Gallatin National Forest Trails

Gallatin National Forest

Gallatin National Forest contains more than 2,600 miles of hiking and horseback riding trails, with terrain elevations ranging from 5,000' to more than 11,000'. In this part of Montana, that means you'll find open meadows, dense stands of timber, waterfalls, rock outcroppings, beautiful mountain peaks, clear mountain streams and lots of wildlife and mixed vegetation. This is also big bug country in the summer time...

Bozeman Ranger District Trails

The Bozeman Ranger District encompasses the Bridger, Gallatin and Madison Mountain Ranges with numerous trails and trailheads giving access to all three ranges. In the Bridger Range, one of these trails is the 24-mile-long Bridger Foothills National Recreation Trail that runs through the center of the range. Most other trails in the area connect with that one.

Bridger Range
"M" Picnic Area There is no drinking water but there are picnic tables and a toilet available at the site. Parking lot gives access to the southern end of the Bridger Foothills National Recreation Trail.
Sypes Canyon The trailhead is within the Sypes Canyon Subdivision, with lots of private property all around. Stay on the designated access route and you'll be fine. This trail gives access to the southern end of the Bridgers but it doesn't allow motorized vehicles.
Middle Cottonwood Canyon At the end of the access road is a developed parking area. The trailhead gives access to the southwestern portion of the Bridger Foothills National Recreation Trail.
Truman Gulch At the end of the access road there is a developed trailhead with a horse loading ramp and parking area. There is designated access here across private lands to the west central Bridger Range.
Corbly Gulch There is a parking area at the end of the access road but the last mile of that access road is rough enough to preclude the use of any low-clearance vehicles. This trailhead gives access across private land to the west central Bridger's.
North Cottonwood Montana has a lease with a private landowner here that allows access along the north section line of Section 23, T2N, R5E to National Forest land and to the trail along North Cottonwood Creek.
Johnson Canyon This is not a trailhead and there are no facilities at the end of the road, but this route does give access to National Forest land.
Flathead Pass The Flathead Pass area allows access to the Hardscrabble Peak area to the south and to the Zade and Horsethief Mountains area to the north.
Fairy Lake Campground Fairy Lake is about 20 acres in size and contains lots of cutthroat trout. The developed campground has drinking water and toilet faciltities. This is at the northern end of the Bridger Foothills National Recreation Trail. From here you have good access to the Hardscrabble and Sacajawea Peaks areas.
Ross Pass Ross Pass is accessed via a primitive old logging trail that follows the Middle Fork of Brackett Creek up to maybe one mile short of the pass itself. The last two miles are too rough for 2WD, low-clearance vehicles. Ross Pass can also be reached via a trail that climbs up from the South Fork of Brackett Creek Road.
Gallatin Range
New World GulchThis parking area and trailhead are near the end of Bear Canyon Road. The trail climbs the ridge between the Bozeman Creek and New World Gulch drainages before ending at Mystic Lake. The Forest Service offers a cabin for rent near Mystic Lake.
Bozeman Creek This route follows an old logging road to Mystic Lake, along Bozeman Creek. Mystic Lake offers good cutthroat and rainbow trout fishing.
Blackmore Creek The developed trailhead and picnic area is adjacent to Hyalite Reservoir and offers accessible toilets, parking and drinking water. The main trail follows Blackmore Creek to Blackmore Lake and then to Mt. Blackmore. There is another trail from the same trailhead that heads along the western shore of the reservoir and returns to the parking area via the Crescent Lake Trail.
Hyalite Creek The trailhead is located at the end of Hyalite Creek Road. There is parking and a toilet available but no drinking water. The Hyalite Creek Trail follows Hyalite Creek past several waterfalls to Hyalite Lake at the head of the canyon. From Hyalite Lake it continues south to meet up with the Gallatin Crest Trail. Another trail from the Hyalite Creek Trailhead leads for 1.5 fully accessible miles to an overlook near scenic Grotto Falls.
