Gallatins from town:
Go west on Main to S. 19th. Left on S. 19th 6 mi until it bends hard right.
Three trails interconnect via logging roads, Kirk Hills, Leverich, and Bozeman Creek. These trails aren’t awfully pretty but they are close and the snow melts early. Decent huckleberries in August and beautiful fall colors starting in late September.
Kirk Hills (driving 12 min, 8 mi). At the bend pull off into the MSU parking area. Mostly just a steep hike but a loop to Leverich and back on pavement is good when everything else is snowed in. Or there are lots of Huckleberries midway up Leverich in August. The loop has 2000’ in 6 mi but you can add in more by running up or down logging roads. The loop is easiest to find going up Leverich (see below).
Leverich Canyon (driving 15 min, 9 mi). Just before the bend turn left on Nez Perce, in ¼ mi the road goes left again, ¼ mi then right on Bristol. 1 mi then right on 3rd up the canyon about 2 mi to dead end. Trail goes straight up steep for several miles. You can smell the huckleberries here in August. Levels off for a mile (no more hucks) and then comes out on a well-used logging road. Go right to do the loop down Kirk Hills. Go about a mile and watch for a spur road going right. Go down the spur to the end 1/3 mi and look for deer trail going slightly up on ridge and then down. Follow this down to Kirk Hills. There is a bit of a maze down lower but they all go to the trailhead eventually.
Bozeman Creek (aka Sourdough Creek) (driving 20 min, 12 mi). Either go south on S. 19th to Nash Road (7 mi) then left on Nash 4 mi to Sourdough Canyon Rd or go east on Main to Church, south on Church 5 mi (Church becomes Sourdough after it crosses Kagy). Go right on Nash ¼ mi and left up Sourdough Canyon Rd 1 mi. This trail is an abandoned logging road 11 mi to Mystic Lake, very accessible, very popular and totally runnable. Cool lake, no vistas At 5 mi after you cross a bridge, a less used road goes right to Langhor Campground in Hyalite Canyon. There is a way to get to Kirk Hills but I don’t know it nor know why you would want to. To get to Langhor is essentially staying on the best road and is another 11 mi.. Or before the bridge you can leave the road left for a trail which is more direct and more fun to the lake. You can stay on the road (especially in winter on skis). Once at Mystic Lake you can continue on the road to Bear Lakes, 3 mi or stay on the trail on the left side of the lake and connect up with the trail from New World Gulch. Nice FS cabin to rent here, real close to the lake.
Triple Tree (driving 10 min, 6 mi). On Sourdough Rd, a mile before hitting Nash. Small parking area just past Triple Tree meeting hall. 4 mi, nice, short trail, snowfree early but muddy for a while. Out about 2 mi then a 2 mi loop with some good climbs. Good place for a family picnic. There is even a bench at the high point.
New World Gulch to Mystic Lake (driving 25 min, 14 mi). East on Main to I-90, then 3 mi to Bear Canyon exit, through small community of Ft Ellis on Bear Canyon Rd another 5 mi. Wide pull-off is easy to find. Trail splits but best trail is obvious to left. Either fork is fine. 3 mi to the divide (big signs announcing you are in the Bozeman water drainage), then 1.5 mi where a trail goes right and around the lake to the cabin. Or you can continue straight until you hit the road and go right down to the cabin, or left to Bear Lakes. Not a real pretty trail but good for a change of pace and fairly skiable in winter.
Hyalite Canyon has four excellent trails plus two great wheelchair accessible trails to waterfalls. Continue on S. 19th past the bend ¾ mi. Turn left on Hyalite Canyon Rd, Forest Service sign there too. Nice paved road 7 mi to Hyalite Reservoir. Langhor Campground is 3 mi up and there are several small campgrounds past the reservoir, very popular and often full all summer.
History Rock (driving 30 min, 18 mi). 1 mi before the reservoir is the pull-off to the right. This trail goes by a sandstone rock supposedly etched by John Colter (1.2 mi). Continues on to a divide (1 more mile) which takes you down through Fox Meadow, the prettiest wildflowers on the planet. Continues on down to the South Cottonwood trail, 4.2 mi total (directions below).
Mt Blackmore (10,100’) (driving 30 min, 19 mi). Park at the reservoir. Trail is 3800’ in 10 mi round trip to the Peak. Snow bound until late June. Easy to follow but exceedingly steep with little running. Main appeal is its close and quick to get up high. Superb view at the top.
Hyalite Peak (10,200’) (driving 40 min, 26 mi). Drive past the reservoir on a gravel road now another 5 miles to the dead end. Another of my favorite runs. Lots of snow make it tough to get to the cirque before July. The trail is 3900’ in14 mi, often runnable switchbacks, along a stream with many waterfalls. The cirque below the peak is gorgeous with a nice lake. Obvious glacier formed U-shaped valley. You can continue on past the peak on the Gallatin Crest Trail all the way to Yellowstone Park. There is a clean spring-fed (small) stream 2.5 miles past the peak then no water for 14 miles. Snow patches last into August. When starting from the trailhead the trail is wide and packed for wheelchairs. In ½ mi the Hyalite trail cuts uphill to the left. Leave the wheelchair trail here. The wheelchair trail crosses the Hyalite trail twice as it heads to Grotto Falls. You can take it to the falls and note a trail heading uphill from there that does intersect the Hyalite trail.
Emerald Lake (driving 45 min, 26 mi). Just past the reservoir turn left on a good but unmarked gravel road. Turn to Palisades Falls in 2 mi. Straight 3 mi more on rougher but passable road to dead end. Heavy mountain bike use, 2100’ in 8 mi round trip. Quick switchbacked climb back to a pretty cirque with two lakes, Heather and Emerald, about ¾ mi apart.
The two wheelchair trails are at the beginning of Hyalite to Grotto Falls, and Palisades Falls a little before Emerald Lake.
South Cottonwood (driving 35 min, 20 mi). Stay on S. 19th past Hyalite another 2 miles till it ends on Cottonwood Rd. Turn left and follow the road 2 miles and there is a clearly marked road to the left up Cottonwood Canyon. 4 miles up this road to the dead end. This trail is very gradual, almost 100% runnable up a wooded valley along a swift moving creek 11 mi to Mt Blackmore. It is one way to access the peak before the end of June. Last 2 mi to Blackmore is very pretty alpine meadows. 6 mi to the Fox Creek trail which turns left to History Rock 4 mi further. 5 mi on to Blackmore. As a partial loop you can run up to Blackmore, down to Hyalite reservoir, down to History Rock trail, back up and down to Fox Creek and back to South Cottonwood. I haven’t done it but estimate 28 mi, 6000’.
Goose Creek (driving 20 min, 13 mi). Head east out of town on I-90 part way up Bozeman pass and take the Trail Creek exit. About two mi up Trail Creek is a right on Goose Creek. This is supposed to be a nice trail but I haven’t tried it yet.