If you find yourself hanging out and looking for something to do on one of your weekend days, sitting around watching TV is far from your only option.
When many people think of hiking, they think of a sweaty, daunting trek up a steep and perilous mountain, but there is much to be said about a nice, easy walk on a dirt trail. Hiking can be exerting, fun, social and so much more. Bozeman is a remarkable place to go out and get some fresh air while enjoying physical activity of any sort.
This last Saturday, I went on a hike with seven friends on Triple Tree Trail just south of Bozeman on Sourdough Road. This trail is not challenging, but is an excellent time and a good walk. The walk starts on a relatively flat area with houses interspersed with open fields and sections of cottonwood trees. The second portion of the hike is a steeper section in a pine forest. Toward the end of this second portion is a final steep climb to the summit and an spectacular view of the Gallatin Valley.
Over the summer, I experienced another superb hike this area has to offer when I went with two friends to Beehive Basin near Big Sky, Montana. There are two places to start the hike, one making for a round trip somewhere from five to six miles and the other about four or five. These trailheads make for either a nice day hike or a fun overnight backpacking trip. While in the basin, you will find yourself surrounded by cliffs with a breathtaking view out of the basin toward Big Sky. Like the Triple Tree Trail, the trail to Beehive Basin is not a difficult trail, but is perfect for the casual hiker looking for a fun stroll.
Another set of hiking trails are around the Lewis and Clark Caverns, which are all relatively easy in addition to boasting some outstanding views of the area. This area is not forested, but rather provides beauty in shrubs and the low surrounding mountains. In addition to hiking the trails, I would also recommend, given the chance, you take the tour through the caverns themselves and see the amazing stalagmite and stalactite formations.
For a somewhat more challenging hike, try out the Lava Lake Trail. This trail is slightly steeper providing more challenge, but is still not particularly difficult if you are prepared for it. It is almost exactly a three-mile trip uphill to the lake, making for a total six-mile round trip. The forest around the trail and the lake itself make for vast scenery. If you are interested in backpacking, there are many places available for camping around the lake.
For a couple more trail ideas try Pine Creek Trail, Bozeman Creek Trail or Storm Castle Peak Trail, in addition to the four above. For more ideas, you can Google “hikes near Bozeman,” pick one that sounds right for you and go for it!