Bozeman is one of the most interesting cities in Montana with Hollywood stars, yoga studios, hip restaurants, coffee bars, breweries, farmers, ranchers, and everyday people looking for a simpler way of life.
Today, Bozeman is a vibrant community and boasts both becoming a tech hub and a booming tourist attraction. Many flocks to the town thanks to plenty of outdoor attractions, recreational activities, and an art and cultural scene that can’t be beaten.
In this article, we will take a look at the many activities in and around the Bozeman area so you can plan for the best visit possible.
The 10 Best Things to Do in Bozeman
Montana has its fair share of relaxing and rejuvenating hot springs, and Bozeman is home to its own. Some of the pools have been used for a century or more, and are warmed by the natural hot springs. Here you’ll find as many as twelve pools, and they are heated to various degrees somewhere between 59 to 106 degrees.
The Bozeman Hot Springs can be found along Highway 191 on route to Big Sky Resort. Here you’ll find a large indoor pool, hot tubs, and even a cold tub for recovery. There is an outdoor pool if you fancy a soak in the fresh Montana air, and there is sometimes live music on the outside stage.
Here you’ll find not only one of the best Montana museums but also one of the best dinosaur museums in the world. It is located within the Bozeman city limits, and contains some impressive dinosaur fossils and skeletons.
It also houses a fair few other items from the Cretaceous period, which were found in the Montana region. There is a Native American culture and history exhibition as Montana was also an original historical western frontier.
Bozeman is within driving distance for at least a day trip to Yellowstone National Park. It’s about a 90-minute drive to both the north and west entrances in Gardiner and West Yellowstone.
If you are interested in checking out a few dormant supervolcanoes along with sky-high geysers, multi-hued hot springs, and wildlife like bison and bears – you’ll love this place. Yellowstone was actually the first national park in the US and it has been enthralling visitors from around the world for more than a century.
As is the case in many of the towns in Montana, it’s not too difficult to get a taste of the craft brewery scene while in Bozeman. You’ll find a great list of acclaimed breweries in Bozeman that you should definitely check out if you are a beer lover.
There’s the MAP Brewing Company, the Mountains Walking Brewery and Pub, and the Bozeman Brewing Company, which is actually the oldest craft brewery in Bozeman. There are plenty more craft beer breweries in Bozeman to check out if that doesn’t satisfy you, or you might consider checking out a couple of the craft distilleries in Bozeman.
There’s Wildrye Distilling and Bozeman Spirits Distillery for starters, along with a more recent addition, The Cannery, which is located just a mile and a half from bustling downtown Bozeman.
Bozeman is certainly high on the list if you’re looking to do a spot of skiing, and one of the prime ski resorts in Montana is Big Sky. This huge resort is around 30 miles south of Bozeman, and comprises towering peaks and breath-taking views from the chairlift, right down across the Paradise Valley.
You can also find a small village with its own craft brewery within the resort, along with a few decent eateries. The list of activities here includes zip-lining, snowshoe tours, a giant swing, a bungee trampoline, climbing walls, dog sledding and sleigh rides, Nordic skiing, and all kinds of coach tours.
The Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture can be found in one of downtown Bozeman’s historic buildings. The purpose of the center is to bring the community together through art and cultural exhibits as well as a number of other activities. Visitors can check out the three exhibitions or get involved in an art or yoga class.
Some of the best recreation areas in the region can be found at Hyalite Canyon Recreation Area. You can find this amazing stretch of natural outdoor scenery with a short, 25-minute drive south. If it’s winter then Hyalite Canyon Recreation Area has a myriad of ideal trails for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, while in the summer months it is perfect for hiking and mountain biking.
There are plenty of operators offering a fairly wide variety of horseback riding options in Bozeman, Montana. This is absolutely one of the most ideal parts of the world to try a spot of horse-riding, and you can find anything from hourly, half-day, or full-day rides, right up to multi-day trips that are often combined with other outdoor activities like fishing, photography, and cattle drives.
The American Computer and Robotics Museum is the place to find out all about the history of modern-day communications, computers, artificial intelligence, and even robotics. The museum is host to some fascinating exhibits related to what we call technological progress and the information age.
You find items such as old office equipment like typewriters, and some of the early 1970s computers that take up a whole room. You will also find a collection of documents from prominent contributors to the Information Age like Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Graham Bell, and Samuel Morse along with some of the first PCs like the IBM and the Apple I.
