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5 Unique Day Trips From Bozeman, Montana

Suppose you need a great activity for a day off from work or a little adventure to chase away the boredom on your weekend. In that case, it’s not too hard to find within driving distance from Bozeman, Montana. Day trips are a lot of fun. Finding that perfect adventure that isn’t too far of a drive but gets you far enough away from home to forget all those responsibilities for a time isn’t as hard as it might seem. The list below is a combination of indoor and outdoor fun that the whole family or an individual can enjoy in a few hours and be back home before the night is out if they wish.

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Table of Contents

What are some great spots for day trips outside of Bozeman?

If you’re looking to get out of Bozeman for the day and do something fun and unique, check out these great day trip destinations, all within an easy drive of downtown Bozeman:

  • Crystal Park
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Montana Grizzly Encounter
  • Garnet Ghost Town
  • Dinosaur Trail

A unique adventure is a combination of both fun stuff to do inside and a bit of sunshine and fresh air. Add in some great food, a bit of open road travel, and perhaps some souvenirs to remember the day. One thing is for sure, whenever I head out for a day trip, it restores my mind, soothes my body, and awakens the senses!

Montana is a vast state with some very extraordinary things to do everywhere you look. Many require a bit of driving and some thoughtful planning, but every corner of this stunning state is unforgettable!

Crystal Park

Polaris, Montana 59746

(406) 683-3900

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For a fun but unique day trip adventure from Bozeman, you can head Southwest. After about one hundred and fifty miles of driving and just over two hours, you can land at this beautiful park.

Treasure hunters will enjoy the experience of digging for crystals inside the ground that make memorable gifts and décor inside the home. Quartz Crystals are the crystals that can be found here in varying sizes and colors.

The over two-hundred-acre park has specific rules about digging for the crystals but searching for and finding the treasure will make it unforgettable. There are three picnic sites with grills and tables so visitors can make a day of it and enjoy the views, hike, and treasure hunting.

Yellowstone National Park

Montana

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Yellowstone is by far one of the most extraordinarily remarkable sights to see in our country. While you won’t be able to see everything, you can easily enjoy some of the sights via car from the North Entrance of this Federal Park to the Western Entrance.

You will make your way through Gardiner and see the amazing hot springs, which are so beautiful. You will see some spectacular waterfalls and wildlife like Bison. The trip is a long day trip, and you may want to do half and then half another time.

If not, everyone should be prepared for a long day adventure that will be exhausting but memorable.

Montana Grizzly Encounter

80 Bozeman Hill Road, Bozeman, Montana 59715

(406) 586-8893

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Wildlife is plentiful in Montana, but it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and forget to get out there and explore it. Visiting a Bear Rescue Facility is a perfect way to glimpse these larger-than-life teddy bears.

Not far from Bozeman, less than a half-hour away, you can visit a small but vital rescue center in the area. The facility rescues bears and provides them with a comfortable and safe environment to thrive and live in.

Taking a short-day trip here to see the wildlife and spending some time outdoors is a great way to spend an afternoon together as a family or group.

Garnet Ghost Town

3255 Fort Missoula Road, Missoula, Montana 59804

(406) 329-3914

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At about three hours away, Slightly Northwest is a lovely day trip adventure where you can visit a historically preserved ghost town rich in fun things to do. Over a hundred years ago, this area was a thriving gold mining town.

There are trails to hike, nature to explore, history to experience, and education to absorb, and it’s a wonderful place for a family or group of people to visit for a day trip. There is something for everyone to do in this area, with hunting, off-highway vehicle driving, mountain biking, and other activities to explore.

Missoula is also rich in unique dining, shopping, and nightlife adventures for an unforgettable evening after your day trip.

Dinosaur Trail

600 West Kagy Boulevard, Bozeman, Montana 59715

(406) 394-2251 

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One thing that makes Montana memorable from an outdoor museum perspective is the Dinosaur Trail that visitors and travelers can enjoy and explore from wherever they are in Montana.

Located in the Bozeman area, you can explore the unique paleontology exhibits, dig site and learn about the remarkable creatures that roamed this area eons ago.

The museum at this location is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute. This museum location boasts the most T-Rex in the world. They also have exhibits that change periodically with world exhibits. A store and Planetarium round of the activities for an exciting day trip adventure.

If time allows, the adventure can continue Northeast in Harlowton, just over a hundred miles away and about an hour and a half drive.

How do I prepare for a day trip?

The best way to prepare for a day trip before the big day is to have a plan for the day in advance. It can also be helpful to have a list of items, coolers, food, drinks, phone chargers, debit cards, etc.

Ensuring that you have the things you need on your trip beforehand makes the day easier and less stressful. This concept is similar to any other trip you might make outside of town. Pack medications, take the dog to the dog sitter and check for travel delays the morning of the trip are things that you may also want to do.

Preparations need not be complex, and the more day trips you take, the better you will be at going through the motions, similar to preparing your child for a day of school or heading out to work yourself.

Final Points

Bozeman is beautiful, outdoorsy, and nestled in the wildly untouched state of Montana. There are plenty of things to do in Bozeman but for those who live in the city limits or travel here, leaving town for a day trip adventure is a nice change of pace.

Next time you and fam or friends have some free time, grab a cooler, fill it with some amazing snacks and drinks and head out for an exciting day trip!