East Fork Hyalite Creek This trailhead offers a developed parking area at the end of the East Fork of Hyalite Creek Road. The main trail here provides access to Emerald and Heather Lakes, via Horseshoe Falls.
Palisade Falls National Recreation Trail This is a 1/2-mile fully accessible trail designed to give users easy access to Palisade Falls. There is an accessible toilet and a picnic area available at the trailhead but there is no drinking water.
Storm Castle Creek This trailhead is in an undeveloped area at the end of Storm Castle Creek Road. The last two miles of the access road are not suitable for low clearance 2WD vehicles. The main trail leads to the Hyalite Peak area and offers access to the Gallatin Crest Trail.
Garnet Mountain This trail climbs to the top of Garnet Mountain from a small parking area along Storm Castle Creek Road. The lookout at the top is available for rent from the Forest Service, and it offers spectacular views over the Gallatins and of the Spanish Peaks area.
Windy Pass/Golden Trout Lakes This trailhead offers access to several different trails, among them the Golden Trout Lakes Trail, Windy Pass Trail and the Hidden Lake Trail. It's possible to make several different loop trails from this area, and the cabin near Windy Pass is available for rent from the Forest Service.
Porcupine Creek Trail There is parking at this trailhead that leads to a route heading up Porcupine Creek that intersects with several other trails in the area to make different loop trails available.
Twin Cabin The Twin Cabin Trail merges with the Porcupine Creek Trail after about two miles. The trailhead is developed with picnic table, toilet and horse ramp. The trail itself is closed to all motorized vehicles.
Elkhorn Creek This developed trailhead at the southern end of the Red Cliff Campground offers access to the trail along Elkhorn Creek. Toilets and drinking water are available in the campground.
Buffalo Horn Creek This trailhead on Buffalo Horn Creek offers a toilet and horse ramp. The trail follows Buffalo Horn Creek and intersects with several other trails that cross the drainage.
Teepee Creek The undeveloped Teepee Creek trailhead offers access to the area between Yellowstone National Park and the Buffalo Horn Creek drainage.
Madison Range
Spanish Creek This trailhead is the northern entrance to the Spanish Peaks area. This is a large and quite popular trailhead with developed picnic sites, toilets, drinking water and parking areas. Trails from here lead up Little Hell Roaring Creek, South Fork Spanish Creek and a trail heading into the northern end of the Madisons.
Spanish Peaks (East Access) This is a series of four trailheads along Highway 191 between Gallatin Gateway and Big Sky. Cascade Creek and Deer Creek offer parking and toilet facilities while Hellroaring Creek and Indian Ridge offer only parking.
Spanish Peaks (South Access) There are several trails near Big Sky that lead into the southern end of the Spanish Peaks area to Bear Basin and to Beehive Basin.
Buck Creek Ridge At the end of Doe Creek Road is the small parking area for this trailhead. The trail follows the ridge line betwen Big Sky to the north and Buck Creek to the south, connecting with several other trails along the way.
Cinnamon Creek This trailhead is near the historic Cinnamon Ranger Station. The trail itself heads west and climbs to the old lookout tower on Cinnamon Mountain before continuing on into the Buck Creek area.
Wapiti Creek There are several parking areas for several different trailheads in the area of the junction between Wapiti Creek and the Taylor Fork Road. Most of these trails provide access to the northern part of the Cabin Creek Recreation and Wildlife Management Area.
Sage Creek The parking area for this trailhead is on US Highway 191 just south of the Taylor Fork Road. There are several loop trips available along this trail that follows Sage Creek into the Monument Mountain Unit of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness.
Bacon Rind Along US Highway 191, the trailhead and the first several miles of trail are within the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park. The trail itself leads into the Lee Metcalf Wilderness.
Tepee Creek At the end of Tepee Creek Road you'll find a small parking area. The trails that begin here all lead into the southern section of the Cabin Creek Recreation and Wildlife Management Area.
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