Montana Hiking, Nature January 15, 2021
In 2021, Take These 12 Incredible Montana Hikes, One For Each Month Of The Year
Did you resolve to spend more time outside in 2021? Montana is a paradise for nature lovers, and hiking is the best way to see our beautifully diverse scenery. Whether you’re a novice hiker or a seasoned pro, committing to one hike a month seems like a reasonable goal.
Hiking is definitely available year-round in the Treasure State if you know where to look. Here’s a list of suggested hikes to get you started, one for each month of the year.
1. January: Ousel Falls Trail
This short and sweet 1.6-mile trail is located near Gallatin Gateway and Big Sky. It's accessible in any season, but the sight of the snow-covered scenery and frozen waterfall is absolutely breathtaking.
2. February: Moose Tracks Snowshoe Trail
Whether you're a snowshoeing pro or a total novice, we highly recommend heading to Big Sky before winter ends and traversing through this 2.3-mile adventure. The trail is great for all skill levels, and every bit of it is beautiful.
3. March: Sypes Canyon
Sypes Canyon is a nice, easy drive from Bozeman. And although there's often still snow here in March, micro-spikes are all you'll need to hike it (and you may not even need them). The trail takes you through the forest and a few switchbacks before leading you up to a viewpoint with gorgeous views of the Gallatin Valley.
4. April: Four Dances Recreation Area
If you live in the Billings area, we hope you explore the Four Dances Recreation Area regularly. If not, head that way in April, hike the 2.6-mile trail, and watch the city come to life.
5. May: Pioneer Falls
You'll find this gorgeous 6.5-mile hike in the Custer Gallatin National Forest, not far from the town of Ennis. The waterfall itself is fantastic, but it's not even the main attraction -- the mountain views and budding wildflowers are.
6. June: Apikuni Falls, Glacier National Park
While parts of Glacier are definitely still covered in snow in June, that's when the wildflowers start to bloom on the Apikuni Falls Trail, located near Browning. This short and sweet hike is less than two miles long, and it's a visual delight.
7. July: Heart and Pearl Lakes Trail
This summer, head up to Superior and traverse the Lolo National Forest on this stunning trail. At seven miles in length, you should definitely plan for an all-day adventure with this hike. But with two sparkling lakes to admire, you won't mind.
8. August: Hidden Lake Trail, Glacier National Park
Glacier is a popular place in the summertime, but some trails are worth braving the crowds for. This 5.3-mile hike is a bit strenuous, so if you go on a weekday, you might not see many other hikers. Truth be told, August is prime hiking season in Montana, so you won't go wrong with any trail you attempt... but if you're going to Glacier, we recommend this beauty.
9. September: Beehive Basin Trail
Big Sky's Beehive Basin Trail is one of the top summer hikes in the state, but September brings the thinning of the crowds and the changing of the leaves. This seven-mile hike is a bucket list experience.
10. October: Sluice Boxes Trail
Sluice Boxes State Park sits nestled in the Little Belt Mountains, about 12 miles from the town of Belt. And the main 2.8-mile hiking trail that runs through it highlights some of the subtle but splendid fall hues.
11. November: Lava Lake Trail
You might know this visually stunning hike, which you'll find near Gallatin Gateway, as the Cascade Trail. But whatever you call it, you'll probably want to hike it in every season just to witness all the beautiful changes that occur. If you do go in November, pack micro-spikes for this six-mile trail.
12. December: Pattee Canyon Trail
End your year of hikes with this winter wonderland adventure near Missoula. The Pattee Canyon Trail is eight miles in length, but it's considered a moderate hike. Plus, the views from the top are well worth the climb.
Which of these magnificent trails will you hike this year?
Address: Ousel Falls, Big Sky, MT 59730, USA Address: Beehive Basin, Big Sky, MT 59730, USA Address: Lava Lake, Montana 59730, USA Address: Big Sky, MT, USA Address: Sypes Canyon, Montana 59715, USA Address: Four Dances Trailhead, 1100 Coburn Rd, Billings, MT 59101, USA Address: 38 Evans Riceville Rd, Belt, MT 59412, USA Address: Hidden Lake Trail, Montana, USA Address: Browning, MT 59417, USA