Montana May 05, 2016
12 Incredible Hikes Under 5 Miles Everyone In Montana Should Take
Does the idea of hiking in Montana conjure up images of long, strenuous climbs? While there are plenty of trails for the more experiences trekker, there are also some beautiful hikes here for those of us who don’t always have the stamina or time to endure a lengthy adventure. Give one of these hikes under 5 miles a try this summer and enjoy getting some exercise amidst Montana’s beautiful scenery.
1. Heart Lake Trail, near Superior
This is an easy hike to the largest lake in the area. The Heart Lake trail goes west around the lake and up to the top. It’s about 2.5 miles “round trip.” If you want to extend your hike, head east until you find the Pearl Lake Trail… but that will be significantly longer than 5 miles.
2. Trail of the Cedars, Glacier National Park
This is a wonderful hike to bring young children on since it’s only about 1.5 miles long. The trailhead begins across the Going to the Sun Road from the Avalanche Lake Ranger Station and takes you through the woods over boardwalks and bridges, meaning it’s also handicapped accessible.
3. Drinking Horse Trail, Bozeman
The Drinking Horse Trail is about 2.4 miles long and has beautiful view of Bridger Canyon and the Gallatin Valley.
4. Diane Gabriel Trail, Makoshika State Park
Named after the late Diane Gabriel, a paleontologist who did extensive research at Makoshika, the Diane Gabriel Trail is a very enjoyable hike on a mile-long trail. You’ll see an excavation site where a fossilized Hadrosaur was found along with the beautiful grasslands.
5. Four Dances Natural Area, east of Billings
The Four Dances Natural Area sits on a plateau a few miles east of Billings and is bordered on the east side by Coburn Road. This is a beautiful place to take a short day hike, take photos of nature, and see some wildlife (if you’re lucky).
6. Swan River Nature Trail, Bigfork
This is a 2 mile long gravel trail that looks down upon the Wild Mile of the Swan River. You’ll find the trailhead at the top of a short hill just past the Bigfork Inn.
7. Hidden Meadow, Glacier National Park
For anyone living in or visiting the Polebridge area, this 2 mile roundtrip hike is a must-do. The mellow walk through the forest ending in a big open meadow makes it a perfect trek for families.
8. Sulphur Springs Trail, north of Great Falls
Located on the north shore of the Missouri River, this 3.6 mile hike will take you to the sulphur spring that was used to treat Sacagawea during the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
9 River Park, Hamilton
River Park is located along the Bitterroot River, and the 1.5 mile trail inside the park is the perfect place to exercise in peace.
10. Limekiln Trail, Judith Mountains
Located just outside of Lewistown, this trail offers you a choice between a 4 mile roundtrip hike or a 7 mile loop. Either trail provides great views of the Central Montana mountains. .
11. Woods Gulch, outside Missoula
Woods Gulch is a lush canyon located along the southern end of the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area. The trail is 1.1 miles long and takes you through the beautiful gulch.
12. Leverich Canyon Trail, Bozeman
This 3.4 mile hike ends with some gorgeous views of Bozeman. Leverich Canyon is tucked between the two drainages of Hyalite Canyon and Sourdough Canyon.
Do you prefer shorter day hikes or longer trails?