Visiting Bozeman in winter is the perfect destination for those looking to enjoy a picturesque winter wonderland.
With heaps of excursions to embark on, delicious food, and epic views of the nearby snowy mountains, Bozeman is an ideal destination for those looking to get away to Montana this winter.
Today’s guide is written by Abby from Trekking Pices, who lives in the USA and has taken plenty of trips to Bozeman over the years.
First, she’ll cover some need-to-know basics, before diving deep into all the best things to do and day trips to take.
She’ll then recommend some great places to stay and answer a few FAQ’s.
Where is Bozeman in Montana
Bozeman is located in southwestern Montana in Gallatin County.
The charming city of Bozeman is surrounded by the beautiful Rocky Mountains and is roughly 1 hour and 30 minutes southeast of the state capital Helena.
Best things to do in Bozeman in winter: 20 activities
Embark on one of the many winter hikes in Bozeman
Winter hiking in Bozeman is the perfect activity to get outside, enjoy the snowy weather, and take in breathtaking views.
It offers a unique perspective of Bozeman and it is a great chance to get some exercise while exploring the Montana wilderness.
We recommend checking out the Drinking Horse Mountain Trail for a truly beautiful hike in the Bozeman area.
This trail is a roughly 2-mile loop and is considered to be a moderately challenging hike.
Throughout this hike, you will gain terrific views of forested areas and mountains in the distance.
This trail is an incredible hike to embark on at any time of the year but it is especially beautiful when visiting Bozeman in winter due to the views of trees covered in snow and white-capped mountains.
If you’re looking for more hikes in the area, then here’s a few others to consider:
- Sourdough Canyon Trail: Located in the Hyalite Canyon Recreation Area, this trail offers a serene winter hiking experience through a beautiful forested area.
It’s a great choice for those seeking a peaceful winter walk.
- Bridger Canyon Drive and M Trail: If you’re looking for a less strenuous winter hike, you can hike or snowshoe up Bridger Canyon Drive to the base of the M Trail.
The M Trail is a popular local hike that offers panoramic views of the Gallatin Valley.
- Hyalite Creek Trail: Hyalite Canyon has several hiking options, including the Hyalite Creek Trail. While the full trail can be quite challenging in winter, you can explore the lower sections for a more moderate hike.
The frozen waterfalls in the canyon are particularly stunning in the winter.
Soak into the Bozeman Hot Springs
Relaxing at a hot spring in Montana is the perfect winter activity for those looking to warm up from the chilly temperatures whilst also taking in the stunning epic snowy landscape.
Whether you want to soak in the warm water at Chico Hot Springs – one of Montana’s most popular hot springs – or you would rather explore one of Montana’s hidden gems, a visit to at least one of the hot springs near Bozeman must be on your Montana bucket list during your winter getaway.
Whiz down the ski slopes
Whether you are a beginner or an expert, going skiing or snowboarding in Montana is one of the best ways to spend time outdoors appreciating the wintery conditions.
We recommend heading to Big Sky Resort, located about 1 hour southwest of Bozeman.
This resort is one of the best resorts to ski and snowboard in the United States and the perfect place to take in snowy views and embark on an unforgettable adventure.
If you’re looking for some a little closer, then Bridger Bowl is the best option.
It’s a locally owned, nonprofit ski resort known for its challenging terrain and abundant snowfall.
Take on an ice-climbing challenge
For a winter adventure, you won’t forget, you must check out ice climbing.
This unique activity is when you use unique tools to climb frozen waterfalls or icy cliffs.
It’s an excellent opportunity to get some exercise in and a great way to create unforgettable memories.
I’d recommend checking out Montana Alpine Guides to book this experience.
They offer a variety of guided climbing trips, including ice climbing adventures in Hyalite Canyon and other nearby locations.
They also cater to climbers of all skill levels and provide instruction and equipment rental if needed.
