Bozeman Spring Lifestyle Blog: What To Look Forward To In Bozeman’s Warmer Months
It’s that time of year when every Bozeman-ite starts dreaming about warmer weather: spring is almost here! From sipping cocktails on Copper’s Main Street patio to simply walking outside without a winter coat, there’s plenty of spring activities in Bozeman to look forward to in the coming months.
Whether it’s a perfect 50 degree day or a one that dips below freezing, there’s tons to keep you busy in the Bozeman area. Here’s what you can do (and look forward to) as the temperatures slowly rise and the days grow longer.
Spring Skiing at Bridger Bowl or Big Sky
As snow turns to slush, spring skiing season begins. Bridger Bowl and Big Sky, Bozeman’s two closest resorts, usually stay open through part of April. Amidst the t-shirts and shorts, people often dress up in fun costumes or even bathing suits on warmer days – and especially on the last day!
You can still enjoy Big Sky once it closes. In the summer, take a scenic lift ride or hit the trails! Mountain biking is popular here, and in the summer, you can ride the lift with your bike to explore the resort’s terrain.
Hyalite Canyon Road Closure to Motorized Vehicles
The road to Hyalite is closed to cars from April 1 to May 15 every year, so cyclists get it all to themselves. This is such a pretty drive, but it’s even nicer to bike or walk. Pull over and take photos to your heart’s content without worrying about vehicles zooming by.
Hyalite itself is gorgeous and certainly worth exploring if you decide to bike the whole road. Plus, it’ll be relatively empty, so you can explore the normally busy trails with ease.
Snag Local Produce at Farmers Markets
The Bozeman Winter Farmers’ Market runs through the end of May so you can enjoy all the fresh spring produce at each stand.
After that, the summer markets begin. You’ll have two to choose from: the Gallatin Valley Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings and the Bozeman Farmers Market at Lindley Park on Tuesday evenings.
Baby Animal Season in Yellowstone National Park
Spring means one thing in Yellowstone: baby animals! You’re guaranteed to see bison calves bounding around the many meadows, and may even see a bear cub or moose calf. Bears are coming out of hibernation and very hungry, so you’re more likely to see them too.
Lamar Valley is open all year round and is the best place to spot wildlife in Yellowstone, so head there if that’s your goal. Otherwise, the rest of the park usually opens in April and May, so you’ll have gushing geysers and steaming hot springs to look forward to.
Similar to Hyalite, the road between the West Entrance and Mammoth Hot Springs to the north opens to bicycles and foot traffic in March or April before opening to cars later on. This is a unique opportunity to see Yellowstone without any vehicles.
Warm Weather Fly Fishing
Bozeman is a hot spot for fly fishing, and it’s an especially popular activity in the warmer months. The fish are hungry after the long winter, and there’s a plethora of food. This, combined with more comfortable temperatures, make spring an excellent time of year to get out and catch some fish.
And because Bozeman is near so many rivers – the Madison, Gallatin, Jefferson, Yellowstone, and Missouri – you have practically endless places to try your luck. Notable spots include Axtell Bridge on the Gallatin, Beartrap Canyon on the Madison, and Mallard’s Rest on the Yellowstone.
Bars and Restaurants With Outdoor Patios or Rooftops
One of the best ways to make the most of warmer weather is on one of the many bar and restaurant patios. Fortunately, many places in Bozeman boast some form of outdoor seating so you can soak up all the spring sunshine.
Copper Whiskey Bar is a favorite year-round destination, but in the spring opens up with patio seating on Main Street. Copper has whiskey for every occasion and no shortage of the town’s best eats.
When the weather warms up, Brigade opens up their big accordion front doors overlooking Main Street to let in the fresh outdoor ambience. Enjoy thoughtfully crafted martinis and adventurous, fine cuisine no matter the season.
The Sky Shed (above the Kimpton Armory Hotel) offers some of the best views of downtown Bozeman. While they have plenty of indoor seating, definitely try and snag an outdoor table with a fire pit if you can.
