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Hiking Trip Ideas

No matter which trail you take, awe-inspiring views await you in Big Sky Country

Ultimate Montana Hikes

Hiking in Montana is a great way to explore the state while experiencing nature and wildlife. These ultimate hikes span the state and each trail offers a different adventure into the vast openness of God’s Country.  Whether you are looking for a challenge or just a leisurely stroll, Montana is a hiker's paradise.

Glacier National Park

Grinnell Glacier Trail. This gem of a trail is a 10-mile day hike to the foot of one of the Glacier National Park’s most iconic glaciers, taking you past lakes, cliffs and alpine meadows, and if you're lucky, glimpses of wildlife along the way. The first two miles follow the north shores of Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine. Then the trail gains elevation with views of Grinnell Falls, Angel Wing, Mt. Gould, the Continental Divide and Grinnell Lake. To view the glaciers and Upper Grinnell Lake, make sure you follow the trail up and over the rocky moraine beyond the picnic area. The views are simply out of this world. Learn more about the Grinnell Glacier Trail.


Yellowstone National Park

North Rim TrailThis 6.8-mile trail follows the beautiful north rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The trail begins at the north side of Chittenden Bridge and follows the Yellowstone River downstream along an old road. With stunning views of the Upper and Lower Falls and panoramic vantage at Inspiration Point, the trail highlights the most stunning section of the canyon. Learn more about the North Rim Trail.



Glacier Country

Birch Lake, Jewel Basin Hiking Area
Kid Friendly
The Jewel Basin is located east of Kalispell and west of the Hungry Horse Reservoir at the north end of the Swan Mountain Range. For an easy hike, check out the 6-mile, round-trip trek to Birch Lake. Except for a short ascent from the trailhead, most of the hike takes place on level ground with stunning views of the Flathead Valley. With several secluded swimming holes, it's perfect for a refreshing afternoon dip!

Southwest Montana

Blodgett Canyon, Bitterroot National Forest
Kid Friendly
Explore the Bitterroot Mountains with this moderately difficult hike that rewards with waterfall views. The trail follows Blodgett Creek into the mouth of the canyon. After about 1.5 miles, the canyon opens up to granite cliffs (usually dotted with climbers in the summer). Another 2 miles in and you'll reach the short hill to the waterfall. Locals call the canyon the Yosemite of the Bitterroots, and after this hike, you'll see why!

Yellowstone Country

Palisade Falls, Custer Gallatin National Forest
Kid Friendly
Just outside Bozeman, Palisade Falls is located in the Hyalite Canyon Recreation Area and is a short, paved, 0.5-mile hike concluding at the base of an 80-foot waterfall, formed by prehistoric lava flow. The volcanic cliffs are shrouded by Engelmann Spruce and Douglas Fir - pack a lunch and make it a picnic at Palisades Falls Picnic Area.

Central Montana

Lewistown Ice Caves
Kid Friendly
For a unique hiking experience, the Ice Caves Trail is a must. Running through the Big Snowy Mountains, just a short drive from Lewistown, this 5-mile trail is moderately difficult and ends at an impressive ice cave. The walls are made of 400-million-year-old white limestone, and ice columns covering the cave remain frozen well into September. The trail also provides great views of the surrounding mountain ranges.

Missouri River Country

Brandon Butte, C.M. Russell Wildlife Refuge
Kid Friendly
This moderate, 9-mile, round-trip trail winds through the Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge, the largest wildlife refuge in Montana. A gradual climb through sage and rabbit brush is followed by a steeper ascent through sandstone formations, leading up to the top of the butte. Take a walk along the eastern rim and look out on to Fort Peck Lake.

Southeast Montana

Calypso Trail, Terry Badlands
Kid Friendly
Calypso Trail is a 5.5-mile primitive road that runs through the Terry Badlands Wilderness Study Area. This hike leads travelers along breathtaking sandstone arches, bridges, and spires. Some of these formations reach up to 2,900 feet in elevation. Visitors traveling this serene trail will be surrounded by the truly untouched wilderness of the Terry Badlands.