Try your luck at winter fly fishing
Winter fly fishing is another popular activity to participate in for those visiting Montana in winter.
Be sure to head to the Yellowstone, Gallatin, or Madison Rivers for a great fly fishing experience where you can catch endless trout.
But, don’t forget to check the local regulations, just in case you need to obtain any necessary permits or licenses!
Taste local flavours at countless restaurants
Bozeman is booming with a variety of restaurants.
Tasting local Bozeman dishes is not only a great way to fulfil your appetite but it’s also a great way to escape the chilly winter temperatures and cosy up by a roaring fire for a few hours.
We recommend checking out Roost Fried Chicken for its tasty fried chicken and Southern comfort food, but there are plenty of great options.
Here are a few more to consider:
- Five on Black
Glide across the ice-rink
A classic winter activity to enjoy while you’re in Bozeman during winter is ice skating.
It’s always a fun thing to do when you’re visiting a snowy location like this, and it also allows you to burn off some energy.
Plus, you’re never too old for ice skating, making it a great activity for all the family.
Get involved with the winter festivals and celebrations
Bozeman offers a handful of winter festivals and celebrations for visitors and locals alike to enjoy.
Some of these events include the Bozeman Ice Festival and the Bozeman Christmas Stroll.
The Bozeman Ice Festival celebrates ice climbing and winter outdoor activities.
It typically takes place in December and attracts ice climbers, outdoor enthusiasts, and spectators from around the region.
You’ll find a lot going on at this event, including climbing competitions, film screenings and child-friendly activities.
Bozeman Christmas Stroll is a beloved tradition that brings the community together to celebrate the holiday season.
Although what’s on offer varies depending on the year, you’ll typically find a parade, lighting of the Christmas tree, and activities such as horse-drawn carriage rides and visits to Santa Claus.
This is a great way to experience the city of Bozeman and celebrate the holiday season with locals!
Check out the nearby national parks
Montana is known for having two of the most breathtaking national parks, Yellowstone and Glacier.
One of the best excursions to embark on is taking a road trip to see one – or both – of these parks!
This is a great way to truly appreciate the Montana landscape and it’s also an awesome opportunity to potentially see some wildlife native to the state.
We recommend checking out the Full Day Best of Yellowstone National Park Tour From Bozeman.
This is an awesome tour that will take you from Bozeman to Yellowstone, with an excellent guide that will take you to all of the most famous sites and landmarks.
This is the perfect option for those looking to kick back and take in the views without having to hop behind the wheel of a car and navigate yourself around the park.
Here are two alternative options to consider:
Whichever you choose, you’ll no doubt have an excellent time at this unmissable spot!
Sip on some craft beers
When visiting Bozeman during winter, exploring its craft beer scene is a must-do!
At least, it is if you like beer!
Whether you prefer sipping on a stout, a spiced winter ale, or a traditional IPA, the craft beer scene in Bozeman is robust and a great way to taste the local flavours.
- Bozeman Brewing Company: This local brewery offers a variety of craft beers, including popular selections like the Bozone Amber Ale and the Hopzone IPA. Their cozy taproom is a great place to enjoy a pint or take a brewery tour.
- Mountains Walking Brewery: This brewery combines craft beer with delicious food options, offering a gastropub-style experience. They often have a variety of unique and flavorful beers on tap.
- Bridger Brewing: Bridger Brewing features a diverse menu of craft beers, including gluten-free options. They also serve delicious pizzas, making it a great spot for combining great beer with tasty food.
Learn something new at The American Computer and Robotics Museum
Whether you are a tech enthusiast or just simply curious about the evolution of computers and robotics, this museum is fascinating and a great place to visit for those exploring Bozeman for the first time.
The American Computer and Robotics Museum is full of exciting exhibits and displays that show the transformation of computers and robotics over the years, making it a must-visit spot for those looking to learn something new.
Take a snowshoeing trek
Another awesome Bozeman winter activity is to go snowshoeing.
