Part of the well known Greater Yellowstone Area, Gallatin National Forest spreads across a whopping 1.8 million acres. It presents North America at its most beautiful, and offers fun activities like hiking, scenic driving, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, skiing and climbing. BBOnline is happy to show you around and help you have a good time.
Gallatin National Forest
10 E. Babcock Avenue
Bozeman, Montana 59771
In 1864, a gold seeker named W.E. Atchison had this to say about these highlands: "Traveled through some of the most beautiful mountain scenery of which it is possible for man to conceive. It was beautiful rather than sublime, those mighty hills as they rise in gentle slopes away up toward the heavens covered with forests of pine and the verdure of summer."
The beauty of Gallatin National Forest is sure to lure you from the cozy confines of your Emigrant Bed and Breakfast.
Hikers and cyclists can enjoy 2,290 miles of trails ranging from 5,000 feet to 10,000 feet in elevation. You'll hike through meadows, canyons and a petrified forest. You'll see waterfalls, mountains, magnificent rocky outcrops, mountain streams and lakes. A couple of the popular hikes in the Gallatin National Forest are Palisade Falls National Recreation Trail and Bozeman Creek Trail to Bear Lakes Trail. The former is a 0.6-mile easy hike with interpretative stations. The trail winds through a forest of aspen, pine, spruce and fir. The 98-foot-tall Palisade Falls form a creek at the bottom. The moderate-level Bozeman Creek trail spans 12 miles and offers wonderful wildflower displays in season. You may even see some wildlife such as elk and Canada lynx. Cyclists can try the moderate 10-mile ride to Hyalite Reservoir and cross the dam.
Whitewater Rafting in Gallatin National Forest
Whitewater enthusiasts looking for the ultimate thrill will enjoy paddling the Gallatin River, one of the finest rafting destinations in the west. The Yellowstone and Madison rivers are also great for whitewater rafting. While you can run the Yellowstone any time of the year, the Gallatin is at its best in May and June, and the Madison during spring and summer. When the snows on the mountains melt in summer, the excitement on these rivers hits the peak. Floaters can paddle nine miles at the south end of Beartrap Canyon. Local guides can take you whitewater rafting on the dangerous 'Kitchen Sink' Class IV rapid.
Beartooth Scenic Byway
This 68-mile drive climbs from dense forest to a windy alpine tundra dotted with mountain lakes. It'll take you three hours to fully experience the byway and its many beauties. The terrain is dramatic and rugged, and wildlife sightings are common. More than 300 species of wildlife including the Grizzly Bear live in the Gallatin National Forest. The byway is a winter recreation hot spot, offering opportunities for skiing and snowmobiling.
Hyalite Canyon with its high peaks, waterfalls and steep ridges is a famous venue for natural ice climbing. The canyon is packed with more than 140 ice climbing routes. Some climbers consider Winter Dance among the top 10 ice climbing destinations in the world. It's an experience you can't afford to miss during your stay at a comfortable Emigrant Inn.