Looking for the best things to do in Bozeman this summer? Check out this local’s guide to 10 of the best things to do in Bozeman, Montana.
1. SUNSET FROM THE M
The College M trail is one of the most popular trails in Bozeman. Just a 10-minute drive from downtown, the M hike has two routes, both climbing 850 feet to the base of the M. The easy route wraps its way up the west side of the M for a mile and a half, the hard way climbs straight up the south face. Whichever way you choose, you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a real Montana sunset, just be sure to bring a headlamp for the way down. Click here for directions to the trailhead.
2. FLOAT THE MADISON
If you’re looking to sit back, relax and enjoy the Montana scenery, a float down the Madison River is just what you need. Load up your tubes, rafts and anything else that floats, and head to the lower section of the Madison River just west of Four Corners. Depending on water levels, this float can last anywhere from 1 to 4 hours so be sure to allow yourself plenty of time. If you don't feel comfortable doing it on your own, take a fun guided trip with Bozeman Kayak Company! Photo credit: www.bozemansunriserotary.org
3. DRINK SOME BOZEMAN BEER
You may have noticed that beer is a big thing here in Bozeman. With more than 8 breweries within a three-mile radius, there are plenty of choices when you’re ready to try some local brews. Enjoy amazing Bridger Mountain views from the patio at MAP Brewing, visit Bozeman’s original brewery, Bozeman Brewing or go enjoy the free popcorn and games at Outlaw Brewing. Click here for our list of the 10 best breweries in Bozeman.
4. GO PLAY IN HYALITE
Known as “Bozeman’s backyard” Hyalite is where we go to hike, boat, fish and bike after a long day’s work. With waterfalls, lakes, trails, and backroads to explore, there are plenty of ways to play in Hyalite. Hit the trails, paddle the reservoir or just set your chair on the shoreline and take in the amazing views. The best part? The beautiful Hyalite Reservoir is just a 30-minute drive from Bozeman. Click here for directions.
5. BIKE THE BANGTAILS
A short 8-mile drive from Bozeman will take you to one of Bozeman’s best mountain biking trails, a 31-mile loop known as the Bangtail Divide trail. Known for its smooth single-track trails, the trail begins with some pretty tough switchbacks but eventually leads to a ridgeline with fantastic mountain views. If you feel up to it, go for the full loop! Or, if you’d like a shorter ride, you can begin at Stone Creek trailhead or Bracket Creek trailhead for a quick 2 hour out and back trip.
6. GO TO A FARMER'S MARKET
Bozeman hosts some fantastic farmers markets where you can find everything from local produce to furniture made out of retired skis. The evening farmers market is Tuesday evenings at Bogert Park from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m June through September. The weekend farmers market is every Saturday from 9 a.m to noon, June 16th – September 8th at the Gallatin Valley Fairgrounds.
7. SEE A SHOW AT THE ELLEN
A landmark in downtown Bozeman, the Ellen Theatre has been entertaining Bozeman since 1919. While the exterior is one of the most recognizable buildings downtown, the interior is just incredible. After years of neglect, the Ellen Theatre’s elaborate crown moldings, ornate light fixtures, and gilded plaster carvings have been beautifully restored bringing the theatre’s colorful past to life. You’ll find a variety of events at the Ellen with everything from concerts, live productions, movie screenings and dance performances. Check out their list of events here.
8. RAFT THE GALLATIN
If you want to get your heart racing, a raft trip down the Gallatin River will do the trick. Depending on the time of year, this river can get wildly high, meaning you’re in for a ride! The Gallatin’s Mad Mile is a mile long stretch of rapids that whip around the infamous house rock, eventually running through the “boulder garden”. Not only do you get to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Gallatin Canyon, you’ll get your heart pumping too. Photo credit: www.montanawhitewater.com
9. EXPLORE THE MAIN STREET TO THE MOUNTAINS TRAIL
Thanks to the Gallatin Valley Land Trust, there is a trail system that winds through Bozeman beginning downtown and leading the way towards the mountains. It winds past creeks, through parks, gardens, and neighborhoods and no matter where you start, it’s sure to be a beautiful walk. Click here for the trail map.
10. GO CAMPING
Nothing says summer in Montana quite like escaping to the mountains for some camping. We love watching the sunset with our feet propped up around a campfire. There are quite a few options for camping in and around Bozeman, but just keep in mind, spots fill up fast! Click here for our list of the 8 best campgrounds near Bozeman, Montana.