The Best Day Hike You Can Take With Your Dog In Montana

Hyalite Creek Trail
Custer Gallatin National Forest • Bozeman

John Bozeman opened the first wagon trail through a break in the mountains that American Indians called “Valley of the Flowers.” Revered as a sacred hunting ground, the Sioux killed Bozeman and no one dared try his trail again for nine years. These days nothing can keep canine hikers off the trail to this outdoor paradise that serves as the northern gateway city to Yellowstone National Park.

South of town Custer Gallatin National Forest bursts with 2,000 miles of trails and the canine hike along Hyalite Creek through a U-shaped glaciated canyon encapsulates the beauty of them all. There are three primo destinations in Hyalite Canyon, depending on your trail dog’s hunger for adventure.

Grotto Falls is the most popular of the many side spurs that lead to waterfalls spilling into the canyon. Inclines are easy and the coniferous forest thick as the trail makes several crossings of Hyalite Creek. In a little over two miles the wide and frothy waters plunge into an inviting doggie swimming hole.

An even better swim for Seaman awaits another three miles up the trail at Hyalite Lake, a glacial tarn framed by stunning craggy gray pinnacles. One of those cliffs is Hyalite Peak and it is two miles more to the 10,298-foot summit. The deep green forests are giving way to wildflower meadows and rocky paths by this time as Seaman gains 1,400 feet in elevation past the lake - about what he covered from the trailhead to Hyalite Lake.

HIKING TIME: 2-8 hours

(from the book 300 Day Hikes To Take With Your Dog Before He Tires You Out: Trails where you won’t be able to wipe the wag off your dog’s tail)


Hiking With Your Dog Montana