Post Summary: What To Do In Bozeman, Montana in Winter Time
Are you ready to embrace the winter season?
A fresh dusting of powder on the mountains, the quiet ambiance as the snow falls, and the countless options to get outside are just the beginning of Bozeman in the wintertime!
If you’re wondering where you should travel this season, we want to formally put Bozeman, Montana on your radar. Where else can you get multiple mountain resorts minutes away (it’s true!), amazing hot springs, and peaceful seclusion all in one destination?
To be honest, Bozeman Montana in winter is hard to beat!
In this post, we’re breaking down the best things to do in Bozeman during winter, and why you should make it out to Montana this winter season.
15+ Things To Do In Bozeman, Montana in Winter
This post is sponsored by the Bozeman Convention & Visitors Bureau. All opinions, writing, and photos are our own.
Go Skiing + Snowboarding At Premium Ski Resorts Near Bozeman, Montana
It’s no secret – Bozeman loves to ski! One of the main reasons people come to visit Bozeman, Montana in winter is the amazing mountain resorts nearby.
Many of these mountain resorts are as close as 20 minutes away from downtown Bozeman. You can take a quick morning to drive to the mountain, get in a few runs, and be at work by lunch the same day!
Whether you love skiing, snowboarding, or just hanging out around the main village and sipping cocoa (guilty), each Bozeman mountain resort has something special to offer you.
Here is a list of popular mountain resorts near Bozeman, Montana:
Find a Bozeman Ice Rink To Test Your Skating Skills
One of the easiest Bozeman winter activities is grabbing some ice skates and heading to a local skating rink.
There are several inexpensive or free public ice rinks around the city, each with their own unique events and features.
The Bogart Park Ice Rink is located outdoors but covered by a pavilion with a fenced border. It’s great for small children learning how to skate! The Haynes Pavilion is an indoor ice rink and hockey arena, home to the local hockey teams and afternoon public skating! ($5 entry)
There are several outdoor, uncovered rinks around town that are maintained once the ice can stay frozen. The Southside Park Ice Rink, Beall Park, and the Bozeman Pond are all neighborhood favorites.
All outdoor rinks hours are from 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm Monday – Friday and 10:00 am – 10:00 pm Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting!
Need ice skates to rent? Hop on over to Chalet Mountain Sports for inexpensive day rates!
Take An Ice Climbing Class
Ice climbing can be expensive if you are trying to go for the first time! Not only does it take very specific equipment, but it also requires quite a bit of knowledge of proper technique, safety, and more.
That’s why we suggest going ice climbing with a guide! Montana Alpine Guides is the lead guiding service in the area for all kinds of mountain adventures. Take one of their curated trips to fit your skill level.
From beginner classes (they provide all the gear!) to advanced climbs, and even classes for kids, MAG is your one-stop-shop for an epic winter trip in Bozeman.
Not ready to go ice climbing? Go and watch the pros in action! Take snowshoe trails in Hyalite Canyon (like Grotto Falls, Palisades Falls, and more) to go and be a spectator and get inspired!
Which brings us to our next Bozeman winter activity suggestions…
Read More: Try The Johnston Canyon Ice Walk In Banff National Park
Go Snowshoeing In The Hyalite Canyon
Don’t leave your favorite Hyalite trails just for the summer months! In the winter, it’s a completely new and beautiful scene, with snow-heavy trees and dusted white mountain peaks in the distance.
Some of the best Bozeman snowshoeing trails have winter features like frozen lakes, icy waterfalls, and best of all, few people!
Our favorite snowshoeing trails near Bozeman include the short trail to Palisade Falls, Hyalite Creek Trail to see multiple waterfalls in one trail, and Hyalite Reservoir to walk along the lake and spot people ice fishing!
Snowshoe Tip: Is it your first time snowshoeing? Often, Cross Country skiers (also called Nordic skiers) and snowshoers will use the same trail. It’s proper etiquette to avoid making footprints on the established ski tracks, so watch out for those along the trail.
Cut Your Own Christmas Tree From The Custer Gallatin National Forest
Want to add a little more Christmas cheer to your Bozeman winter trip? Plan an outing with your family to go and cut down your own Christmas tree!
Starting November 15th, you can obtain a permit from local businesses in Bozeman to go and cut down your very own live tree from the Custer Gallatin National Forest.
