15 Best Things to do in Bozeman

best things to do in Bozeman

Montana is a beautiful state, and Bozeman is definitely worth a visit. It’s a small town with a lot of character, and there’s plenty to do both in town and in the surrounding area.

The people are friendly and the scenery is breathtaking. If you’re looking for a place to get away from it all, Bozeman is definitely the place for you. There’s no traffic, no noise pollution, and no light pollution. You can actually see the stars at night! And if you’re into outdoor activities, there’s plenty to keep you busy. Hiking, fishing, camping, skiing, snowboarding – you name it, Montana has it.

So if you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors, here are the 15 best things to do in Bozeman!

palisades falls
Palisade Falls” by Roger Lynn is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

1) Hike the Palisades Fall Trail

The Palisades are a group of steep cliffs that rise up from the Bozeman valley floor. They are a popular destination for hikers, because there are several waterfalls that cascade down the cliffs. Palisade Falls is one of the most popular falls, and it is relatively easy to reach.

The trailhead is located just off of Interstate 90, and the hike is only about a mile round trip. The trail winds through a forested area before reaching the edge of the Palisades. There is a short set of stairs that leads to the viewing area, where you can see the falls plunging over 100 feet into a pool below.

The falls are especially beautiful in the spring, when the snowmelt is high. However, they are worth visiting any time of year. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a scenic place to relax, the Palisades Falls in Bozeman are sure to please.

skiing in big sky ski resort
Big Sky, Big Face Shot” by Zach Dischner is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

2) Go Skiing/Snowboarding at Big Sky Ski Resort

Bozeman is one of the best places to ski and snowboard in the world, as it’s just an hour away from the Big Sky Ski resort. Similar to other states out west, the mountains are big, the snow is deep, and the views are incredible.

If you’re lucky enough to get a fresh powder day, there’s nothing better than carving turns through untouched powder. Big Sky also has a great selection of terrain for all levels of skiers and riders, from beginner to expert. So whether you’re looking for an easy cruiser run or a challenging black diamond, you’ll find it in Bozeman.

And don’t forget about après-ski! Bozeman has some great bars and restaurants where you can relax and refuel after a long day on the slopes. So come to Bozeman and enjoy some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world.

rafting in the gallatin river
Montana Whitewater 8-01-09 019” by Jeff Gerhardt – [Fe][C]ycles is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

3) Go Tubing or Rafting down the Gallatin River

Bozeman, Montana is home to some of the best river rafting in the country. The Gallatin River is a popular spot for rafters, offering Class II and III rapids that are perfect for beginners and experienced rafters alike.

The Gallatin is also a beautiful river, winding through the valley with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Bozeman is also home to several other great rivers, including the Madison, Jefferson, and Clark Fork rivers. The Madison river probably is the best destination for tubing.

So whether you’re looking for a challenging whitewater adventure or a relaxing float trip, Bozeman has a river that’s perfect for you.

gallatin river
Gallatin River Big Sky Montana” by Crown Star Images is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

4) Spend a Day Fly Fishing

Bozeman, Montana is world-famous for its fly fishing. The rivers around Bozeman are home to an abundance of trout, making it the perfect place to cast a line.

Whether you’re wading in the Gallatin River or floating down the Madison, you’re sure to have a successful day of fly fishing in Bozeman. The experienced in Bozeman can help you find the best spots and teach you the techniques you need to land a big one. So if you’re looking for an unforgettable fly fishing experience, be sure to head to Bozeman, Montana.

5) Spend an Afternoon in Downtown Bozeman

Downtown Bozeman is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a small-town feel, with plenty of things you can still do. This quaint downtown area is full of locally owned shops and restaurants, as well as art galleries and museums.

Bozeman is home to the Montana State University campus, so there’s always something going on. If you’re looking for a quiet place to relax, or an exciting place to explore, downtown Bozeman is worth a visit.

museum of the rockies
Museum of the Rockies – Bozeman, MT” by sazbean is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

6) Check out the Museum of the Rockies

The Museum of the Rockies is a world-class museum located in Bozeman, Montana. Founded in 1957, the museum houses an incredible collection of more than 300,000 artifacts, including dinosaurs, rocks, and fossils.

The museum is also home to a planetarium and an IMAX theater. In addition to its collections, the Museum of the Rockies offers a variety of educational programs and events. For example, the museum offers guided tours, classes, and workshops for all ages.

The Museum of the Rockies is also a popular research facility, and it has been involved in some major discoveries, such as the first Tyrannosaurus rex fossil ever found. If you’re ever in Bozeman, be sure to check out the Museum of the Rockies!

yellowstone national park
Yellowstone River Lower Falls Overlook” by @CarShowShooter is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

7) Make a Day Trip to Yellowstone National Park

While not actually in Bozeman, the 1 hour 45 minute drive to Yellowstone is the perfect day trip from Bozeman. Not only will the views be spectacular on the drive, Yellowstone is one of the most beautiful places in the United States.

The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves, bison, and elk. Hiking is one of the best ways to explore Yellowstone. There are trails for all levels of hikers, from beginner to expert. And, with more than 900 miles of trails to choose from, there’s sure to be a hike that’s perfect for you.

Whether you’re looking for a short day hike or a multi-day backpacking trip, Yellowstone has something to offer. So, what are you waiting for? lace up your hiking boots and hit the trail!

