Beyond the treadmill: Running from campus in Bozeman

If you’re a runner new to Bozeman, know that the Fieldhouse has an indoor track. Also, know that Bozeman’s excellent trail network provides much, much more enjoyable ways to get in your cardio fix than running around in 1/8-mile circles — the routes below, for instance.

View Bozeman Running Trails in a larger map
After giving them a try, be sure to check out a website maintained by MSU professor Rob Maher for more suggestions at

From Your Dorm Room
Quick Campus Loop – 2.4 miles – Though the distance is measured from the fitness center, you can also easily pick this route up from a dorm room. Circling MSU’s core campus along 11th, Kagy, 7th, 6th and College provides a simple, if sidewalk-intensive, way to put in a couple miles.

Longer Campus Loop3.6 miles – Tacking on a jaunt out around Family/Grad housing to 19th adds a solid mile to the loop.

Exploring Bozeman

Peets Hill4.6 miles – From campus, head east down Garfield to catch the Gallagator Linear Trail north, and enjoy the slight downhill grade to the Bozeman library before looping around to climb Peets Hill. Enjoy the fabulous ridge-top view, then lean into the downgrade as you drop back to Kagy for a leisurely return to campus.

Sourdough Trail6.5 miles – Pick up the Gallagator Trail’s somewhat-neglected southern extension on 7th beyond Kagy, heading south to Goldenstein Lane. On Goldenstein, push east to Gardner Park, where the Sourdough Trail north delivers a mile-and-a-half of the most beautiful streamside running Bozeman has to offer. To complete the jaunt, duck across Kagy after Sourdough drops you on Fairway Drive, and wind back to campus through neighborhood streets.

Trail Running

Drinking Horse Trail2.2 miles, 700 foot elevation gain – Starting at a trailhead just before the M Parking Lot, this is a great alternative to the old MSU standby for both trail running and a quick day hike.

Kirk’s Hill 1.9 miles, 750 foot elevation gain – South of town off 19th, this trail makes up what it lacks in views with a variety of paths through gorgeous forest. Be sure to take care with the twisting switchbacks coming back down.

As always, keep safety in mind while running: Be careful around traffic, don’t blast music so loud you can’t hear your surroundings and carry an ID (or write your name, home phone and blood type on the inside sole of your running shoe) just in case something goes wrong.