Beautiful Rocky Mountain landscapes surround Bozeman in Southwest Montana, Fun Things to Do in Bozeman MT, and the city is best known for its outdoor access. Depending on the season, residents and visitors can enjoy world-class fishing, hiking, hot springs, and skiing.
Bozeman Montana State University is also located in the city, lending the streets a charming academic feel. Other cultural and athletic resources available at the university include the Museum of the Rockies and Bobcat football games.
Staying active is one of the most straightforward things to do in Bozeman. From hiking the “M” trail to exploring the surrounding Custer-Gallatin National Forest, Bozeman is a postcard waiting to be discovered.
It’s also the community in Bozeman, which is best exemplified on Main Street, that makes this Rocky Mountain city so enjoyable to visit. Bozeman does a good job of representing the welcoming nature of Montana, with smiling faces in local storefronts and friendly people you’ll meet on hiking trails. With our list of the top and fun things to do in Bozeman, you can choose the best places to visit on your next trip to Montana.
List of 12 Things to Do in Bozeman MT Today
1. Take a hike on the College “M” Hiking Trail.
The collegiate “M” posted high onto the ridgeline of Bridger Canyon in Bozeman is difficult to miss. This 250-foot white-rock letter was built piece by piece by Montana State University students in 1915 and has since served as a source of pride for the university as well as a symbol for the city. But this decorative door hanger at the mouth of Bridger Canyon is more than just pretty.
Visitors are encouraged to hike up and enjoy the view from two short hiking trails near the base. The steeper half-mile trail forks to the right at the trailhead, and a 1.5-mile trail begins switchbacking to the left. Both trails gain approximately 800 feet to reach the “M,” putting most average hikers’ legs to the test. Benches near the “M” relieve sore leg muscles.
The “M” is only the beginning of Bozeman’s hiking opportunities. The Gallatin Valley Land Trust is in charge of a vast network of in-town hikes. Drinking Horse Mountain, located just across Highway 86 from the College “M” Trail, is another popular trail that is part of their Main Street to the Mountains trail system.
Several of the best hikes near Bozeman can also be found in the surrounding Custer Gallatin National Forest. Surreal alpine landscapes host bigger Montana adventures within an hour’s drive in almost every direction. Bridger Canyon, Gallatin Canyon, and Hyalite Canyon are just a few of the city’s adventure options.
2. Go back in time at the Museum of the Rockies.
The world-famous Museum of the Rockies (MOR) uncovers a wealth of scientific knowledge about the Rocky Mountain region. The museum is located on the south side of town, near the Montana State University campus, and is affiliated with Montana State University and the Smithsonian Institute. It is best known for its extensive collection of dinosaur fossils, but it also provides insight into Yellowstone Country’s ongoing evolution.
One of the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons ever discovered is housed in the Siebel Dinosaur Complex’s Hall of Giants. There are also several other fossils from the area on display, as well as informative plaques about Montana’s role in paleontology.
Other permanent exhibits include the Paugh History Hall, the Martin Children’s Discovery Center, and the Welcome to Yellowstone Country exhibit, which provides insight into the lives of the region’s native cultures. The museum also houses the Taylor Planetarium, which offers three shows per day as part of the admission price.
In addition, the museum hosts teen summer camps and an adult lecture series. Except for major holidays, the museum is open every day of the year, with extended hours between May and September. All museum admission tickets are valid for two days.
3. Take a stroll down Main Street in downtown Bozeman.
Downtown Main Street exemplifies Bozeman culture, with shops, boutiques, eateries, and art to explore. The college culture and emphasis on local businesses, in addition to the storefronts, keep the sidewalks busy. Several facades on both sides of the street have a distinct Western feel to them at Southwest Montana.
The Nova Cafe, one of the many recommended places to eat in Bozeman, serves some of the best breakfasts in town, only rivaled by the nearby Main Street Overeasy. Jam!, Dave’s Sushi-Off Main, and Blackbird Kitchen are a few recommended full menus for lunch and dinner. The Mackenzie River Pizza Company serves specialty pizzas that are worth a visit or two for pizza connoisseurs at Southwest Montana.
The Last Wind-Up, a unique, local specialty shop on Main Street, offers new and vintage timepieces. In addition, the Montana Honey Bee Company provides locally sourced sweetness as well as beekeeping supplies. Live events, such as the popular “Music on Main” every Thursday during the summer, frequently take over the street.
