Fall Hikes In Bozeman

Dated: 09/04/2017

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By Lindsey Keeley

The weather is getting cooler as fall (quickly mind you) approaches. But that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy the outdoors in some of the beautiful scenery that surrounds Bozeman. Hiking is one of those versatile adventures that you can do for a couple hours after work or go big and take a whole day or two. Bring your family, dogs or just a friend and see what Bozeman has to offer when the air is fresh and the leaves are a sea of red, orange and yellow.

Triple Tree

Triple Tree is for those looking for a mild hike full of color. Triple Tree is a 4.3-5.5 mile loop (distance varies depending on whether you take the lower or upper parking lot trail) that is easy in most parts and is doable for kids as young as 6. This is the hike you're looking for if you want to see what surrounds the relatively small town of Bozeman. The summit offers amazing views of the mountains and patchwork of farmland. Triple Tree is also a great hike in the summer for wildflower lovers!

Directions: Head west on S 19th Ave. Turn left onto Goldstein and then right onto Sourdough. The trail will be on the right.

Sacajawea Peak

Sacajawea is very well known by the peak-baggers out there and for good reason. You can drive straight to the trail, take the moderate 4.1-mile hike with a 360-degree view at the top and visit the stunning Fairy Lake just below it when you're done. The climb is rocky and quite steep at the very end, but you have the chance of seeing mountain goats! Warnings: You will need a car or truck with decent off-road capabilities as the drive is quite bumpy and for those with vertigo or a fear of heights, the summit may not be for you. However, Fairy Lake is quick and easy and gorgeous on its own!

Directions: From downtown, take Rouse north as if you were going to Bridger Bowl for 1.5 miles. Continue on the MT-86N for just over 20 miles. Turn left on Fairy Lake Road (be careful it sneaks up on you!). Fairy Lake Road will fork, take the right side. The road will lead you straight to a parking lot, though the trail starts just before the lot.

Lava Lake

This hike is a little more challenging with a moderate rating, but the payoff is worth it. This 6 mile in and out hike leads you straight to the serene Lava Lake. This trail is dog and horse friendly, though the rockiness can be difficult for some horses. The trail is well-traveled, making it easy to go mapless. The hike is manageable for kids 10 and up and offers space for camping.

Directions: Take 191 South into Gallatin Canyon. A few miles past the Storm Castle turn-off, look for a signed entrance on the right just before the bridge.

Emerald and Heather Lakes

This is a stunning hike for a long day or an easy two-day adventure. The trail is listed as moderate but climbs slowly to bring you straight to Emerald Lake and Heather Lake. Views of evergreens and rocky mountain-tops only add to the beauty of the glittering water. Camp sites are available, but be wary that parking is scarce so you may have to improvise and park along the road. Check this site for details!

Directions: Go south on 19th Ave, following the curve until you see the Hyalite Canyon Road on the left. Turn onto that. Follow Hyalite Canyon Road all the way up to the reservoir and continue across the dam. Continue right past the Palisade Trailhead and drive until the road ends at the Emerald and Heather Lakes Trailhead. Consider weather when going on this trail. A rainy day in town likely means snow in the mountains!


We'd love to hear where you like to hike or feature your photos. Comment or email to bmnblogger@gmail.com.

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Luci Edwards

"As a seasoned REALTOR, I have been an active, full-time Real Estate Broker since 2005. My experience was earned by real-life practicing, helping buyers and sellers with the acquisition and dispositio....

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