Nestled in the northern Rocky Mountains, just 80 miles north of Yellowstone National Park and within an hour’s drive of three world-class ski areas and many of the world’s best fly fishing rivers, Bozeman, Montana, is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. At the center of the beautiful Gallatin Valley, Bozeman is surrounded by the Bridger,Gallatin, Madison and Tobacco Root mountain ranges. Outdoor activities include the aforementioned skiing and snowboarding, as well as incredible trout fishing, but also include hiking, camping, mountain and road biking, white-water rafting, kayaking, hunting, snowmobiling, climbing and pretty much any other activity that can be done outdoors. Bozeman is a vacation destination known around the world, but home to only about 40,000 who give it its laid-back, friendly attitude.
The Gallatin Valley, with Bozeman at its center, is routinely referred to as the “Fly fishing capital of the World.” With crystal clear trout streams and rivers such as the Gallatin, Madison, Jefferson and Missouri flowing down from high mountain peaks, it’s easy to see why. These rivers and mountain ranges, though, provide far more than just fly fishing opportunities. Bozeman is a mecca for outdoor adventures, including hiking, white-water rafting, mountain biking, horseback riding and rock climbing, just to name a few.
In the November, 2010, issue of Powder Magazine, Bozeman was declared, “The number one place to live and ski.” With three world-class ski areas within an hour’s drive that boast an abundance of dry, light powder, it’s an easy title to believe. But what Bozeman also touts is a friendly, down-home vibe, a major university, a Fortune 500 company, a vibrant downtown and the healthiest residents in the entire state, according to a recent report. With so many happy campers, it only follows that there’s plenty of outdoor activity, regardless of the time of year.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
From the first moment of being established in 1872, to the current day, Yellowstone National Park has been closely tied to Bozeman. As the largest city in close proximity to Yellowstone, Bozeman has served as the primary gateway for travelers visiting the world’s first national park. Yellowstone itself is a celebration of diverse geographies, ranging from lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges in geothermal to subalpine ecosystems, to a wide array of wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves, bison, elk, pronghorn and moose. The park is open year-round for a variety of activities such as horseback riding, camping, fishing, bicycling, snowmobiling and snow coach and automobile tours. Among the park’s major attractions are Old Faithful Geyser, Mammoth Hot Springs, numerous other geyser basins, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Yellowstone Lake and the Hayden and Lamar Valleys. Both the north and west entrances of Yellowstone National Park are roughly 80 miles from downtown Bozeman.