15 Best Things to Do in Bozeman, Montana
From outdoor activities to cultural attractions, there’s something for everyone in Bozeman. Growing up just a few hours from Bozeman, this town has always been one of my favourites. You can’t beat the beautiful mountain views that are practically in every direction you look. Plus, the aesthetics of the local shops and homes are very […] The post 15 Best Things to Do in Bozeman, Montana appeared first on Goats On The Road.
From outdoor activities to cultural attractions, there’s something for everyone in Bozeman.
Growing up just a few hours from Bozeman, this town has always been one of my favourites. You can’t beat the beautiful mountain views that are practically in every direction you look.
Plus, the aesthetics of the local shops and homes are very distinct, giving it a chic and cozy feel as you wander through town. Bozeman is one of my favourite places to visit in Montana.
There’s so much to do, and there’s always something new to explore – whether you’re single, a couple, or a family. That’s why I’m excited to share some of the top places to visit and things to see in Bozeman below.
Here are the 15 best things to do in Bozeman, MT.
1. Go Horse Back Riding
When most of us think of Montana, the first image that comes to mind for many is a cowboy. So, it’s only fitting that one of the best things to do in Bozeman is to go horseback riding. There are a few ranches and stables located in Bozeman, yet you’ll find the best horseback riding is a bit out of town in the countryside.
If you’re not an experienced rider, don’t worry! One great option is horseback riding in Greycliff, about an hour from Bozeman, nestled between two beautiful mountain ranges – the Absaroka Beartooths, and the Crazy Mountains.
On this ride, you can expect to spend 2 hours exploring the beautiful valley like the natives once did whilst hunting buffalo. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience, especially for anyone that typically lives in a city.
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2. Learn How to Mountain Bike
Whether you’re a beginner, or you want to challenge your mountain biking skills, there are plenty of riding options around Bozeman. Exploring Bozeman via bike, through town or in the mountains, is the perfect way to see all the sights and enjoy nature whilst getting a workout in.
If you don’t have a bike with you, there are a few options.
You can rent a bike and explore local trailheads on your own, or you can enhance your biking experience with a guide. They’ll show you where to go, (based on what you want to see and your skill level), and teach you how to take your bike riding to the next level.
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3. Visit a Local Goat Farm
One of the best things about Bozeman, MT is its proximity to many local farms, some of which you can visit. Plus, in the summer months, you can visit the local farmers’ market to pick up fresh produce, baked goods, and artisanal items every Tuesday from 5pm – 8pm in the summer months.
A kid-friendly Bozeman favourite is visiting a goat farm. Goats are friendly and love to be pet, so it’s a great activity for the whole family, (I admit I love it just as much as my daughters – if not more). You can usually count on there being dogs to pet and play with too!
Visiting a farm is a great way to support the local community and get outside of the city for a bit. It’s definitely one of the most fun things to do in Bozeman.
You can also visit a local Llama and Alpaca Farm. It’s a great way to learn about these animals, play with them, feed them, and get some cute pictures.
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4. Discover How to Make Wool Products
Wool is a big deal in Montana, as wool products were once an absolute essential for surviving cold winters. A few local artisanal businesses use wool to create products such as clothing, hats and blankets.
If you’re interested in learning about this process, you can sign up for a wool felting class.
You’ll learn how to turn raw wool into a fun, functional piece that you can take home with you, (usually for less than the price of what it’d cost to purchase these pieces). Not only is it a great way to support local businesses, but you’ll also have a unique souvenir from your time in Bozeman.
With local Kim, you can choose to make felted slippers or mittens in her class. Expect lots of fun stories whilst you get creative and learn a new skill. Classes typically last around two hours and all materials, including drinks, are provided.
5. Kayak on the Missouri River
Approximately 20 minutes west of Bozeman, there are some excellent spots along the Madison River for non-motorized water sports. Kayakers, boaters, floaters, and fishermen all flock to this beautiful stretch of river. The Madison river is class 1, making it fun for all levels, and great in warmer months.
A guided kayak river tour is a great way to explore the river. You’ll learn about the history and local wildlife, (hopefully spotting some along the way), whilst paddling down the river. It’s a great workout and you don’t have to worry about planning anything – just sit back, relax, paddle, and enjoy the ride!