Whether you are a beginner or expert, Bozeman offers a wide array of terrain to participate in snowshoeing.
This is a fun way to get outside and discover some of Montana’s most breathtaking views while trying out an exciting winter sport.
One of the best snowshoeing trails near Bozeman is the Champagne Falls trail.
This is a moderately challenging 7-mile out-and-back trek with beautiful forest and mountain views.
For those looking to go on a snowshoeing tour, be sure to check out the Private Full-Day Yellowstone Snowshoe Safari From Bozeman.
This tour is a fantastic excursion for those looking to explore some truly unbelievable views while trekking around on snowshoes with a local guide in Yellowstone National Park.
Explore the backcountry by cross-country skiing
Cross Country Skiing is a great winter sport to try for those looking to explore Montana’s hidden gems and backcountry territory.
But, it’s no mean feat.
If you’re heading out on this adventure, be sure to pick up some good quality equipment and check the weather conditions in advance, as these two things make all the difference to the difficulty levels!
Visit The Museum of the Rockies
For those intrigued by the history and culture of the Northern Rocky Mountains, the Museum of the Rockies is the place to visit.
With a variety of unique displays, from dinosaur fossils to intricate sculptures by artists, and even an impressive planetarium this museum offers an outstanding experience to anyone looking to learn something new about this part of the United States.
Shop at the local Bozeman Winter Farmers Market
The Bozeman Winter Farmers’ Market is a seasonal market that offers an opportunity for residents and visitors to purchase locally produced goods and products during the winter months.
This market typically runs from late fall to early spring, every Saturday, when many outdoor farmers’ markets are not in operation due to the colder weather.
You’ll find it in the Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture, which is an indoor venue located in downtown Bozeman at 111 South Grand Avenue.
Whether you’re looking for fresh produce, locally grown and raised meats, dairy products, baked goods, artisanal cheeses, honey, jams, handmade crafts, jewellery, or something else, you’ll find it here.
From time to time, you’ll also find there is live music and entertainment on as well.
Marve at the bears at the Montana Grizzly Encounter
Montana Grizzly Encounter is a wildlife sanctuary and educational facility and it’s an absolute must-visit if you’re heading to Bozeman – no matter what the time of year.
It’s dedicated to the conservation and care of grizzly bears, which are native to North America and often face threats in the wild due to habitat loss and human-wildlife conflicts.
Visitors to Montana Grizzly Encounter have the chance to observe grizzly bears up close from a safe viewing area which is such a rare and incredible opportunity.
Splash the cash and go shopping
The city of Bozeman is full of both big-name brands and boutique shops, making it the perfect destination to go shopping.
We recommend heading to downtown Bozeman to do your shopping because it’s the perfect place to visit countless shops within walking distance
However, you could also head to Gallatin Valley Mall if you’re looking for something a little bigger.
Relax and rejuvenate at a spa
Another fantastic option for those looking for something fun to do in the Bozeman area during the winter is to rejuvenate at a spa.
This is an incredible way to escape the cold weather and relax.
We recommend checking out the Canyon River Spa & Salon for a truly memorable experience.
There are countless different wellness treatments and massage options to pick from, however, the couples massage and hydra-facial are certainly two to check out.
This is a perfect activity for those looking to unwind and destress while on vacation.
Help out at the Alpaca and Llama farm
Alpacas of Montana is a unique textile company situated in the picturesque surroundings of Bozeman.
And if you love animals, you’re going to love it here.
During you’ll visit, you’ll get a farm tour and be flooded with knowledge by one of the lovely guides here.
You’ll then be able to get up close and personal with the Llamas and Alpacas by feeding, walking and potentially even bathing them.
This small business is a wonderful one to contribute to and well worth a visit while you’re in the area.