4. Ski at Big Sky Resort and Bridger Bowl Ski Area
Winter alpine pursuits are an important part of Bozeman culture, thanks in part to the proximity of two powder-filled winter resorts. Bridger Bowl and Big Sky are two well-known downhill resorts.
Big Sky Resort, located just an hour south of Bozeman, offers four mountains of internationally acclaimed downhill skiing and snowboarding. Big Sky is one of the largest resorts in the country, with nearly 6,000 acres of rideable terrain. Big Sky is one of Montana’s best ski resorts, with consistent snowfall throughout the long winter and plenty of cold-weather events to celebrate the season.
Bridger Bowl Ski Area is a shorter drive to the north for a more local flavor. This grassroots ski area grew from community-driven beginnings and now offers over 2,000 skiable acres for skiers of all abilities, from beginners to experts. It has eight chair lifts and two lodges with hot meals at chico hot springs. As a local hangout, expect to share the lifts with a slew of Montana State University students and Bozeman residents.
5. Dive into Custer Gallatin National Forest
The Custer Gallatin National Forest’s seven ranger districts encircle the city of Bozeman. They provide over three million acres of forest to explore all year long. This ease of access to the great outdoors defines the city and the people who live there.
Backpacking, fly-fishing, day hiking, ski touring, or simply taking a scenic drive are all possibilities in the national forest. Custer Gallatin’s remote areas, such as the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, are popular for exploration. Bridger Canyon to the north and Gallatin Canyon to the south are also worth visiting at Clark Caverns State Park.
Storm Castle Peak, a 40-minute drive from Bozeman, provides a classic hike with big views. Another great day trip destination is the Palisades Falls Picnic Area. The forest also has easy access to Yellowstone National Park, whose North Entrance and Roosevelt Arch are just over an hour’s drive south of Bozeman.
6. The American Computer and Robotics Museum
The American Computer & Robotics Museum has a wide range of exhibits detailing the evolution of technology, from the first clay tablet created by chisel to the future of artificial consciousness.
The museum, located near Montana State University’s Bobcat Stadium, is divided into multiple rooms and distinct eras of applied science. Each room features elaborate and informative displays as well as significant artifacts. Alan Turing papers, a Gutenberg press, and an original Apple 1 computer signed by Steve Wozniak are among the items on display.
The American Computer & Robotics Museum is free to enter and is ideal for both scientists and curious bystanders. When visiting, donations are encouraged. In the summer, the museum is open seven days a week and is only closed on Mondays during the winter.
7. Gallatin History Museum
The Gallatin History Museum, housed in a historic and recently renovated county jail building, brings the region’s pioneer history to the forefront of Main Street. The Gallatin History Museum, with permanent and rotating exhibits, provides the most complete picture of southwest Montana’s rugged past.
The Gallatin History Museum’s permanent exhibits include American Indian artifacts and a model of the 1867-built Fort Ellis. There are also artifacts, information panels, and an impressive archive of historical images throughout the museum.
There are also guided tours, family passes, and special events. Throughout the year, the museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday. Accompanied children are admitted free of charge to the museum.
8. Go to Burke Park to watch the sunset (Peets Hill)
Burke Park is located in the city center and is part of the Main Street to the Mountains trail system. With a high vantage point over downtown, it’s also a great place to watch the sunset. The park, which is also known as “Peets Hill,” is located just south of Main Street and the Bozeman Public Library.
Parking is available on South Church and Story Street. Users can also park at the library’s back end and walk through the Bozeman Sculpture Park first. Burke Park is about 41 acres in size and is very easy to navigate. In general, head up until you reach the ridgeline that runs parallel to Church Avenue for less than a mile.
The path also runs parallel to Sunset Hills Cemetery to the east, and a 360-degree view is available from the park’s summit. On clear days, several mountains, including Hyalite Peak, the Bridgers, and Mount Ellis, can be seen from here. And, as the sun sets, the park is often crowded with people taking in the changing colors of the day at Norris Hot Springs.
9. Grizzly Bear Encounter in Montana
Montana Grizzly Encounter adopts bears born in captivity or who would not survive in the wild, and provides a safe environment in which they can grow happy and healthy.