Follow these guidelines for cutting the right one (and preserving the forest!) for years to come. Permits for tree cutting are only $5.00! Here is where you can obtain a tree permit:
- Murdoch’s (2275 N 7th Ave, Bozeman, MT 59715)
- Murdoch’s (822 Jackrabbit Ln, Bozeman, MT 59718)
- Owenhouse Ace Hardware (8695 Huffine Ln, Bozeman, MT 59718 and 36 E Main St, Bozeman, MT 59715)
- Bozeman Ranger District Office (3710 Fallon St C, Bozeman, MT 59718)
- Town and Country Grocery and True Value (205 W Madison Ave, Belgrade, Montana, 59714)
- Big Sky Conoco (90 Lone Mountain Trail, Big Sky, MT 59716)
- Ace Hardware Livingston (1106 W Park St #1, Livingston, MT 59047)
- Yellowstone Ranger District (5242 US-89, Livingston, MT 59047)
Visit Local Bozeman Breweries
After a long day of fun activities in Bozeman, Montana in winter, make sure to warm up your spirits at one of the many local breweries in town.
Each of these unique Bozeman breweries brings their own spin on taste, ambiance, and technique, so it’s difficult to rank one as “the best brewery in Bozeman” – guess you’ll just have to try them all for yourself!!
Soak At Nearby Hot Springs In Bozeman
After a long day of enjoying Bozeman in winter, one way to wind down and relax is visiting a hot spring to soak away your sore muscles and heat up your freezing bones! Luckily, there are several Bozeman hot springs to choose from, each with their own unique vibe and winter experience.
Whether you’re on vacation, or a local searching for a new favorite, check out some of our favorite Bozeman hot springs below:
Bozeman Hot Springs
Bozeman Hot Springs is the closest hot springs to the city, located west of town in Four Corners, MT. It’s just a 15-minute drive west from town! Hours vary day by day during the winter months, so make sure to check out their calendar for opening times. On select evenings, they will host local bands for live music while you soak in these historic Bozeman Hot Springs.
Bozeman Hot Springs is known for its calming outdoor ambiance among the outdoor pools, colorful lights, and gorgeous landscaped outdoor space. With twelve pools to choose from (indoor and outdoor), all ranging in temperature, there’s a perfect pool for every visitor.
There are also wet and dry saunas available, as well as a fitness center and even a campground! Admission is $10 for adults.
You Might Also Like: The Springs Mountain Resort in Idaho City
Norris Hot Springs
Norris Hot Springs is located in Norris, Montana, about a 45-minute drive west of Bozeman. Right off the Montana State Route 84, this natural hot spring has a history all the way back to the 1860s. Starting as a personal makeshift escape for local miners, they used fir planks to line the pool’s surface, creating the 4-foot deep pool that’s still present today.
Norris hot springs bring a unique vibe, popular among ski bums and locals for its chill, no-fuss vibe. The water averages around 120 degrees at the source but cools to a comfortable 100 in summer and 106 in winter, with continually spraying cold water hoses for a quick refresh if you get too warm.
Today, there is live music under the geodesic dome, and visitors can experience these “Waters of the Gods” while enjoying refreshments like pizza and beer poolside.
Chico Hot Springs
Founded in 1900, Chico Hot Springs is more than just a hot spring – it’s a lodge, a spa, a fine-dining destination, and a place to start many adventurous activities around Bozeman!
It has a rich history of serving the surrounding area as well as the Yellowstone region – make sure to check out its full history (with photos!) here.
Located in Yellowstone National Park, the Boiling River is a 1.5-hour drive away from Bozeman, making it the farthest natural hot springs from the city. It’s worth a trip out here though – nothing beats sitting in a steaming hot river in the middle of nature!
Yellowstone Winter Trip Tip: It’s essential that you are prepared. This is a natural geothermal hot spring (think Grand Prismatic in Yellowstone) that mixes with the Gardner River, meaning that boiling hot water and freezing cold water is mixing together at high speeds.
Make it easier on yourself and plan to wear water shoes to navigate these ever-changing water temperatures during your visit to the Boiling River in Yellowstone. Also bring super warm clothes for the walk in and out.
Take Some Bozeman Nordic Skiing Trails
Another popular Bozeman winter activity is going cross-country skiing (also called Nordic skiing) on a bluebird day. There are many cross-country ski trails to take around Bozeman, ranging from beginner courses to more advanced ones in the Sunset Hills.
Hyalite Canyon and the Bridger Creek Golf Course have great routes for beginnings, and the Highland Glen Nordic Ski Trails and Bozeman Creek/Sourdough Canyon provide intermediate to advanced routes.
