Yellowstone National Park in the Winter — things to do around Bozeman, Montana

Three things to do — two good and one not so good

January 2014

Montana Ale Works, Bozeman, Montana — worth a visit

The Montana Ale Works was a great find on the outskirts of ‘downtown’ Bozeman.

The ‘Ale Works’ was in a converted railway shed and offered a good range of beers and food, with excellent service. I had the Yellowstone Golden Ale, which was superb.

The place is well worth checking out.

Bozeman Hot Springs — not a great experience

I was looking forward to my visit to the Bozeman Hot Springs.

There is no legal bathing in the Yellowstone National Park, and Bozeman Hot Springs was one of the few places you could swim in water from a hot spring. There is a section of open river on the road to the north entrance of Yellowstone where you can swim, but as far as I could tell, Bozeman Hot Springs was my only option.

I was hoping Bozeman Hot Springs would be a place sympathetic to the park’s splendour. I was hoping that it would offer a chance to experience the thermal waters. I was mistaken.

Instead, I found two large swimming pools and several small 'soaking' pools. These pools were full of hot spring water, but they didn't offer the relaxing experience I was seeking. It was a poor use of such a wonderful natural resource. It could be a wonderful experience for tourists visiting the park.

Very disappointing.

The Rockies Museum, Bozeman, Montana — worth a visit

We planned to ski the excellent Bridger Bowl on our last day in Bozeman. But, due to strong winds (I later heard they gusted to 60+ mph at the base station), we decided to skip the skiing and get some culture at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman.

The museum cost $14 to enter and was worth the money. We managed to spend the whole day there, and we still only covered around 30% of what was available.

The museum had a great exhibition about the early days of Yellowstone National Park, its foundation, and tourism development. Plus, an excellent section on dinosaurs. I must admit that I had no idea that Montana had such a wealth of fossils. Or that Montana State University was so active in dinosaur research.

Photo by Author — so nice to see one dinosaur giving another a piggyback
Photo by Author — so nice to see one dinosaur giving another a piggyback
Photo by Author — and what are those two doing?
Photo by Author — and what are those two doing?

If you have a free day in Bozeman and are at a loss for what to do, check out the museum, as it is well worth the entry fee.