10 Cool Things near Bozeman and Big Sky
Even as average summertime highs climb into the high 70s and low 80s, there’s always a recreational opportunity near Bozeman and Big Sky to cool you off before you burn out.
Tube the Lower Madison with Madison River Tubing
Tubing the Lower Madison River is a right of passage for Bozeman locals. As spring weather gives way to summer’s sunny days, this shallow tailwater transforms from a fly fishing destination into a full-on lazy river. Located on Main Street in Bozeman, Madison River Tubing is the only stop you need to make to have the perfect tubing experience. Their tubing trips include gear and transportation to and from the river, and they even have a retail shop that stocks all of the extraneous items you might have forgotten.
More info: www.montanawhitewater.com/river-tubing
Lone Peak Expedition
Even on the hottest days, air temperatures remain relatively cool in the high alpine. But on a hot day, how are you supposed to get to that cool mountain air without overheating along the way? By signing up for the Lone Peak Expedition at Big Sky Resort, that’s how. Starting at 7,500’ in Big Sky’s Mountain Village, the LPE brings visitors all the way to Lone Peak’s 11,166’ summit by way of chairlift, safari truck and tram. Once at the summit, visitors experience breathtaking views of snowcapped peaks and, if they like, interpretive discussions with their educated guide.
More info: www.bigskyresort.com
Ditch the Waders
In the mid-to-late summer months you’ll notice fly fishermen “wet wading” or fishing without waders, on the local rivers. These anglers aren’t crazy; even the coolest of our area’s waters can climb into the 70s during the warm months. Coupled with the lower summertime flows that allow anglers to venture beyond the banks, wet wading is the best way to stay cool while you’re catching fish. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about filling your waders up.
Genuine Ice Cream Company
Right in the heart of Main Street, you’ll find Bozeman’s hottest spot for ice cream. The Genuine Ice Cream Company takes their treats seriously, but their formula for making delicious treats like their Nutella Crunch and Honey Lavender flavors is simple: Great ingredients + creative staff = awesome ice cream. If you’re strapped for time, you can also pick up Genuine Ice Cream pints and tubs at retailers around Bozeman.
More info: www.genuineicecream.com
Whitewater Rafting with Geyser Whitewater Expeditions
Following a winter of record-breaking snowfall in the mountains near Bozeman, the Gallatin River’s whitewater season is on track to last well into the summer months. Geyser Whitewater Expeditions in Big Sky offers a variety of trips that will keep the whole family cool. With Geyser, you can relax and enjoy the scenery from a raft on the tame upper river, get your adrenaline fix by booking a raft trip through “The Mad Mile,” or even test your skills on a whitewater kayaking trip led by one of our area’s most experienced guides. If moving water isn’t your thing, Geyser also rents SUPs, peddle boats and kayaks for use on nearby Lake Levinsky.
More info: www.raftmontana.com
Adventure Zipline at Big Sky Resort
With plenty of shade and cool mountain air, signing up for Big Sky’s Adventure Zipline Tour is a great way to beat the summer heat. This course isn’t for the faint of heart; once your relaxing ride up the Explorer chairlift is over, it’s all downhill from there. After being securely roped in, participants can reach speeds exceeding 40 mph as they careen through the forest canopy. If you want to tone the intensity down a notch and still enjoy a zipline experience, check out the family-friendly Nature Zipline.
More info: www.bigskyresort.com
Cool Grass and a Good Book in Burke Park
Does your idea of ultimate relaxation involve a good book and a cool patch of grass? If so, look no further than the Bozeman Public Library. Here, literature fans can walk through the library’s front doors, check out some authentic Montana literature and stroll right out the back into Bozeman’s beautiful Burke Park. The park’s old growth trees supply ample shade to folks enjoying the park’s acres of soft, nap-worthy turf—just don’t forget to set an alarm if you have dinner plans.
More info: www.bozemanlibrary.org
East Gallatin Recreation Area (AKA Bozeman Beach)
Bozeman Beach, as it’s known by locals, is one of the town’s favorite places to cool off during the dog days of summer. This area offers classic amenities like a fishing dock, beach volleyball, picnic pavilions and uniquely-Bozeman features like a climbing boulder and adjacent microbrewery.
More info: www.bozeman.net, www.mapbrewing.com
One of the most beautiful and easily accessible alpine lakes anywhere is just a short drive from Bozeman. This deep green lake sits at 7,557’ in the Bridger Mountains and is surrounded by dense forest, offering cool air temperatures with plenty of shade. Since the lake is spring-fed and also receives a ton of snow melt, water temperatures remain cool and refreshing here all summer long, no matter how hot it gets outside. For the adventurous, there’s even a rope swing on the lake’s western shore.
More info: http://fs.usda.gov/custergallatin
A classic small-town summertime experience, Bozeman’s Bogert Pool is the quintessential outdoor swimming pool experience. It’s a place where memories are made and lessons are learned by Bozeman’s youth, where parents can relax and supervise at the same time. Somehow here, the aroma of sunscreen, the sound of the life guard’s whistle and packs of shouting children all harmonize, subliminally assuring visitors that it’s summertime in America and all is well.
More info: www.bozeman.net