Bozeman, Montana, sits in an ideal spot for exploring the scenic southwestern portion of the state. Positioned at the eastern edge of the Gallatin Valley, mountain ranges ring around every side of this classic mountain town. Plus, its proximity to top Montana attractions makes it a perfect jumping-off point for new adventures. Here are a few day trips from Bozeman that you should plan to add to your itinerary.
Heading to the nation's first national park is a must on a visit to the area, especially since it's less than two hours from downtown Bozeman to the park's Gardiner or West Entrance. Geysers, wildlife, and a whole lot of active geology wait in this unique wilderness. You can even loop through one entrance and make your way back to Bozeman from the other to get a change of spectacular scenery.
Dillon, Montana, is a small cowboy town with good food and the coveted Patagonia outlet (yes, you can save money and still indulge in athleisure attire!). It's also a great stop along the way to parks and recreation areas like Bannack State Park, Clark Canyon Reservoir, the Centennial Valley, and Virginia City. One way or another, you won't regret the mountain views as you drive.
Butte was the first major city in Montana, and its copper industry put it on the map as a place of boom and bust drama. Its historic downtown area still hosts shops and restaurants, and its living ghost-town aesthetic—along with ample museums and historical societies—makes it a relevant stop for history buffs. And rock hounds will love a look at the infamous Berkeley Pit (the site of a former open-pit mine now filled with rusty colored, heavy-metal rich water) or the extensive mineral museum inside the Montana Tech campus.
Take a look into the lives of working cowboys in the Wild West at Grant-Kohrs Ranch, located west of Butte in the town of Deer Lodge. Experience living history demonstrations, take a guided tour, or just meander through the historic buildings at the site to see how settlers lived in days past. This truly was a home on the range, and you can get a glimpse of what that was like.
As a bonus after your visit, take a quick trip to the Old Montana Prison Museum, also located in Deer Lodge. This fortress strikes a daunting pose, with its high stone walls making an intimidating impression on former prisoners. Exhibits cover the history of the site, and it shares the space with the Montana Auto Museum, so aficionados of fast cars can rev their engines too.
Big Sky is the spot for luxury skiing and riding on world-class terrain, and the fun in this high-brow community isn't just for winter. You can also enjoy hiking and trail rides, trips up the Lone Peak Tram, and a pint or two at local breweries all year round. Of course, the winter sports are nothing to scoff at either. And you can save quite a bit by staying in Bozeman and taking the shuttle up for a day on the slopes.
When you're looking for your Bozeman home base, Highline Adventures properties hold everything from luxury campgrounds to family-friendly lodging. Find your favorite accommodation, and get ready for your Montana adventure.