No Bozeman visit is complete without a hike.
Bozeman and the surrounding areas boast many hiking trails of varying difficulty levels. For visitors and residents alike, finding the right trail is important. Too hard and you will be discouraged from your next outing. Too easy and you will finish feeling under-challenged. One of our favorites is Drinking Horse Mountain Trail.
The intermittent shade from the many trees keeps me from getting heat stroke and the trail itself is challenging enough to register on any app as a good amount of exercise. There are plenty of resting spots along the way and the view gets better and better the higher you climb.
The most distinguishing feature of Drinking Horse is the bifurcated summit. You can literally enjoy two completely different views. One side captures the peaceful valley leading up to Bridger Bowl Ski Area and the other, the town of Bozeman. And to top it off, you’ll have a unique vantage point of one of our other favorite hikes, the M trail.
Hikers have teamed up to construct tree tipis and other structures at the top which add both mystery and reward to the excursion. It would be interesting to have a count of how many selfies have been taken on this ridge, countless, I’m sure!
Coming and going you will pass over one of the most distinctive and picturesque bridges in the valley – the Kevin Mundy Memorial Bridge, memorializing a man lost too young to a tragic mountain accident. Bridger Creek runs below. Don’t rush. Take your time. Maybe even sit awhile on the expansive bench. You won’t regret it. If the hike doesn’t replenish your spirit, the bridge most certainly will.
Drinking Horse Mountain Trail is a 2.1-mile loop trail located near Bozeman, that features beautiful wildflowers and is rated as moderate – the left side is steeper with switchbacks with the right side being longer but less steep so approach according to your preferred hiking style. The trail is best used from May until September to avoid slippery slopes, but outdoor enthusiasts, including runners, will use it year-round.
Follow MT-86 N/Bridger Canyon Dr for 2.6 mi to Drinking Horse Mountain Trailhead. Turn right into the parking lot.
- Water and more water (maybe a beer to celebrate at the summit!)
- Sunscreen and bug spray depending on the season
- Hats or visors
- Reliable hiking shoes
- Camera for top of the hill selfies
- Hiking sticks or trekking poles
The opportunities for your next Montana adventure are unlimited and Cherry Creek Guest House is ready to serve as your home away.