After the long grueling winter we have all been itching to get outdoors and take advantage of what this beautiful place we call “home” has to offer. With a little bit of sunshine and fewer snow-filled days, it is finally time to dust off your hiking boots and hit those trails!
With the late snow this year some of the common hiking trails that are usually accessible year-round or hike-able during early Spring are probably going to have muddy spots and possibly even have more snow than expected. So first things first, when going out for your Springtime hikes make sure to be prepared for wind, rain, snow, mud, and animals (bring the bear spray).
Our first recommendation for a Spring hike is Emerald Lake! Emerald Lake trailhead is tucked in behind Hyalite Reservoir and because of this you can’t get to the trailhead by car until May 16th but, it is worth the wait for the flowers and scenery! Emerald Lake is a 9-mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of 1,875 feet. Most hiking guides rate the trail to be moderate to difficult.
** Bonus hike: Walk an additional mile and arrive at Heather Lake, which is stocked with Yellowstone cutthroat trout.
Another great hike for this time of the year, before it gets overly crowded, is the Lava Lake trail! Lava Lake trailhead is about 20 miles south of Bozeman and offers a great hike for families wanting to get out for a picnic or short day trip. Lava Lake was created after a landslide damned Cascade Creek which makes for a beautiful camping spot with exquisite views of the surrounding mountains. This is one of the more popular hiking trails in the Big Sky/Bozeman area so get out there before the crowds start pouring in!
If this is your first Spring in Bozeman and you’re not sure what your skill level for hiking is yet, or your not sure if hiking is even your “thing” we recommend you take a stroll on Peet’s Hill. Round trip, the hike is only about 4 miles and it offers little elevation gain so every skill level can enjoy.
For anyone looking to get out there and wanting to try new hiking trails, we recommend visiting AllTrails to learn more about the terrain, the landmarks and what to be prepared for. Let us know your favorite trails around Bozeman!
Happy hiking, and finally Welcome to Spring!