South Central Montana Walks

Photo by Jim Chapman

Learn wilderness basic training, lose the trail, or explore Big Sky

Please pay attention to Early and Late Seasons and their sign-up dates

South Central Montana


Monday, May 6 (Early Season)

Wilderness Steward Basic Training

Location: Bozeman
Miles/Difficulty: 1 mile/Easy
Leaders: Roxanna McLaughlin and Tori Dille

Learn the basics of being a Wilderness Steward. Any hiking will be to visit various scenarios as we learn by doing.

Register for this Walk



Saturday, May 11 (Early Season)

Trail Crew Basic Training

Location: Bozeman
Miles/Difficulty: 4 miles/Moderate
Leaders: Dean Center and Heidi Genito

This course will prepare participants for trail maintenance activities. You will learn work safety principles, use of the tools required for work in Wilderness, and the basics of trail maintenance.

Register for this Walk



Saturday, June 8th (Previously Friday, May 17)

Moose Creek Campground Stewardship

Location: Bozeman
Miles/Difficulty: 2 miles/Easy
Leaders: Karen Williams and Heidi Anderson

REMINDER: This date has been updated and is different than the date listed in the Discover Wild Montana trail book. This is a stewardship project focused on the Moose Creek campground. We are partnering with the Gallatin Invasive Species Alliance to pull weeds.

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Friday, June 7 (Early Season)

North Fork of Bear Creek Wildflower Saunter 

Location: Gardiner
Miles/Difficulty: 8 miles/Strenuous
Leaders: Heidi Anderson and Jane Olson

The hike will climb up through fields of balsamroot and geranium wildflower meadows nestled in a Douglas fir forest.

Register for Hike



Friday, June 14 (Early Season)

Dailey Creek to Teepee Creek 

Location: Gallatin Gateway
Miles/Difficulty: 6 miles/Moderate
Leaders: Patti Steinmuller and Donna Murphrey

Beginning hikers and families will enjoy this pleasant walk through sagebrush meadows with panoramic views of the Gallatin and Madison mountain ranges.

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Saturday, June 15 (Early Season)

Porcupine Creek 

Location: Big Sky
Miles/Difficulty: 6.5 miles/Moderate
Leaders: Stewart Mohr and Jeanette Hall

From the Porcupine Creek trailhead south of Big Sky, we'll proceed uphill through open grassland towards our high point, before entering woods and eventually enjoying great views towards Big Sky to the west.

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Saturday, June 29 (Early Season)

Spanish Peaks Foothills

Location: Bozeman
Miles/Difficulty: 9 miles/Strenuous
Leaders: John Parker and Patty Bartholomew

This slow-paced hike will traverse the foothills between the North and South Forks of Spanish Creek, with the primary goal of observing and listening for birds.

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Saturday, June 29 (Early Season)

Emerald Lake: Wilderness Ethics & LNT

Location: Hyalite Canyon
Miles/Difficulty: 9 miles/Strenuous
Leaders: Tory Dille and Roxanna McGlaughlin

Join a Leave No Trace educator and Madison-Gallatin Chapter Stewardship Committee member on a scenic and informational hike in Hyalite Canyon.

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Thursday, July 11 (Early Season)

Specimen Creek (Hike Full)

Location: Big Sky
Miles/Difficulty: 4 miles/Moderate
Leaders: Catherine Nelson and Bob Bayley

This trail follows Specimen Creek through deep forest, across multiple bridges, and through meadows frequented by elk and moose.

Register for Waitlist



Saturday, July 13 (Early Season)

Dailey Creek to Tepee Creek 

Location: Big Sky
Miles/Difficulty: 7.5 miles/ Moderately Strenuous
Leaders: Roger Jenkins and Linda Grimm

Forget the trail! Instead of following the usual route, we'll climb a bit above the maintained crossover trail, skirting woods and enjoying little-visited meadows awash in summer wildflowers.

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Saturday, July 13 (Early Season)

Twin Lakes Trail Run

Location: Big Timber
Miles/Difficulty: 8 miles/Strenuous
Leaders: Anthony Pavkovich and Zach Altman

Join MWA for a trail run in the Crazy Mountains! Beginning at Half Moon Campground, we'll travel together up Big Timber Creek towards Twin Lakes.

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Sunday, July 21 (Early Season)

Windy Pass and Gallatin Crest (Hike Full)

Location: Big Sky
Miles/Difficulty: 7 miles/Strenuous
Leaders: Tom Ross and Lisa Lenard

We'll hike through mature forest to alpine meadows and abundant wildflowers in the iconic Hyalite Porcupine Buffalo Horn Wilderness Study Area. After joining the Crest Trail, we'll continue Inspiration Point to enjoy wonderful 360 views at nearly 10,000'.

Register for Waitlist



Sunday, August 11 (Late Season)

Crater Lake on the Gallatin Crest (Hike Full)

Location: Big Sky
Miles/Difficulty: 9 miles/Extremely Strenuous
Leaders: Tom Ross and Lisa Lenard

From an unmarked trailhead, we'll follow South Fork Swan Creek to the Gallatin Crest Trail and then on to Crater Lake, nestled along the crest with beautiful views of the Hyalite Porcupine Buffalo Horn WSA. Most of this route is not maintained and may require some scrambling.

Register for waitlist



Saturday, August 31 (Late Season)

Ramshorn Peak 

Location: Ramshorn Peak
Miles/Difficulty: 8.5 miles/Extremely Strenuous
Leaders: Colleen Ferris and Erica Lighthiser

Join us on a hike to Ramshorn Peak, a prominent peak along the crest of the Gallatin Range. It stands tall above Tom Miner Basin near Yellowstone National Park, offering views of southwest Montana and into Wyoming.

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Saturday, September 14 (Late Season)

Cottonwood Lake (Hike Full)

Location: Clyde Park
Miles/Difficulty: 11 miles/Extremely Strenuous
Leaders: Emily Cleveland and Erica Lighthiser

Follow Cottonwood Creek to a beautiful alpine lake nestled in a rugged cirque in the Crazy Mountains. A mixed trail will reveal wildflowers, great views, and perhaps a connection to this landscape's history of vision quests.

Register for waitlist



Saturday, September 28 (Late Season)

Hyalite Viewpoint

Location: Bozeman
Miles/Difficulty: 5 miles/Strenuous
Leaders: David G. Ball and Teri Ball

This out-and-back hike is on trail or through open meadows to a rocky outcrop with expansive views of Hyalite Reservoir and mountains like Blackmore, The Mummy, and Flanders.

Register for this Walk