Putting snowshoes on your feet and heading out into the mountains makes for the best of Bozeman winter fun. This mountain town is in the perfect position to get you deep into the wilderness or stay right near town when you strap some snowshoes on. Here are some of the best spots to explore when you want to enjoy that snowy crunch and a good bit of fresh air.
The ice climber's paradise up at Hyalite isn't just for crampons and ice axes. Trails crisscross the craggy terrain, bringing you from mountain view to frozen waterfall to icy reservoir.
Yellowstone is close enough that it makes a solid choice for recreating around Bozeman. Winter is prime time for the park since summer crowds vanish and a snowy hush falls over the wild landscape. You can go solo, opt for an outfitter trip, or even join on with a ranger-led walk to help you learn a little while you take in the views.
When downtown gets a dumping of snow, and you just can't wait to get out, the Main Street to the Mountains trail system is there to keep your snowshoeing desires sated. The trails connect Bozeman's parks and ponds, Main Street and neighborhoods, and long into winter, the snow will be deep, perfect for snowshoes.
Rising over town in the Story Hills, this private trail system makes a stunning spot for a stroll with snowshoes on your feet. After a fresh snowfall, you won't have the benefit of packed trails, so snowshoes are your best friend for the gentle incline over rolling hills with mountain-view payoffs.
Up in the Bridgers, Forest Service trails abound. Bridger Canyon gets a shoutout in Snowshoeing Magazine for its wild atmosphere and winding trails. On the Bozeman side of the range, the views of the city and the whole valley are certainly worth the walk. The popular M trailhead and Sypes Canyon may be more crowded, but there's a reason for their popularity, especially since they're so convenient to reach. Still, the range has plenty of peaceful wilderness to go around.
On the way up to Big Sky, the winding and rocky Gallatin Canyon offers some stunning options to get into that snowshoe stoke. Climb Storm Castle Peak or take a walk to Lava Lake, one worth seeing in any season.
Big Sky may be known for its world-class downhill skiing, but this spot isn't just for shredding. The resort itself offers guided interpretive walks, and the community trails give a leisurely alternative if you want to go solo. Lone Mountain Ranch has oodles of trails, and all that is before you even tap into the federal lands around.
South Cottonwood makes a perfect jumping-off point for either a short jaunt or a longer trek. The trail system ultimately connects up to Hyalite, but if you're not into snow camping, you can still enjoy the walkthrough forests and open meadows for as long as you wish to meander.