unless it’s raining). The park also hosts local races on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday nights throughout the fall season.

Peak Your Interest

by the editors

Four iconic mountains.

Mountains surround Bozeman. Look north, and you see the Bridgers; south and it’s the Gallatin Range; west, the Madisons and Tobacco Roots. With all that elevation, we wouldn’t fault you for getting a few peaks confused. But there are some that rise above the rest, and you should know them. Here are four.

Ross Peak
Look north toward the Bridgers from anywhere on the west side of town, and you’ll immediately be drawn to the bare rock jutting skyward from the range’s midsection. That’s Ross Peak, and while it isn’t the highest in the Bridgers, it is the most iconic. The naked rock begs to be climbed and can be summited without much technical effort. Get there from the Ross Pass trailhead on the east side of the range after bumping your way along a severely rutted-out Forest Service road.

Ross Peak at sunrise

Ross Peak at sunrise

Mount Blackmore
When your gaze drifts south, it will inevitably be arrested by the crown of Hyalite, Mount Blackmore. Resting squarely in the middle of the southern horizon, Blackmore holds the last light of the day, transitioning to a purple hue as the sun sets. Read about how it was named in the Summer 2017 issue of Outside Bozeman, then hike to the summit from the trailhead bearing its name, which begins up Hyalite Canyon just below the reservoir.

Mt. Blackmore as seen from Peet's Hill.

Mt. Blackmore as seen from Peets Hill

Gallatin Peak
Believe it or not, Gallatin Peak is not in the Gallatin Range, which is confusing. But it is an impressive peak indeed, standing tall in the southwestern skyline. As the ranking member of the Spanish Peaks, Gallatin sees a lot of traffic come summer, and even a few ski descents in the spring. Viewed from town, it’s the large triangular peak on the far-left side of the Spanish Peaks, which appear to loom above the mouth of Gallatin Canyon. There are several approaches for those hoping to climb the peak, including Spanish Creek, Indian Ridge, and Beehive Basin.

The Spanish Peaks

The Spanish Peaks

While most iconic peaks are defined by, well, peaks, the Tobacco Roots’ resident superstar is hollow, as its name suggests. In fact, Hollowtop looks scooped out, like some mountaintop-removal coal mine in Appalachia. That’s because another peak, Jefferson, makes up the opposite side of this high-alpine bowl. Driving west on Norris Rd. to fish the Madison, you can’t mistake the twin peaks, and both can be climbed in a single day from the North Willow Creek trailhead.


The Tobacco Roots

Cheap Eats

Chowin’ for Cheap.

by Nora Mabie

Bozeman is packed with tasty places to eat. Sadly, your wallet isn’t as full as you’d like your stomach to be. Here’s how to chow on the cheap. 


Bagelworks: Breakfast sandwiches are under four bucks. You can also stock up for the week with a baker’s dozen for only $8.55.

Bamboo Garden & Panda Express: Chinese food by the bucketful, so get two meals for the price of one.

Bridger Brewing: between 11:30am and 4pm, you can get a big slice for $2.75.

Pickle Barrel: An MSU standby, the Pickle Barrel knows how to craft a budget-sensitive hoagie, and with a modest appetite, half a sub equals a complete lunch and half a dinner for under $10.

Eagles Bar: Friday night is Bingo & Burgers night. Burgers are $5.50 and come with beans or a salad.