Snowshoeing is one of the easiest ways to experience Bozeman wilderness in the winter. If you can walk, you can snowshoe! Trails range from an easy stroll in the park to steep and deep, so no matter your level, you can get some snow crunching underfoot. Here's what you need to know about snowshoeing in and around Bozeman.
Whether you're heading deep into the wilderness or just cruising around town, you want to be prepared. Though Bozeman is known for sunny winter days, the weather may change unexpectedly. Bundle up with cozy socks and gloves, layer your long underwear, and top it off with weather-appropriate outerwear. Just remember, you want to have layers to shed, so you don't sweat. Winter boots or warm, waterproof hiking boots that are comfortable to walk in are all you need to strap your snowshoes too.
In town, you have plenty of options to buy or rent gear, so it's okay if you don't already have your own. Schnee's is a Bozeman staple for all the outdoor apparel you might need. You can rent snowshoes from Chalet Sports or Round House Ski and Sports for around $15 a day.
You have nearly limitless options to explore if your goal is to snowshoe around Bozeman in southwest Montana. You can get out there into the mountains or stay right in town. Here are a few of our favorite spots for snowshoeing in and around Bozeman.
Take it easy with these beginner-friendly areas.
The Hyalite Reservoir trail is an easy, relatively flat walk along the scenic shores of the reservoir. This destination for winter sports feels like it's deep in the wilderness, while only being minutes from downtown Bozeman. The Forest Service keeps the area's trails groomed for Nordic skiers, so just be sure to stay off of ski tracks and in the designated foot traffic lanes.
Crosscut is a great starting point for your snowshoeing adventures. Rentals and lessons are available, so it's the ideal one-stop-shop for winter walks. It's $15 for a pass to snowshoe at the facility, and then you'll have access to their nearly 10 kilometers of mixed-use narrow-gauge trails, ideal for a beginner snowshoer.
Amp it up a little to push yourself on these walks that can be moderate or difficult depending on how far you take them.
After a fresh snowfall, this popular trail in Gallatin Canyon is the perfect spot to put your snowshoes on and enjoy the outdoors. You'll appreciate the extra grip that snowshoes give as you climb 1600 feet in elevation during this 6-mile out-and-back hike to Lava Lake. The trail starts in the trees, but views open up as you cross fields and meadows on the approach to the lake.
History Rock isn't far from Hyalite Reservoir, and this route can be a short 2-mile trek out and back to History Rock, or it can become an epic one-way shuttle trip 10 miles to South Cottonwood. Of course, you can break that up for a longer hike that returns to the History Rock trailhead whenever you're ready. When you're out in the winter woods, it's all about the quiet journey through nature.
Safety Tip: If you're heading into avalanche terrain, check the snow report before you go, and consider sticking closer to home or traveling with a guide if you're unsure about winter backcountry travel.
For more ideas on how to enjoy a winter vacation in Bozeman, check out the rest of the Highline Adventures blog.