One place that’s wonderful to visit is Big Sky, Montana. I mean, really, how can you not want to go to a place that has such a cool name? Hiking in a place like Big Sky is also amazing, with all that clear blue sky, mountains and massive amounts of land. The Big Sky area has two great places where you can hike: Gallatin National Forest and possibly the world’s most famous national park, Yellowstone National Park.
Get in your head a picture of the movie, A River Runs Through It. Dramatic scenery, fresh air, pretty big mountains, rivers, streams and an incredible blue sky. This is what you’ll see if you hike in Gallatin National Forest. Just a few miles away from Big Sky, Gallatin has almost 2,300 miles of hiking trails – it’s truly enormous. One of the best hiking areas in the country, bar none, and some of the mountain peaks are over 11,000 feet.
To start off hiking in Gallatin National Forest, it’s best to go in the summer when the weather isn’t too severe. There are five different mountain ranges you can hike. On all of them you’ll see incredibly diverse plants and wildlife, including the area’s famous bald eagles and grizzly bears. Be very aware of your surroundings though and watch what you’re doing. A fall or a grizzly bear attack on many of these trails could leave you badly injured and miles away from help. To get started, you’re better visiting one of the park’s offices – the main one being in Bozeman – to collect maps, information on good starting points for hikes, estimated times to complete trails and more. Also carry bear spray and wear clunky boots . Bears don’t like a lot of noise, so the noisier you are, the less chance you have of accidentally stumbling upon one.
Yellowstone National Park is only a short drive from Big Sky and has 1,200 miles of hiking trails. One of the trails easily accessible from Big Sky is called Tee pee. It’s about 13 miles south of Big Sky, right before you get to Yellowstone National Park. The great thing about Tee pee is it’s perfect for all levels of hiker, especially kids, and it eventually enters Yellowstone National Park, where you’ll find many more hiking trails to enjoy. Get more information about hiking trails from one of the many Yellowstone visitor centers.