Great Bozeman Day Hikes for Families with Small Children

June 29th, 2015 by

Bozeman Hiking with Small Children

Here in the Gallatin Valley, we are lucky to be surrounded by dozens of incredible hiking trails for every skill level. Now that summer is here and the kids are out of school, it is a great time to hit the trails and spend some quality time with your family outdoors. Many families around Bozeman have small children, so it is important to know which hikes offer the best experience, while also being easy and short for the little ones. Give one (or all) of these hikes a try this summer:

The “M”

Short and sweet, the 1.5-mile trail up the “M” near Bridger Canyon offers incredible views and is easily hiked in about an hour (a little more if your kiddos are moving slow and taking time to explore). With its switchbacks, even the smallest child will have no problem with this hike. This local favorite offers views of Bozeman and the Gallatin Range. There will be no shortage of fun on this hike.

Hyalite Lake and Palisade Falls

You need to take a little drive to get to this trailhead, but it is definitely worth it. Take 19th Street in Bozeman south to the Hyalite turnoff. Once at the Hyalite Reservoir, follow the road around to the Palisade Falls trailhead. Just over a half of a mile long, this hike immerses you in nature and offers a spectacular outdoor experience for kids of any age. After about 20 minutes, you will reach the cascading 80-foot Palisade waterfall. After your short hike, spend the day at Hyalite Lake, relax on the water, and BBQ at one of the many campsites. This hike offers the most for families with small children and will give you a fun day full of summer memories.

Drinking Horse with Views of Bridger Canyon

If you liked the “M” and want something a little longer, but at just about the same skill-level, your children will love the Drinking Horse hike. The trailhead is located across the street from the “M” hike near Bridger Canyon. With two ways up the trail, you can choose the perfect hike for your family. This hike is a 2.1-mile loop that takes you to the top of a beautiful foothill of the Bridger Mountains. You will have views into the Bridger Canyon, and also views of the city of Bozeman. Take a picnic – the top is shaded with beautiful trees and benches and offers your family the perfect day hike for a weekend outside.

A Bit Further Away: Ousel Falls

Getting to this trailhead requires a short drive, but if you want a nice day hike for your small children, this one is perfect. Ousel Falls is a 1.7-mile trail that takes you up to a beautiful waterfall near Big Sky, MT. You will be out of the city, so you will be able to feel like you hiked a lot further than you actually did. Take in the beauty of the mountains and let your kids enjoy the natural surroundings of this perfect family hike.