MAP Brewing has plenty of outdoor tables and picturesque mountain views. Situated on Glen Lake, you’ll be treated to a spectacular vista with the Bridger Mountains in the background.
SHINE Beer Sanctuary is a laid back downtown spot with both first and second floor patios.
PLONK is a fancy wine bar with an array of cocktails and appetizers. Sit on the front patio to people watch on busy Main Street, or in the back for a quieter, more private experience.
Treeline Coffee Roasters on Wallace serves specialty coffee, and is one of the only coffee shops in town with a good amount of outdoor seating. Relax in one of the clear greenhouses, or sip your brew at a picnic table.
Little Star Diner is an upscale restaurant known for its creative menus, but what’s less well known is its private rooftop deck.
Drive down 7th Street and you’ll stumble upon a group of food trucks. Ramíre’s Mexican Food is a crowd favorite, best enjoyed at one of the sunny picnic tables sandwiched between the trucks.
This list barely scratches the surface; for even more outdoor dining, head to Visit Bozeman’s guide.
Days on the River
Montana is known for its rivers, and Bozeman is no exception. Whether you choose to go for an exciting trip whitewater rafting on the Yellowstone River, or spend a relaxing day floating down the lower Madison River, you’re sure to be in for a good time.
In spring, the rivers swell from snow melt, and are fast and fun during May and June. From July to September, water levels lower and slow down. These are better months for rafting first timers.
Summer is perfect for floating, but water levels later in the summer can get too low. Put in at Warm Springs and get out at Black’s Ford. You’ll need two cars for floating (park one at each end), otherwise it’s a long walk back!
Shopping (or Just Leisurely Walking) on Main Street
Bozeman is chock full of unique shops and western gear, and walking down Main Street in the sunshine is one of the best ways to spend a nice day. Shop for local hand-printed goods at Intrigue Ink, an assortment of gifts and goods at Heyday (like the popular “Ski Like a Girl” brand), or The Montana Scene for Montana-themed clothing and accessories.
For western items, go to Montana Gift Corral or HeadWest. Or stop at one of the many art galleries, like Altitude Gallery, that sells art from local artists. No matter where you go, you’re sure to find some cool shops to stop in (or duck into during a colder day).
Plus, there’s plenty of photo opportunities on Main Street. The western-style buildings with the Bridgers looming up behind them offer some stunning scenery.
Hit the Trails for Hiking or Biking (and Wildflowers!)
While spring is also known as “mud season,” it’s still possible to go hiking or biking. When it’s too muddy, you can bike along paved pathways like the Gallagator Trail behind the public library, or the bike path next to Bridger Canyon Road near Story Mill Park.
Once the snow melts and trails dry out closer to summer, there’s an overwhelming number of great spots to hike and bike. The M is a short and popular trail that affords awesome views of Bozeman, and Peet’s Hill is perfect for walkers and bikers. Both are also great places for sunset viewing.
Outside of town, Lava Lake and Storm Castle are popular hiking areas, while Bangtail Divide is popular with mountain bikers. Plus, you’ll probably see some pretty wildflowers!
Fun Spring and Summer Events to Put On Your Calendar
There’s no shortage of fun events to look forward to as the days get longer. Here are a few fun ones.
5K Brew Runs, during which participants run to a different brewery each month, start in March and end in August.
Attend the MSU Spring Rodeo for a true Montana experience! It usually takes place over a weekend in April.
Downtown Bozeman Restaurant Week takes place from April 24-30 in 2023, and is full of unique dining experiences, special menu items, and of course, lots of great food!
Bozeman’s free Summer Art Walks begin in June and end in September, and occur once a month. Local stores and businesses feature local art and offer participants refreshments while they shop.
Love alpacas? Check out the farm tours at Alpacas of Montana. They offer both group and private tours during the spring and summer months. Visitors have a chance to get up close to their alpacas, and learn about the wool-making process.
Music on Main begins weekly in June, during which Main Street shuts down to cars for a night of free live music and food trucks.
If you’re interested in learning more about Bozeman luxury homes for sale, please reach out! I look forward to hearing from you!