Check prices: Alpaca and Llama Farm Tour
Take a special trip to see the Yellowstone Wolves
If you really want to push the boat out and make your trip here special, then there is only one thing to do – a 4-day adventure in search of wolves in the snow.
It’s also likely that you’ll see plenty of other wildlife, but the wolves are the primary focus.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime activity that is worth every penny and one that people from all over the world come here to see.
Check prices: Yellowstone Wolves and Winter Tour
Best day trips from Bozeman in Montana to do in winter
The state of Montana is full of gorgeous scenery, endless outdoor excursions, and incredible attractions.
Whether you would like to explore a national park, a hot spring, or a small town nearby, going on a day trip from Bozeman in winter is the perfect opportunity to explore Montana and appreciate all that the state has to offer.
Head to Paradise Valley
Head south of Bozeman to Paradise Valley, known for its scenic beauty and the Yellowstone River.
Plus, you can enjoy fly-fishing, hot springs, and stunning mountain views along the way.
Explore Virginia City and Nevada City
These two historic mining towns, located not far from Bozeman, offer a glimpse into Montana’s past.
You can explore preserved buildings, take a ride on a historic train, and learn about the Gold Rush era.
Enjoy Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is one of the most famous parks in the United States and is only a 1 hour and 20 minute drive from the city of Bozeman.
This is a great day trip to embark on for those looking to appreciate the Montana wilderness, mountains, and wildlife.
Take a trip to Lava Lake
Located in the Gallatin National Forest, this trailhead is about a 30-minute drive from Bozeman.
The hike takes you to the stunning Lava Lake, surrounded by the Spanish Peaks.
Helena is the state capital of Montana and a great destination to visit for those looking to explore different restaurants, bars, and shops.
The city of Helena is only 1 hour and 40 minutes from Bozeman, making it a great road trip for those looking to see more of Montana’s cities.
Enjoy the Norris Hot Springs
Located about an hour from Bozeman, Norris Hot Springs is a unique place to soak in natural mineral hot springs while listening to live music in a rustic setting.
Visit the charming city of Livingston
Livingston is a small city in Montana and one of the state’s best-hidden gems.
This is the perfect destination for those looking to escape the big city feel of Bozeman for a bit.
The small city of Livingston is full of incredible breweries and restaurants.
Plus, its location cannot be beaten, since it’s close to the Yellowstone River and Rocky Mountains.
Temperature and weather in Bozeman in winter
Bozeman, Montana, experiences cold winters with significant snowfall.
Winter in Bozeman typically runs from November through March.
Here’s a breakdown of the average temperatures and weather conditions by month during the winter in Bozeman:
- Average High Temperature: 41°F (5°C)
- Average Low Temperature: 19°F (-7°C)
- Snowfall: Light snowfall can occur, with an average of 5 inches (13 cm).
- Average High Temperature: 32°F (0°C)
- Average Low Temperature: 11°F (-12°C)
- Snowfall: Heavier snowfall begins, with an average of 10 inches (25 cm).
- Average High Temperature: 32°F (0°C)
- Average Low Temperature: 9°F (-13°C)
- Snowfall: January is typically one of the snowiest months, with an average of 10 inches (25 cm).
- Average High Temperature: 36°F (2°C)
- Average Low Temperature: 12°F (-11°C)
- Snowfall: Snow continues to accumulate, with an average of 8 inches (20 cm).
- Average High Temperature: 44°F (7°C)
- Average Low Temperature: 17°F (-8°C)
- Snowfall: Snowfall begins to taper off in March, with an average of 7 inches (18 cm).
Where to stay during winter in Bozeman
There are countless accommodation options to pick from in Bozeman.
Check out our top three recommendations below to help make your decision easier!
- Budget: Country Inn & Suites – This hotel is a great option for those looking for a budget-friendly stay in the area. Plus, it is right off of I-90 making it an awesome place to stay for those looking to do some day trips.
