Bozeman is where all categories of outdoor recreation converge, from the serene experiences of hiking and fishing to the adrenaline-pumping extremes of ice climbing and paragliding. While there's always the option of hiking or hopping on a ski lift at one of the nearby resorts, Bozeman is a great place to try something new, particularly with guides and experts who can make it a safe, worry-free experience. There are tons of ways to explore the great outdoors in Montana on your own or with the help of a guide. Here are some of our favorites that are worth considering.
Some of the best views of Montana are from 500 feet above Bozeman, and they don't always require summiting a mountain. Hop into a helicopter just 15 minutes away in Belgrade and see the majestic Rocky Mountains from up high, or soar over Yellowstone National Park for a birdseye view of its many vibrant geothermal springs. Flights in a comfortable helicopter with unobstructed views are offered from the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport through companies such as Rocky Mountain Rotors and Central Copters. Yellowstone Helicopters offers tours of a variety of lengths, starting from West Yellowstone, less than a two-hour drive away.
If you've never ridden a horse before, southwest Montana is the place to try it. Experience the expansive Montana landscape on horseback, just like the state's early cowboys did hundreds of years ago. Guided horseback trail rides can be booked in several scenic locations within Bozeman's hour, including Jake's Horses in Big Sky, Rockin' HK Outfitters in Pray, or Montana Trail Rides in Livingston. In most cases, you can opt for a private or group ride, choose from an hour-long ride to a multi-day trip, or even sign up to ride and fly fish on the same trip!
The area surrounding Bozeman is home to an abundance of wildlife, including elk, bighorn sheep, wolves, bears, bison, pronghorn, and many more. Whether you simply want to view them or have a more interactive hunting experience, you have plenty of options. The Bison Quest tour offers guests a once-in-a-lifetime bison experience in the Big Belt Mountains near Townsend.
The Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone offers the opportunity to see grizzly bears, gray wolves, raptors, and river otters up close. But there are also opportunities to view wildlife on your own, particularly in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone or the Dome Mountain Wildlife Area. If you're looking to try your hand at hunting, several outfitters such as Sage Peak Hunting, Broken Arrow, and Medicine Lake Outfitters offer unique opportunities to hunt deer, elk, and pronghorn with a bow or rifle, and even on horseback.
If you're looking beyond the ski resorts for your winter adventure this year, consider something more in the backcountry. There are many opportunities to get deep into remote areas with fewer people and more space to yourself, all with the safety and comfort of having an expert guide with you. Montana Alpine Guides offers guided tours and courses in ice climbing, and backcountry skiing, and snowshoeing. Big Sky Backcountry Guides offers several day trips in Yellowstone, including a day-long trip for people who are new to backcountry skiing.
Fly fishing is perhaps the most popular activity for visitors to southwest Montana. This area is world-renowned for it because of the scenic rivers, soaring mountain views on all sides, and plentiful trout. There is an overwhelming amount of fishing outfitters to choose from near Bozeman, with guided tour options ranging from fully-outfitted, easy floats to more rugged, adventurous trips on remote rivers. With options for every experience-level, fly fishing is a great way to explore the scenery and wildlife near Bozeman. Some outfitters you'll find right in town include Montana Angler, Montana Angling Co., and The River's Edge.
VRBozeman Vacation Rentals, located in the heart of Bozeman, can provide you a relaxing, stress-free home base before and after your outdoor adventures in wild Montana. Contact us today to find out how we can elevate your stay in Bozeman.