Bozeman is one of our favorite small towns for running in the United States. An outdoor recreation mecca, in the vein of Boulder, Asheville, and Moab, this city of 50,000 (plus 16,000 students at MSU) is surrounded by three mountain ranges, three rivers, and is a gateway to Yellowstone National Park. Folks come in the summer for hiking, fishing, and kayaking, while two nearby ski areas are the main attraction in winter. The historic downtown areas has a great feel, with numerous restaurants, brew pubs, and outdoor gear shops. There’s great running in Bozeman, owing to many trails preserved by the Gallatin Valley Land Trust.
Right downtown, the best places for running are the Gallagator Trail, Peet’s Hill/Bozeman Trail, Sourdough Trail, the historic residential side streets off Main St., and the MSU campus. Just north of town, East Gallatin Recreation Area and Gallatin Regional Park feature nice trails with great mountain views. For some hill running near town, head to the College ‘M’ Trail, or the Sourdough Canyon Trail.
A few notes:. Bozeman sits at 4,800 feet, so it might take some time for those lungs to get adjusted. Make sure to hydrate! And be aware that the winter climate can affect road and trail running conditions. Some of the trails are maintained for X-C skiing in winter.