Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
10.00 mi (16.09 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Chestnut Mountain is an easily accessible, moderate hike along a mountain ridge with excellent views of the Gallatin Valley and nearby mountain ranges. Access the northern end of the Chestnut Mountain Trail at the trailhead off of the interstate.

From the trailhead, the trail crosses Rocky Creek and briefly winds through a recent conservation easement established by the Gallatin National Forest, Gallatin Valley Land Trust, and Trust for Public Land. Quickly climb up the slope and walk through forest with thick underbrush. Enter the Gallatin National Forest and continue your upward journey. The jagged western face of the Absaroka Range comes into view at the first open meadow. At the ridge, enjoy views of the Absaroka, Bridger, Crazy, and Gallatin mountain ranges, including the peaks of Bozeman’s favorite playground, the Hyalite Recreation Area. Hikers in the late spring will be lucky enough to see wide, colorful spreads of wildflowers all along the trail.

Mountain bikers are a common sight along the trail. Rock climbers can also access the limestone crags of Chestnut Mountain via a 1-mile spur trail (Trail No. 463) to Frog Rock. Prior to the conservation easement, climbers often illegally parked along the interstate.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Excellent views. Wildflowers.

Cons

Highway noise.

Trailhead Elevation

5,259.00 ft (1,602.94 m)

Net Elevation Gain

2,300.00 ft (701.04 m)

Features

Rock climbing
Big Game Watching
Wildlife
Big vistas
Wildflowers
Fishing
Big Game Watching

Suitable for

Biking
Horseback

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Big Sky + Gallatin River Valley, Montana
Bridger + Crazy Horse Mountains, Montana

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