Gallatin Riverside Trail In Montana

Here is everything you need to know about the Gallatin Riverside Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Montana
  • Length: 2.4 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: gravel
  • Managed By: Gallatin Valley Land Trust
  • Permit Required?: Yes.
  • Website: Info not available.

The Gallatin Riverside Trail, located in Gallatin County, Montana, holds a rich historical significance that dates back centuries. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Crow, Shoshone, and Blackfeet, who relied on the Gallatin River for sustenance and transportation. These tribes left behind traces of their presence in the form of artifacts and rock art, providing valuable insights into their way of life.

In the early 19th century, European explorers and fur trappers ventured into the region, drawn by the abundance of wildlife and the potential for trade. The Lewis and Clark Expedition, which passed through the area in 1805, documented the natural beauty and resources of the Gallatin River valley. This expedition played a crucial role in opening up the West to further exploration and settlement.

As the 19th century progressed, the Gallatin River became an important transportation route for settlers moving westward. The trail served as a vital link between the mining towns of Virginia City and Helena, facilitating the movement of people, goods, and supplies. The Gallatin Riverside Trail, then known as the “Bozeman Trail,” played a significant role in the Montana gold rush of the 1860s, attracting thousands of fortune seekers to the region.

Over time, the Gallatin Riverside Trail evolved from a transportation route to a recreational trail, offering visitors the opportunity to explore the stunning natural beauty of the Gallatin River valley. Today, the trail provides a glimpse into the area’s rich history, with interpretive signs and markers along the way, highlighting the historical significance of the region. The Gallatin Riverside Trail stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of the Native American tribes, explorers, and pioneers who shaped the history of this remarkable area.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Gallatin Gateway Trailhead: This is the starting point of the Gallatin Riverside Trail, located in Gallatin Gateway, Montana. It provides parking facilities and access to the trail.

2. Axtell Bridge Trailhead: Located near the Axtell Bridge, this trailhead offers parking and access to the Gallatin Riverside Trail.

3. Cameron Bridge Trailhead: Situated near the Cameron Bridge, this trailhead provides parking and access to the Gallatin Riverside Trail.

4. Manhattan Trailhead: Located in Manhattan, Montana, this trailhead offers parking facilities and access to the Gallatin Riverside Trail.

5. Logan Trailhead: Situated in Logan, Montana, this trailhead provides parking and access to the Gallatin Riverside Trail.

6. Three Forks Trailhead: Located in Three Forks, Montana, this trailhead offers parking facilities and access to the Gallatin Riverside Trail.

7. Missouri Headwaters State Park: This state park, located near Three Forks, serves as a major access point to the Gallatin Riverside Trail. It provides parking, camping, and other amenities.

8. Gallatin Forks Trailhead: Situated near Gallatin Forks, Montana, this trailhead offers parking and access to the Gallatin Riverside Trail.

9. Gallatin River Campground: This campground, located along the Gallatin River, serves as an access point to the Gallatin Riverside Trail. It provides camping facilities and access to the trail.

10. Gallatin Riverhouse Grill: Situated near Gallatin Gateway, this restaurant and grill offers parking and access to the Gallatin Riverside Trail.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Gallatin Riverside Trail. There may be additional smaller access points or trailheads along the trail as well.

Transportation Available

1. Gallatin Valley Taxi – Local taxi service providing convenient transportation in the Gallatin area.
2. Bozeman Trolley – Historic trolley offering guided tours and transportation in downtown Bozeman.
3. Uber – On-demand ridesharing service available in the Gallatin Valley.
4. Lyft – Another popular ridesharing service providing transportation options in the area.
5. Bozeman Airport Shuttle – Shuttle service offering transportation to and from Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport.
6. Karst Stage – Regional bus service connecting various cities in Montana, including Bozeman.
7. Big Sky Shuttle – Shuttle service specializing in transportation to and from Big Sky Resort.
8. Bozeman Bike Kitchen – Community bike shop providing bike rentals and repairs for exploring the Gallatin Riverside Trail.
9. Bozeman Pedicab – Pedicab service offering eco-friendly transportation in downtown Bozeman.
10. Gallatin Valley Bicycle Club – Local cycling club promoting biking as a means of transportation and recreation in the area.