For this expedition, kayaks, life jackets, and paddles are provided. The tour lasts around 1.5 hours and no experience is necessary.
6. Learn How to Rock Climb
If you’re ready to take your Montana adventures to the next level, it’s time to learn, (or master), how to rock climb. There are a few places to rock climb around Bozeman – both indoor walls and outdoor rocks – with one excellent spot outside of Livingston, (about 30 minutes from Bozeman).
Grab a climbing partner, and get a full day of rock climbing instruction. You’ll learn about the gear, how to tie knots, and most importantly, how to belay.
Once you’ve got the basics down, you’ll put them into practice by going on a few climbs. All equipment is provided and no experience is necessary.
If you love your day of climbing enough, you might even find yourself buying your own gear to keep it up on your own.
7. Go for a Mountain Hike
One of the best things about Bozeman is its proximity to so many great hiking trails.
Popular areas include Hyalite Canyon, and North Bozeman close to Bridger Bowl Ski Resort. You can drive further South or East to access areas in Paradise Valley near Livingston, or even a bit further to Yellowstone National Park.
There are hikes for all levels; from easy walks to multi-day backpacking trips. There are a few unique hiking experiences that you can do with a guide in the surrounding area.
- Go for a sunset excursion to look for grizzly bears at Tom Miner Creek Road
- Take a leisurely walk, (moderate difficulty), to Chimney Rock and Pine Creek Water Fall while supporting a local organization for young adults on the autism spectrum
Other options you can explore include:
- Palisade Falls
- Grotto Falls
- “M” hike (my personal favourite)
- And more – just ask a local!
8. Explore Bozeman with a Scavenger Hunt
Wondering what things to see in Bozeman? The city of Bozeman is full of history, fun shops, and tasty restaurants. What better way to explore it than with a scavenger hunt?
With this activity, you’ll be given a list of tasks to complete around town. As you drive around the city and complete each task, you’ll earn points. The team with the most points at the end wins! Although, everyone wins when exploring a new place together.
Tasks can range from taking a selfie in front of a certain landmark, to finding the best ice cream in town. This is a great activity for groups of friends, family, or even co-workers. It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon or evening, and you might just learn something new about Bozeman along the way.
9. Ski at Big Sky
Bozeman is the hub for getting to and from the world’s famed Big Sky Ski Resort. Just a short drive from Bozeman, (about 45 minutes), Big Sky is one of the biggest ski resorts in the country with over 5000 acres of skiable terrain.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced skier, there’s something for everyone at Big Sky. There are plenty of green and blue runs to cruise down, plus more challenging black and double black diamond trails for the thrill-seekers.
If you don’t ski or snowboard, you can still enjoy the views from the top of Lone Peak Tram. At 11,166 ft, it’s one of the tallest trams in North America.
If you’re flying into Bozeman and don’t want to drag any gear, (or are new to skiing and don’t have any yet), you can find a local shop or head straight to the mountain to rent gear. Renting gear directly from the mountain is typically more expensive than anywhere else due to its convenience.
10. Visit Yellowstone National Park with a Private Tour
West Yellowstone, an entrance to Yellowstone National Park, is less than two hours from Bozeman.
Although you can enter the park and explore on your own, it can also be a lot of fun to go on a guided tour. With a private tour, you’ll have a dedicated guide who will customize the experience to your interests. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as bison, elk and eagles, and geothermal features like geysers and hot springs.
A private day trip is a great option if you want to learn more about the history, geology, and wildlife of Yellowstone National Park. There’s so much to see in the park, so if you’re short on time a tour will ensure you see as much as possible without missing any of the highlights or hidden gems.
This recommended tour starts specifically from Bozeman, making it a great choice for anyone in the area that wants to explore more outside of the city.
11. Go to the Museum of the Rockies
The Museum of the Rockies is a world-class museum, and one of many fun Bozeman tourist attractions. The museum has a wide variety of exhibits, including ones on dinosaurs, the Lewis and Clark expedition, and the history of Montana.
The Museum of the Rockies is also home to the Taylor Planetarium, where you can take a tour of the night sky, or learn about the constellations. The planetarium shows are a great way to learn about astronomy, and they’re also very relaxing.
If you’re visiting Bozeman with kids, the Museum of the Rockies is a great place to take them. There are several kid-friendly exhibits, as well as a Discovery Room where kids can play and learn.