Bozeman is also one of the places where you can get close and personal with some of the legendary grizzlies of the region. This is actually a Grizzly Bear Rescue & Education Sanctuary that serves as a natural home for rescued grizzlies.
It also gives visitors the opportunity to witness and learn about these majestic animals, many of which were rescued. The bears live their lives in an environment close to the one that is natural to them, with no bars or cages. This allows visitors the chance to see them acting as close to nature as possible.
Free Things to Do in Bozeman
Downtown Bozeman is a great place to check out coffee shops, bistros, craft breweries, sports shops. There are also a good few locally made items, and it’s a very walkable and bike-friendly stretch.
Glen Lake Rotary Park is the actual name of this area, but it is also known as Bozeman Beach. It is just 2 miles north of downtown Bozeman, and comprises a 4-acre lake, with fishing & diving docks, and its own sandy beach. There are picnic shelters and a pavilion as well as volleyball courts, climbing rocks, and grassy areas. You can also access some local biking & hiking trails from here.
Palisade Falls is an area at the base of Palisade Mountain near Hyalite Canyon, with an 80-foot drop of rugged vertical rock with falls. The falls are accessible by a short drive from Bozeman through Hyalite Canyon and have some good hikes suitable for families with children.
10 Best Tours in Bozeman
- Horseback Riding • You can do anything from a 1-hour to an all-day ride from Bozeman up to the Yellowstone National Park. With experienced, professional guides and horses that take it all in their stride, you can experience the outstanding natural beauty of the area in traditional style with this tour.
- River Tubing Adventure • Ideal for the warmer seasons, on this tour you get to float along the waters of the Madison River. There are a variety of tubing and rafting trips, and the tubes, life jackets, and straps to connect groups are all provided. Enjoy a relaxing and fun day on the water, with a shuttle back to the starting point included. Ideal for anyone including families, and the minimum age is 3 years old.
- Guided Kayak Tour • Taking a guided kayak trip along the Madison River is another great way to take in the natural scenery and wildlife habitat of the Bozeman area. With experienced, local tour guides and great kayaks, you might also encounter Montana wildlife like beavers, deer, and even eagles as you navigate and flow downstream. The guides will provide insights on the geography and history of the area.
- Zip Line Tour • The Gallatin River Zip Line is not too far away between Bozeman and Big Sky along Highway 191. You’ll get to experience some pretty dramatic scenery including pine forest, rivers, and cliffs on any of these tours. There are 2 tours – the Classic and the Super – both of which begin with the ascension of a sky bridge to a 50-ft high tree platform. The zip lines cross the Gallatin River, and the Super Zip has a few more challenging features than the Classic that will test both your balance and nerve.
- Guided Safari Tour from Bozeman • This tour will give you some insights into local wildlife habits in relation to the landscape. You get to ride in comfortable vehicles with an experienced guide who will plan various walking, viewing, picnicking, and wilderness activities according to your requirements. The professional guides are a mix of former wildlife specialists and rangers who will do their best to provide you with information and experiences to enhance your trip.
- Wilderness Picnic Llama Hike • How about having a llama as your hiking companion as you take a wilderness picnic? This hike takes in beautiful wildflowers, native plants, and clean cool mountain streams, all with accompanying llamas. A ranch visit with the mama llamas and their babies is included before heading to select the llamas and venturing off.
- Mountain Biking Tour • A great way to take in the outdoor natural beauty of Bozeman is by joining a biking tour. Take it easy or ride hard on a tour to fit your fitness level. You can take to the streets in the city with its rich history or head for the miles of gravel trails that wind through the sloping hills of the surrounding countryside. Or, if you fancy a bit more rugged terrain, with mountain vistas and lakes, you can follow the trails in the nearby mountain ranges.
- Fly Fishing Tour • With locations in the mountains of southwest Montana, not too far from Yellowstone National Park, this trip is any fly fisherman’s dream. Tours cover one day or more depending on your requirements and take in areas such as the Gallatin River, the Yellowstone River, the Madison River, Yellowstone National Park, and private spring creeks.
- Bozeman Paragliding Tour • If you have a head for heights and fancy the idea of a specialty guided paragliding tour – then this is one for you. Tandem flights, instruction and guide service are all available.
- Molte Yoga Retreat • Molte specialty tours and yoga retreats combine active outdoor activities with mindful sessions on the yoga mat. Take the opportunity to connect with the power of nature by joining a high mountain retreat in scenic southwest Montana.