Casey Anderson, a National Geographic Wildlife Naturalist, adopted Brutus from an overcrowded wildlife yellowstone park in 2002, and Montana Grizzly Encounter was born. Brutus was a squirrel-sized grizzly bear cub at the time. After 15 years and 900 pounds, Brutus stands at seven feet tall, alongside six other grizzly bears adopted into the park.
In addition to providing a quality of life for its bears, Montana Grizzly Encounter strives to educate the public about coexisting with Montana’s resident wildlife. Montana Grizzly Encounter promotes respect for the grizzly bear’s role in wildlife systems through demonstrations, education, and the ability to view the sanctuary’s denizens up close with no bars or constructions.
Montana Grizzly Encounter is free for all school groups that make a reservation. For the general public, admission tickets are reasonably priced. This Grizzly Bear Rescue and Education Sanctuary is open daily for the majority of the year, with limited hours in the winter (November 1st – May 1st).
10. Bozeman Hot Springs
Bozeman Hot Springs, located near Four Corners on the city’s west side, is a public resort and one of Montana’s best hot springs. And there are several reasons to visit the facility, including 12 different pools to soak in, a full fitness center, and a campground around emerson center.
Bozeman Hot Springs is ideal for large group events and is ideal for families. Throughout the year, the pools host special events such as live music, group fitness classes, and community charity drives. The pools range in temperature from 59 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit at palisade fall.
Bozeman Hot Springs also has a campground within its facilities for the ultimate hot springs experience as well as quick access to the surrounding adventurous environments. This is a fantastic overnight option for your soaking experience. Every campground overnight guest has unlimited access to the adjacent pools at Virginia City.
11. Glen Lake Rotary Park Picnic
Glen Lake Rotary Park, formerly East Gallatin Recreation Area, is a welcoming public space on the city’s north side, directly across from Interstate-90. Glen Lake is a park highlight, with multi-colored kayaks and paddleboards frequently dotting the surface. A large sandy beach on the lake also draws a crowd of people who enjoy sand volleyball, lying out, and picnicking by the water.
From the lake, the Gallatin Valley Land Trust maintains three miles of trails. These trails meander alongside the East Gallatin River’s banks and connect to other scenic hiking areas such as Cherry River. The lake is also circled by one branch of the trail. There are picnic tables and pavilions at the beach and along the lakeside trail of hot spring.
12. Pay a visit to Yellowstone National Park.
Yellowstone National Park, the first and largest national park in the United States, is an 80-mile drive from Bozeman. Visitors from all over the world fly into Bozeman to witness the wonders of Yellowstone, including the region’s numerous hydrothermal features, which are incredibly dense and unique.
The iconic sites of Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic Spring are only a small part of the best places to visit in Yellowstone. The park as a whole covers an incredible 2.2 million acres, providing an abundance of roadside attractions, wildlife encounters, and hiking trails. Some of Yellowstone’s best hiking trails are short walks that are suitable for everyone.
Yellowstone’s North Entrance is the closest point of entry from Bozeman. This entrance near the Gardiner River provides easy access to the park’s Mammoth Hot Springs region. Mammoth Hot Springs features eye-catching travertine terraces and the popular Boiling River roadside attraction, as well as one of Yellowstone’s best campgrounds at Gallatin river lodge.
Yellowstone National Park is a day trip from Bozeman. It is, however, strongly advised to set aside a week to fully explore the country’s first national park. The park is open all year, but certain seasons are better than others. For more information, see our guide to the best time to visit Yellowstone thing.
FAQs About Fun Things To Do In Bozeman MT
What is the most well-known feature of Bozeman, Montana?
For good reason, Bozeman is known as “the most livable place.” Enjoy world-class fly fishing, breathtaking mountains for hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, skiing, hunting, and backcountry exploration, Yellowstone National Park, and abundant wildlife.
Is it worthwhile to travel to Bozeman, Montana?Is it worthwhile to travel to Bozeman, Montana?
Staying in Bozeman is more than just convenient; it’s also a destination in its own right, with incredible outdoor recreation, a vibrant downtown, and a killer dining scene. We’ve listed ten reasons why you should stop in Bozeman on your way to Yellowstone, but this is just the beginning; there are far too many attractions in Bozeman to list.
Why is Bozeman so well-liked?
Bozeman is a great place to live because of the endless opportunities for outdoor recreation, low crime rates, a sense of community, great schools, beautiful parks, trails, and neighborhoods. Rural areas and mountain towns have grown in popularity since the pandemic, and Bozeman is one of them.