8) Check out the American Computers and Robotics Museum

The American Computer and Robotics Museum in Bozeman is a must-see for any tech enthusiast. The museum houses an impressive collection of vintage computers and robots, ranging from early machines like the ENIAC to more recent models like the Apple II.

In addition to the hardware on display, the museum also offers a variety of interactive exhibits that explore the history and future of computing. Visitors can try their hand at coding, operate a robot arm, or even play Pong on one of the oldest working computers in the world. The American Computer and Robotics Museum is a fascinating look at the past, present, and future of technology.

gallatin river
Gallatin River” by YellowstoneNPS is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0.

9) Hike the Gallatin Riverside Trail

The Gallatin River is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Bozeman, Montana. The river runs through a sprawling mountain valley, and the hike follows a winding trail along its banks.

The scenery is stunning, and the trail is relatively easy to follow. However, there are some steep sections, and the river can be dangerous during high water periods. The best time to hike the Gallatin River is from late spring to early fall, when the water levels are lower and the weather is more comfortable.

Regardless of when you go, be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks, and wear sturdy shoes. With a little preparation, you’re sure to enjoy a great day on the trail.

10) Check out the Gallatin History Museum

The Gallatin History Museum in Bozeman is dedicated to preserving the history of the Gallatin Valley and its residents. The museum houses a collection of artifacts, documents, and photographs that tell the story of the area’s residents, both past and present.

The museum also offers a variety of programs and events that are designed to educate and engage visitors. The Gallatin History Museum is a great resource for anyone interested in learning about the rich history of the Gallatin Valley.

bozeman sculpture park
2019 – Road Trip – 63 – Bozeman – 2 – Nelson Gile Story Sr.” by Ted’s photos – Returns in December is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

11) Spend an Afternoon in Bozeman Sculpture Park

Bozeman’s sculpture park is a great place to take in some art while enjoying the outdoors. The park features a variety of sculptures from both local and regional artists, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

The sculptures are spread out throughout the park, so you can take your time strolling around and taking in the sights. And if you’re feeling really inspired, you can even bring your own picnic lunch to enjoy while you admire the artwork. Bozeman’s sculpture park is a great way to spend a day exploring the arts.

12) Attend the Sweet Pea Festival of the Arts

The Sweet Pea Festival of the Arts is one of the most highly anticipated events in Bozeman, Montana every summer. The festival celebrates the many forms of art, from painting and sculpture to music and dance.

Every year, thousands of people come to Bozeman to take part in the festivities. The highlight of the festival is the parade, which features floats decorated with sweet peas. The festival also includes a wide variety of food and drink, as well as live entertainment. Whether you’re an artist or simply a fan of the arts, the Sweet Pea Festival is an event not to be missed.

gallatin national forrest
Looking south over Yellowstone from Gallatin National Forest” by YellowstoneNPS is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0.

13) Go Camping in Gallatin National Forrest

Gallatin National Forest is a popular destination for hiking and camping. The forest has over 1,000 miles of hiking trails, ranging from easy to difficult. There are also plenty of opportunities for backpacking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

In addition to the many hiking trails, the forest also has several lakes and rivers, making it a great spot for swimming, fishing, and canoeing. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and there are also some RV sites available. If you’re looking for a beautiful place to spend a few days hiking and camping, Gallatin National Forest is a great option.

14) Check out the Bozeman Hot Springs

If you’re looking for a relaxing way to spend a day, look no further than the Bozeman Hot Springs. Located just a short drive from downtown Bozeman, the Hot Springs offer visitors a chance to soak in natural mineral springs.

The water is heated by geothermal energy, and is known for its soothing effects. In addition to the hot springs, the facility also features a sauna, steam room, and swimming pool. Whether you’re looking to relax or get some exercise, the Bozeman Hot Springs is the perfect place to do it.

gallatin canyon
44744 Fishing the Madison River, Montana” by Raymond Hitchcock is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

15) Go Kayaking in Gallatin Canyon

For those looking for a thrilling adventure, there is no better place to go kayaking than Gallatin Canyon. Nestled in the heart of Montana’s Rocky Mountains, the canyon features some of the most beautiful scenery in the state. The Gallatin River is also one of the most popular kayaking destinations in the region, offering a challenging journey for experienced kayakers. There are several different put-in and take-out points along the river, so kayakers can tailor their trip to their ability level. No matter what route you choose, a kayaking trip through Gallatin Canyon is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Recap of Best Things to do in Bozeman

  • Palisades Fall Trail
  • Big Sky Ski Resort
  • Fly fishing
  • Tubing or Rafting in the Gallatin River
  • Downtown Bozeman
  • Museum of the Rockies
  • Day trip to Yellowstone National Park
  • American Computers and Robotics Museum
  • Gallatin Riverside Trail
  • Gallatin History Museum
  • Bozeman Sculpture Park
  • Sweet Pea Festival of the Arts
  • Gallatin Canyon
  • Gallatin National Forrest
  • Bozeman Hot Springs

Where to Next?

Staying out West and love the outdoors? Check out Colorado Springs!

Looking for a great food and nightlife scene back on the East coast? Head to Baltimore, Maryland!

Need a midwest pitstop for a cross country road trip? Give Dubuque, Iowa a look!

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