- Mid-range: SpringHill Suites – For those looking for an awesome mid-range hotel, this is a fabulous option due to its location and amenities. This hotel is just a few minutes from countless restaurants and stores, including REI.
- Luxury: Gallatin River Lodge – This hotel is the perfect option for those looking for a luxurious lodge experience in Montana. The aesthetic of this hotel is phenomenal and the dining room offers a delicious menu with incredible drink options.
Do you need snow tyres in Bozeman?
Snow tyres are not required to drive in Bozeman but they are very helpful and highly recommended so that you can easily and safely drive during snowy conditions throughout Montana.
Why is Bozeman Montana so popular?
Bozeman Montana is so popular due to its close proximity to the Rocky Mountains, endless outdoor activities you can embark on, gorgeous national parks within a short drive, and charming downtown area full of shops and restaurants.
Is Bozeman like Yellowstone?
The scenery and beauty of Bozeman is similar to Yellowstone but the way people act and dress is quite different.
What to wear in Bozeman in winter
When visiting Bozeman, Montana, in the winter, it’s essential to dress warmly and be prepared for cold temperatures and snowy conditions.
Here’s a guide on what to wear to stay comfortable and safe during a winter visit to Bozeman:
- Winter Jacket: A high-quality, insulated winter jacket is a must. Look for one that is waterproof or water-resistant to keep you dry in snowfall.
- Layers: Dress in layers to trap heat and allow for adjustments as needed. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep sweat away from your skin, add an insulating layer like fleece or down, and finish with a waterproof and windproof outer layer.
- Warm Clothing:
- Thermal or woollen long underwear to keep your legs warm.
- Thick sweaters, hoodies, or fleece jackets.
- Wool or synthetic socks to keep your feet warm and dry.
- Thermal or woollen gloves and a hat to protect your extremities.
- Snow Pants or Insulated Trousers: Insulated pants or snow pants are essential for outdoor activities, especially if you plan to ski, snowboard, or hike in the snow.
- Waterproof Boots: Invest in waterproof, insulated boots with good traction. Look for ones that keep your feet warm and dry in snowy and wet conditions.
- Gaiters: These are protective covers that go over your boots and lower legs to keep snow out, which can be especially useful for deep snow conditions.
- Scarf or Neck Gaiter: A scarf or neck gaiter can provide extra protection for your neck and face against the cold wind.
- Sunglasses and Sunscreen: Snow can reflect sunlight, which can be harsh on your eyes and skin. Don’t forget to protect yourself from UV rays.
- Winter Accessories:
- Earmuffs or a warm, insulated hat that covers your ears.
- Insulated and waterproof mittens or gloves. Consider wearing glove liners for added warmth.
- Backpack: Carry a small backpack to store extra layers, snacks, water, and any other essentials you may need while exploring.
- Snow Gear: If you plan on participating in winter sports like skiing or snowboarding, make sure you have the appropriate gear, including helmets, goggles, and ski or snowboard boots.
- Hand and Foot Warmers: Consider packing disposable hand and foot warmers to have on hand for extra warmth during extremely cold days.
Explore beyond winter in Bozeman
If you liked the sound of Bozeman in winter then there are plenty of other destinations around the world that may also take your fancy.
Perhaps Interlaken in winter could be your next choice, with stunning Alpine mountains and charming Swiss villages in every direction.
Or, the Cotswolds in winter, with toy-like houses and fairy-tale villages splattered around this incredible area of national beauty.
Stay Wild Travels.
Disclosure: just a heads up that some of the links within this post may be affiliated. This means that Stay Wild Travels may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Hopefully, if you’ve been here a while, you know that we only recommend things that we truly believe in. If you use any of these links, it really helps support us to keep bringing you free content – so thank you!
About our author: Abby and Sam Price are the founders and storytellers behind Trekking Price’s, a couples’ travel and outdoor adventure blog. They are passionate about sharing their adventures, hobbies, and travels with others as well as their tips and recommendations.