The hiking in Big Sky, Montana is world class. In this post we shine the spotlight on some of the best hikes in Big Sky, Montana. If you haven’t hiked these incredible trails, you need to put them at the top of your hiking bucket list. These are some of my favorite hikes in all of Big Sky!
Hop on any trail in Big Sky and you’re bound for an adventure of a lifetime. Whether you want to take a stroll in the woods, find a plummeting water fall, seek out a mountain lake, stand on top of a peak, or just explore the mountains of Montana, the old heel-toe express can take you to amazing places.
I hope you enjoy these hikes as much as I do! Have fun and be safe!
These are the best hikes in Big Sky, Montana:
Uplands Trail is visible from Big Sky Town Center. This two-mile round trip hike brings you through beautiful meadows. This out and back trail is multi-use and offers great views of Big Sky, Montana.
Ousel Falls Trail
If you’re looking for waterfalls, Ousel Falls is the perfect destination. It’s easy access from Town Center and it’s stroller friendly. Explore this 1.6 mile road trip, family friendly trail with your entire crew. Stop at the one of the many picnic tables and benches along the way, or push all the way to the impressive waterfall. This one is easy access and well worth the effort.
Beehive Basin is one of the most popular hikes in Big Sky, Montana. It’s even been called one of the world’s best hikes. This well trodden trail covers 6.6 miles round trip and provides easy access into the alpine terrain below Beehive Peak.
If you’re keen to get off of the beaten track, follow the North Fork Trail to Summit Lake. This classic Big Sky hike heads into Bear Basin and on to the high alpine of the Madison Range. At 15.75 miles round trip, it’s the longest hike on this list.
If you want 360 degree views, you need to stand on top of Lone Mountain. Commonly called Lone Peak, this summit is the home of Big Sky Resort. It’s easy to book the Lone Peak Expedition and have the tram whisk you to this 11,166′ summit – but we recommend hiking it. From the top of Swift Current, follow the Bonecrusher trail through talus fields and along knife edge ridges right to the top of Big Sky. This 9 mile round trip journey is definitely exciting!
Hiking up Cinnamon Mountain is one of the coolest hikes around. This 8.5 mile round trip hike begins just south of Big Sky across from the Cinnamon Lodge. After traveling through wild forests, you’ll reach a date fire lookout – and the views of the southern Madison Range are some of the best views around!
Alway’s one of the local’s favorites, Lava Lake is a must-hike trail. Located near the 35 MPH bridge on Highway 191, the Lava Lake trail meanders through the forests of the Madison Range until you reach a massive and stunning alpine lake. At only 6 miles round trip, this a fun one to do after a day of rock climbing or on your way back from Bozeman. Fun fact: Lava Lake is the only lake in the Madison Range not formed by glaciers. Instead it was formed by a landslide.
Golden Trout Lake
This quick 6 mile round trip hike brings you to some of the most stunning alpine lakes in the Gallatin Range. To access Golden Trout Lakes, head up the Portal Creek Forest Service Road in a 4×4 vehicle. Then follow the trail until you reach a stunning alpine lake.
Do you recognize Storm Castle? It’s of the most iconic mountains in the Gallatin Canyon. Located north of Big Sky along the 191 corridor, Storm Castle towers above the Gallatin River. This steep hike covers about 5 miles round trip. It is definitely a calf burner, but the views from the top of this mountain are top notch.
Tucked into the cirque of Cedar Mountain, Cedar Lake is one of the coolest lakes in the range. At roughly 13 miles, it’s a bit of a bigger hike, but it’s well worth the effort if you like waterfalls, lakes, and stunning views.
It’s no easy task to pick the best hikes in Big Sky because there are so many incredible places to explore. There are certainly other hikes that could have made this list. If you’re in town, go and explore Big’s backyard. It’s endless.
A few last helpful reminders before you hit the trail… remember that Big Sky is grizzly country. Please bring bear spray on every hike and learn how to use it properly. Also don’t forget the hiking essentials (sunscreen, food, water, extra layers, etc.). It’s your responsibility to be prepared while you enjoy the best hikes in Big Sky, Montana.
Have fun out there. I’ll see you on the trail!
PS: To discover more exciting outdoor adventures and learn more about the best hikes in Big Sky country, please visit MountainJourney.com.