Bozeman is located at an altitude of 4,820 feet, with Interstate 90 slicing right though the city. It’s a college town, home to Montana State University. It’s practically surrounded by mountains. The Bridger Mountains are to the north-northeast, the Tobacco Root Mountains to the west-south-west, the Big Belt Mountains and Horseshoe Hills to the northwest, the Hyalite Peaks of the northern Gallatin Range to the south and the Spanish Peaks of the northern Madison Range to the south-southwest.
My wife went to college in Bozeman, and for years it was all I heard about. So, I finally visited, first in the summer and then in the winter.
Winter in Bozeman is filled with activity, as the town is loaded with ski resorts and cross-country skiing trails, beautiful backcountry canyons to be explored by snowmobile or snowshoe, as well as Yellowstone National Park, a great winter day trip.
Ice climbing is pretty sweet here. Hyalite Canyon has become one of the best early season ice-climbing locations in the U.S. The high concentration of ice found here with over 130 routes has made Hyalite an ice-climbing destination. The season is usually in full swing by the second week of November and typically lasts through most of April.
Hyalite is actually made up of three “valleys” and they are from west to east, the Main Fork of Hyalite, the Flanders and the East Fork of Hyalite. The Main Fork of Hyalite is the most popular and the majority of the ice is found here but the other two have great classics as well.
Montana has excellent skiing opportunities. The local’s downhill resort is Bridger Bowl and for variety Big Sky is less than an hour away. For those who prefer a workout with their snow there are plenty of cross-country trails and the backcountry options are only limited by imagination and skill. Due to its wide variety of tourist-oriented attractions along with the skiing, Bozeman is ranked by Skiing Magazine as one of the top ten ski towns in the West.
After a day on the slopes, head to town for art galleries, restaurants, movie theaters, live music and shops.
You don’t need snow to make this part of Montana feed your restless. From world class fly-fishing to mountain biking trails to horseback riding through a wilderness area, Bozeman summer recreation activities are top of the line.
There are dozens of camping areas in the area, plus tremendous fly fishing, mountain biking, rafting, hiking, horseback riding and more.
The season doesn’t matter. My wife Debbie was right, as Bozeman is always a great place to visit and find an adventure.
Check it out at http://bozone.com/.
(Photos courtesy of Bozeman Convention and Visitors Bureau and Flickr Creative Commons license.)