The Top 5 Dog-Friendly Bozeman Trails & Parks You Can Do In Under An Hour
One of the best things about having dogs is the ability to go on adventures together. There is no better scenario than one where you’re hanging around a warm, crackling campfire with the sun setting over the mountains surrounded by people you care about And, of course, your dog’s head under your hand. Unfortunately for us these moments only come when time is of no concern. Some are able to experience those magical nights on a regular basis, and the rest of us do our best to find those “backcountry” moments at parks and trails closer to home. Luckily for those in the Gallatin Valley there are tons of trails, parks, and ponds to venture to when an hour window with your dog is all you can afford. That is why we put together a list of our top 5 favorite dog-friendly parks and trails in the Bozeman area that can be completed in under an hour.
#1 Snowfill Recreation Area
Is it a true trailhead? No. But if you find yourself there during a classic, beautiful Big Sky sunset it’s hard to wrap your head around the fact that this is, in fact, a city park. Snowfill was created with dogs in mind and is a treat for us to relish in thanks to the folks at GVLT. Despite the heavy traffic that this park does receive, it remains clean through the implementation of public bathrooms and proper dog “waste” management tools. The park is fully fenced in, and large enough to have fun riding your mountain bike up and down the hilly trail. If you are just getting comfortable on off-leash outings with your dog, Snowfill is a great place to be.
#2 Drinking Horse Mountain Trail
The close runner-up, Drinking Horse Mountain Trail. This trail has been a favorite of mine for a long time. Perfect for a quick hike or run with the dogs, it will likely satisfy your dogs need for the outdoors, not to mention yours. I personally use this trail when I am short on time and craving some good exercise. It may look easy to keep that jogging pace on paper, but will kick your butt if you don’t pace yourself, and never fails to gas my two siberian huskies with the quick climb in elevation the west facing side provides. Without the traffic that the M trail has drinking horse is at the top of our list for a quick stroll through the wilderness with your pup.
#3 Gallatin County Regional Park
Third on our list is the Gallatin County Regional Park. Located just east of Ferguson Street in west Bozeman, this park has all of the assets needed for you and your dog. No, it is not out in the mountains, and it is tough to find a time when there aren’t any people around, but that really isn’t the point here. It is one of the best places to get your dog (and you) out socializing with others. It even has a fenced-in dog focused area with a diving dock, large pond, agility course, and more. One thing you do need to keep in mind however is that the area on the south end of the park is not off-leash, so keep an eye out for signs!
#4 Triple Tree Trail
This trail might just be one our or close-to-town favorites. The only reason this trail lands at 4th on our list is because unless you set a pretty solid pace (under 10 minute miles), you probably won’t be able to do the whole thing in under an hour. The good news is that you can drive up the road just north of the main parking lot and hit the trail about a mile in. The trailhead itself offers an open, switchback style trail on one side with a heavily wooded, secluded feeling trail on the other. Your dog is guaranteed to have a blast running through creeks and sniffing around. Just make sure to keep an eye out for mountain bikers!
#5 The M Trail
Years ago this would have been at the top of the list, however over the last summer we noticed that unless you were there in the middle of a week day, the trail is packed. With that being said, the trail is still one of the best within a 10 minute drive. The main loop is just shy of 2 miles, and despite the traffic, provides an absolutely beautiful moderate hike up to the infamous Bozeman “M”. Dogs are allowed off leash, and if you’re feeling ambitious, you can hang right at the beginning of the trailhead to find yourself on a “stair-stepper” trail heading straight for the top.