Make sure to check out the Bridger Ski Foundation Grooming Report for updated information on the conditions of each trail. The BSF is a non-profit skiing community that maintains and supports trails in the area!
You can also opt to visit two Nordic ski resorts around Bozeman, for a little more options and a lot of space to choose your own trails. The Crosscut Mountain Sports Center (formerly The Bohart Ranch Cross Country Ski Center) (16621 Bridger Canyon Road, Bozeman, MT 59715) has trails for recreational AND competitive skiers.
Just south of town near Big Sky, Montana is Lone Mountain Ranch that offers a wide variety of groomed trails (53 miles to be exact!), as well as accommodations on-site to make the most of a winter weekend near Bozeman.
See The Downtown City Lights
Every holiday season, Bozeman will dress up its downtown Main Street with a magical holiday display that can’t be missed! Lamp posts are adorned with lighted garlands, businesses decorate their windows, and people bustle about with their Christmas gifts in hand.
Each intersection has a light feature overhead, playfully named by locals as “the spiders” or “the octopus” (see what we mean below!). The four main intersections each have a different color, making for quite a festive drive as you go down Main street.
Have a little more time on your hands? Take a walk in Downtown Bozeman from end to end, starting at the Gallatin History Museum to Soroptomist Park for decorated trees on either end, plenty of window shopping, and hot cocoa sipping!
Indoor Bozeman Winter Activity: Stay Warm In a Museum
Not ready to face the elements in Bozeman during winter? Luckily, the city has plenty of indoor options to keep you busy (and warm!) during your stay. Here are some of the best museums to explore in Bozeman for a cozy day inside:
Museum of the Rockies
The Museum of the Rockies is popularly known for its dinosaur and paleontological collections, but there’s so much more on display! From the Taylor Planetarium with daily shows to ever-rotating fresh exhibits, you’ll easily spend an entire morning learning new things here.
Admission – $14.50 per adult
American and Computer And Robotics Museum
Interested in the evolution of computers and how they’ve shaped our history and culture? The American and Computer & Robotics Museum takes you on a journey through the information age, with old computers, robots and more on display!
Admission – $7.50 per adult
Gallatin History Museum
Dedicated to preserving the history of Southwest Montana, the Gallatin History Museum will share the unique stories of people and events that shaped Bozeman and the surrounding area to what it is today. You can also browse their enormous photo collection, and take a reproduction of one home!
Admission – $7.50 per adult
Emerson Cultural Center
The Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture is a living, breathing building with exhibits, events, and ways to get involved in the Bozeman community.
A great way to spend a winter day indoors is checking their calendar for events, which range from theater shows, indoor farmer’s markets, and fun courses in cooking, artwork, and more!
Admission varies with events, classes, and exhibits. Check out the Emerson Cultural Center website for more details.
The Ellen Theatre, Bozeman, Montana
Open in 1919, the Ellen Theater is a beautifully preserved historic building in downtown Bozeman. From local films, theater productions, and live shows, The Ellen is dedicated to sharing the best of Bozeman’s performing arts. Find the event calendar here and plan to catch a show when you’re in town!
Other Winter Activities To Do Near Bozeman, Montana
Get Cozy at local Bozeman Coffee Shops
Nothing beats sipping a good cup of coffee and reading a book in Bozeman in the winter! Try heading out to get a drink at Treeline Coffee, International Coffee Traders, or Cafe M.
Grab a Deliciously Big Breakfast Or Lunch
Bozeman is home to some of the most delicious restaurants around! Check out the Nova Cafe, The Coffee Pot, or Jam! for breakfast. For lunch and dinner, we suggest trying out The Squire House, Montana Ale Works, and Naked Noodle.
Go Dog Sledding Near Big Sky, Montana
Check out Spirit of the North Sled Dog Adventures for a once-in-a-lifetime experience! If you’re curious about what to expect on a trip, read our similar post about dog sledding in Banff National Park, which shares what to wear and more.
Also, it’s a little farther of a drive, but consider checking out Yellowstone Dog Sled Adventures for a fun experience in West Yellowstone.
Take A Bozeman Winter Sleigh Ridge
The Sunrise Pack Station offers winter sleigh rides starting at just $10 per person! Additionally, the 320 Ranch offers an entire sleigh ride experience, all inclusive with a ride to a mountain campsite for dinner, drinks, and stories around the campfire, with a cup of hot cocoa for the ride back, too!