Winter has arrived to the Rocky Mountains (finally!) and all the white fluffy goodness is most likely here to stay for the next 4-5 months. While the ski-bums are already making first tracks down the nearest slope, there are other options for everyone else looking for something new and different to do during the winter months.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best winter activities in Bozeman, Montana. These include activities in Bozeman proper, as well as some that would involve a day trip and are within a few hours of Bozeman. If you happen to be in Big Sky, and are looking for the best restaurants in Big Sky, don’t miss the list we’ve created.
If you’re taking little ones, be sure to check out our guide to baby snowsuits, you’ll want to keep them warm! Enjoy, and let us know in the comments your thoughts on these activities. Looking for year-round activities in Bozeman? Check out this article on top things to do in Bozeman.
Best Winter Activities in Bozeman
1. Hot Springs
A relaxing soak in hot springs feels amazing any time of the year, but it is especially nice in the winter when it warms your body to the core. Plus, if you’ve done any of the other physical activities on this list, your muscles will be especially grateful to you! A few of our favorite local hot springs are Bozeman Hot Springs, Norris Hot Springs, and Chico Hot Springs. All of these hot springs are family friendly and worth the trip!
2. Sleigh Rides
Going on a horse-drawn sleigh ride has been on my bucket list for years. Between the classic holiday song, the charm and coziness of being all bundled up in an open sleigh, and the beauty of snow-covered hills, Sunrise Pack Station delivers all that and more. Bodhi Farms is another beautiful location in the valley that now offers horse drawn sleigh rides around their beautiful property. Included in each ride are hot beverages and a campfire to warm your hands on. Lone Mountain Ranch offers a very unique evening that starts with a horse drawn sleigh ride to a rustic cabin for dinner and a show.
Dogsledding is another bucket list activity for many people. The experience of being in the wilderness and being pulled by a pack of dogs is unlike any other. Yellowstone Dogsledding Adventures offers the experience of a lifetime. Their adventures let you live out your very own Call of the Wild fantasy, all atop perfectly white and pillowy snow. They are located about an hour and a half outside of Bozeman, so plan for a full day out for this one. Don’t miss one of our personal favorite winter activities in Bozeman!
4. Downhill Skiing/Snowboarding
This is the most popular winter activity, and for good reason. With two world-class ski hills just outside of Bozeman, there are thousands of acres of terrain to play on and then hit the Apres Ski scene afterward. If you need gear, both Bridger Bowl Ski Area and Big Sky Resort have on-site gear shops to get you set up.
Snowshoeing is basically hiking on snow. Snowshoes allow you to effortlessly walk across deep and powdery snow, that otherwise you would sink into with normal snow boots. It can be a bit tricky at first, but once you get your footing you’ll realize you can go anywhere on your snowshoes. For places to explore on snowshoes, check out any of the trails that are highly frequented during the summer months. These will have signage to make sure you don’t get lost in all the white powder. AllTrails is a great resource for local Bozeman trails.
6. Ice Skating
Bozeman has a good number of Ice Skating Rinks which means there are various options. For indoor ice skating, Gallatin Ice has both organized and recreational ice skating options, as well as the option to rent gear on site. If you have your own gear and want to skate outside, the city of Bozeman builds outdoor rinks at Beall Park, Bogert Park, and Southside Park. Check the City of Bozeman’s website for updates and details, as these rinks are weather permitting. Bodhi Farms, south of town on Cottonwood, also has an outdoor ice skating rink that is open to the public.
7. Winter Farmer’s Market
Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you can’t get fresh, local produce and other goodies all winter long. Vendors from farmers, ranchers, bakers, and local makers come together most Saturdays in the winter to present their weekly offerings. There is often live music and other fun surprises. Check out the Bozeman Winter Market website for all the specifics.
8. Snowmobile Tour
So you want to get out and explore the mountains but don’t want to put on skis or a snowboard? With a snowmobile tour, you’ll get to experience all the beauty mother nature has to offer, from the comfort of a snowmobile. Be sure to wear a helmet, as these machines go fast! Canyon Adventures in Big Sky offers full day and half day trips with expert guides in some of the most breathtaking scenery in the West.
9. Nordic/Cross-country Skiing
Cross-country Skiing is one of the best-kept secrets in the outdoor sports world. It’s fun, relatively easy to learn, isn’t too expensive to do, and will get you outdoors to enjoy the natural beauty of winter. All of that plus it is a killer workout. Bozeman has an incredible array of groomed nordic trails all throughout the valley. Some are free to use and some charge a small fee. Some of the trails in no particular order are: Crosscut Mountain Sports Center, Bridger Creek Golf Course, Sourdough Canyon, Hyalite Canyon, Sunset Hills, and the Gallatin Regional Park. With so many options and the ease of popping on a pair of skis, this is by far one of the best winter activities in Bozeman.
10. Make Fondue
Ok, technically you can do this anytime, and anywhere, but cold winter nights definitely call for the warming comfort of ooey-gooey melted cheese. Melted chocolate is also yummy, paired with delicious bread or fruit to dip in it. That still makes it one of our favorite winter activities in Bozeman. (or anywhere!) For some fun and unique recipes, check out our post on fondue recipes. If you have yet to acquire a fondue pot for these recipes, check out our guide to fondue pots.