The Museum of the Rockies is a great place to spend an afternoon, and it’s also one of the best museums in the state for getting a thorough and fun history lesson. I visited this museum many times as a kid and always learned new things with each visit.
12. Try Fishing on the Gallatin River
The Gallatin River is one of the best places for fly fishing in Montana. The river is located just a short drive from Bozeman and runs along the outskirts of town. Several companies offer guided fly fishing tours in the area.
If you are an experienced fisherman, don’t forget your pole and Montana fishing license. For anyone that needs more instruction, hire a guide. With a fishing expert, you’ll have an experienced guide who will teach you everything you need to know about fly fishing to make it enjoyable.
I don’t fish myself, but my brother and a few good friends in the area, (all avid fishermen), love the fishing options right outside of Bozeman, and highly recommended this river for things to do near Bozeman.
13. Take a Soak at Bozeman Hot Springs
Bozeman Hot Springs is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. The hot springs are located just outside of town, and they’re a great place to relax after a long day of hiking or skiing, or one of the more romantic things to do in Bozeman with your partner.
There are several different pools to choose from, all with different temperatures. The pools are fed with a mixture of mineral water from local hot springs, and cool water for comfort, to offer therapeutic effects.
If you’re looking for a place to relax and unwind after all of your adventures, Bozeman Hot Springs is the perfect spot. If you want to venture further outside of Bozeman, you can also visit Norris Hot Springs – my personal favourite -, or Chico Hot Springs as well.
14. Go on a Self-Guided Brewery Tour
Bozeman is home to several breweries. You can book a Gear Belly brewery tour to ride around with a group of friends for a fun afternoon. However, you can also do a self-guided brewery tour if you prefer.
Start at MAP Brewing Company, located just north of Bozeman. From there, head to 406 Brewing Company, stop by Lockhorn Cider House, and finish up at Outlaw Brewing.
Except for MAP, most of these breweries are within walking distance of each other, so it’s easy to visit them all in one afternoon. Just remember to have a sober driver with you.
15. Go Shopping in Downtown Bozeman
Downtown Bozeman is a great place to spend an afternoon. There are plenty of shops to browse, as well as restaurants and cafes.
Some of my favourite places to explore in downtown Bozeman include the Gallatin County museum for a history lesson, and Jam! for brunch. There are too many unique boutique stores to choose just one, so browse around and find what you like. You can also find several art galleries downtown, as well as the American Computer Museum.
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FAQs About Bozeman, Montana
Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about visiting Bozeman, MT.
What is Bozeman Montana Known For?
Bozeman is best known for its endless outdoor recreation options. Here’s a breakdown of what to do in Bozeman:
- Ski at Big Sky Ski Resort
- Hike in the Gallatin National Forest
- Fly fish on the Gallatin River or Madison River
- Camp along the Madison, on the way to Big Sky, or in Paradise Valley
- Mountain bike or ride on local bike paths around town
Is Bozeman Worth Visiting?
Absolutely! Bozeman is an outdoor lover’s paradise with something for everyone. Regularly getting outside and connecting with nature is one of the numerous self-love activities you can indulge in.
For things to do in Bozeman in winter, take advantage of the great skiing at Big Sky Resort, or explore the town. For things to do in Bozeman in summer, hike or bike in the Gallatin National Forest. Don’t forget to try fly fishing on one of the many rivers in Montana.
Even if you aren’t a huge fan of outdoor activities, you can still appreciate the views, shop downtown, and enjoy fresh brews.
Is Bozeman Walkable?
The downtown area of Bozeman is very walkable, and there are also several bike paths throughout town if you want to explore parts of the city without a car. However, there are a lot of beautiful areas of Bozeman that are not walkable. Plus, a lot of the most popular places to visit are not actually in town at all.
If you’re staying downtown, you can easily walk to most of the shops and restaurants. If you want to venture further for activities in Bozeman, consider renting a car, or taking a taxi.
Now You Know What to Do in Bozeman
I hope this list has helped you plan your trip to Bozeman, Montana. Whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, or a place to relax, Bozeman has something for everyone.
Do you have any favourite things to do in Bozeman? Share them in the comments below! And, don’t forget to check out my other blog post about things to do in Montana.
Have a great time on your trip!
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