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Gallatin Canyon – Yellowstone/ Bozeman Montana
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Overview
Location

Between West Yellowstone and Bozeman, Montana

Sights

Mountains, Forest, Wildlife, Gallatin River

Distance

89 miles point to point

Time Required

3-6 Hours

Pets

Yes

Fees

None

Best Season

The road is open year round but can quickly become very treacherous during winter storms.

Trail Condition

Paved highway

Camping

Several spots offer camping in the canyon

Food

In Big Sky

Family Friendly?

Yes

Driving Directions


The Trail:

The Gallatin Canyon drive is a beautiful drive that takes you between West Yellowstone and Bozeman, Montana. The highway passes through Yellowstone National Park for several miles of its length. 

As you start your drive from West Yellowstone the river is calm with huge open valleys. Keep your eyes out for wildlife. We spotted several Bald Eagles in this area.

The further up the canyon you get the more forested it gets.

The river begins to show a lot of its world famous whitewater. This is a great area for a guided raft trip.

We passed a large group of Bighorn Sheep Rams that paused for some fun photos!

A little more than half way through the canyon you will see the signs for Big Sky. I highly recommend a short side trip to the top and if you have time you should hike to Ousel Falls which is a wonderful little waterfall covered in a separate trek located here. Big Sky has many restaurants, a grocery store, a hospital, lodging, and a large ski resort centered around 11,166 foot Lone Mountain. Its a gorgeous peak that reminds me of the Hobbit for obvious reasons. You can see the tram tower at the top that you can take a scenic ride to the top in the summer.

The Return:

There are many options from here. There are many fun things to do if you stay in Bozeman. You can continue on to Gardiner and enter a different part of Yellowstone there. You can also turn around and return to West Yellowstone. If you wanted to it is possible to make a very long day and do a loop from West Yellowstone through the park and over the Beartooth Highway and then from Red Lodge to Bozeman with a return through Gallatin Canyon. 

Personal Thoughts:

 I have spent a lot of time in this area. We have had a family cabin in nearby Island Park my entire life and my mom is from Bozeman, and I have family with timeshares in Big Sky. I go a lot and don’t ever get sick of the area. Its gorgeous and relaxing every time. Trek Planner Logo

Ratings (out of 10)
Trek Planner Rating
User Rating
Rate Here
Difficulty
2.0
Technicality
1.0
Enjoyment
6.5
The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek. If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

6.5
Trek Planner Rating
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About The Author
Josh1990
I love adventure! I live in Cache Valley, Utah. Do you have questions on any of my Treks? Email me @ joshua.oyler@gmail.com

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