by Michele Kadison
Taking this easy day trip through Madison Valley will bring you closer to the true beauty of Montana’s vibrant mountains and fertile valleys. You can stop all along the way to enjoy the towns that invite you to ramble, shop, nibble, and muse. 240 miles total.
Start at Bozeman and head west on Highway 84 to go the 38 miles to Norris. Norris is a notorious gold mining town that is now famous for its wonderful hot springs.
Then go 16 miles from Norris to Ennis by going south on Highway 287. Ennis prides itself with the moniker: “Fly Fishing Capital of the World.” Take your rod and reel and prove the town right.
From Ennis go 43 miles south on Highway 287 to Quake Lake. Quake Lake was created in 1959 by an earthquake that shook the region. The lake at its deepest reaches 180 feet.
Go 12 miles east on Highway 287 to Hebgen Lake. Here again you’ll want to break out the rod and reel as the area is known to have some of the best dry fly-fishing in Montana.
Continuing on Highway 287 for another 31 miles you will reach the Highway 191 junction. Go south to West Yellowstone, which is one of the main entrances to Yellowstone National Park and a great town to wander through.
From West Yellowstone it is 48 miles north on Highway 191 before you reach Big Sky. Take Highway 64 to get to Big Sky Resort, one of the best ski resorts in the state.
Your roundtrip will take you from Big Sky to Bozeman via Highway 64 to Highway 191 north. Here you will drive through Gallatin Canyon and alongside the Gallatin River, where photo ops abound. Once you reach Four Corners (30 miles) you will turn right onto Huffine Lane and go east for six miles to arrive at Bozeman once again.
Click here to download a printable version of this day trip.
- Montana Day Trips: The Old West
- Montana Day Trips: The Open Range
- Montana Best of Hiking: Madison area of Yellowstone
- Yellowstone National Park is where the Wild Things Are
- Montana campgrounds: Bozeman