Planning and executing my annual, 200+ mile hikes take several months of each year, but that leaves many months during which I enjoy my home and family in the US. In 2019, my hiking friend, Lynda, and I decided to take several day hikes in the beautiful mountains and valleys near Bozeman, Montana. I had been introduced to this area by my youngest son, Andrew, who attended Montanan State University in Bozeman and settled there with his family. Bozeman sits near the mouth of the Gallatin Valley as it opens onto the American High Plains region but is surrounded by majestic mountain ranges that are a portion of the Rocky Mountains, the backbone of the American west. In the U.S. this area is known as “Big Sky Country” and Bozeman is a perfect, central location for these spectacular day hikes. So, Linda and I loaded up our hiking gear and drove the 1,000 miles from San Francisco’s Bay Area so that my two Border Collies, Panda and Bandit, who are eager companions on the trail, could join us. Andrew then put us up for two weeks as we enjoyed a vacation of hiking and generally looking around the area. He, his wife and daughters know the area well and directed us to some outstanding trails. For others, a good planning resource for these hikes is Robert Stone’s “Day Hikes Around Bozeman, Montana”.

Sacagawea Peak

Emerald Lake and Heather Lake

Beehive Basin

Hidden Lakes

Lava Lake

Beaver Ponds Trail in Yellowstone National Park

Garnet Mountain Lookout Tower Overnight

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