The amenities available at the Gallatin Riverside Trail may include:

1. Restrooms: Public restrooms or portable toilets may be available along the trail for visitors’ convenience.

2. Parking: Designated parking areas or parking lots may be provided near the trailhead or access points.

3. Camping Sites: Depending on the trail regulations and location, there may be designated camping sites or nearby campgrounds where visitors can set up tents or park RVs.

4. Picnic Areas: Scattered picnic areas or designated spots with picnic tables and benches may be available along the trail for visitors to enjoy meals or snacks.

5. Benches: Benches or seating areas may be placed at regular intervals along the trail, providing resting spots for hikers or bikers.

6. Water Fountains: Drinking water fountains or hydration stations may be installed along the trail to ensure visitors have access to clean water.

7. Trash Receptacles: Trash cans or bins may be placed at various points along the trail to encourage proper waste disposal.

8. Informational Signage: Signboards or interpretive panels may be installed along the trail, providing information about the area’s history, flora, fauna, or trail rules.

9. Bike Racks: Bike racks or bike parking areas may be available near the trailhead or other key points, allowing cyclists to securely park their bikes.

10. Dog-Friendly Areas: Some sections of the trail may allow dogs on leashes, providing pet owners with a place to walk their furry companions.

It is important to note that the availability of these amenities may vary depending on the specific location and management of the Gallatin Riverside Trail.

Nearby Services

1. Riverside Motel – Cozy lodging option with scenic views of the Gallatin River.
2. River’s Edge Restaurant – Waterfront dining experience offering a variety of delicious dishes.
3. Gallatin Valley Hospital – Nearby medical facility providing emergency services.
4. Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office – Local law enforcement agency offering emergency assistance.
5. Riverside Campground – Campsite along the trail, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.
6. Gallatin Gateway Inn – Historic inn offering comfortable accommodations and a charming atmosphere.
7. Gallatin Gateway Community Center – Multi-purpose facility hosting events and providing community services.
8. Gallatin Gateway School – Local educational institution serving the community.
9. Gallatin Gateway Post Office – Convenient postal services for residents and visitors.
10. Gallatin Gateway Fire Department – Emergency response team providing fire and rescue services.

Gallatin Riverside Trail Difficulty Notes

The Gallatin Riverside Trail offers a moderate difficulty level for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. The trail spans approximately 2.5 miles and features a mix of flat terrain and gentle inclines, making it accessible for individuals of varying fitness levels. While there are some rocky sections and uneven terrain, the trail is well-maintained and clearly marked, ensuring a relatively smooth and enjoyable hiking experience. Additionally, the trail offers stunning views of the Gallatin River and surrounding mountains, providing a rewarding and scenic backdrop for those seeking a moderately challenging outdoor adventure.

Features And Attractions

The Gallatin Riverside Trail offers a variety of scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and more. Here are some notable attractions along the trail:

1. Gallatin River: The trail follows the beautiful Gallatin River, providing stunning views of the water and surrounding landscapes.

2. Gallatin Gateway Inn: This historic inn, built in 1927, is located near the trail and offers a glimpse into the area’s past.

3. Axtell Bridge: This picturesque bridge spans the Gallatin River and is a popular spot for photography and enjoying the river views.

4. Gallatin Valley Botanical: Located near the trail, this organic farm offers scenic views of the surrounding farmland and mountains.

5. Gallatin Valley Historical Society Museum: Situated in Bozeman, this museum showcases the history and culture of the Gallatin Valley region.

6. Bozeman Fish Technology Center: This fish hatchery is located along the trail and offers educational exhibits and a chance to see various fish species.

7. Gallatin County Regional Park: This park features beautiful natural landscapes, picnic areas, and walking trails, providing a peaceful retreat along the trail.

8. Gallatin County Fairgrounds: If you visit during fair season, you can experience the local culture and enjoy various events and activities at the fairgrounds.

9. Gallatin County Pioneer Museum: Located in Bozeman, this museum displays artifacts and exhibits related to the area’s pioneer history.

10. Gallatin County Courthouse: This historic courthouse in Bozeman is worth a visit for its architectural beauty and historical significance.

11. Gallatin County Regional Park Pond: This small pond within the park is a great spot for fishing or simply enjoying the serene surroundings.

12. Gallatin County Regional Park Disc Golf Course: If you’re a fan of disc golf, this course offers a fun and challenging experience along the trail.

These are just a few examples of the scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks you can encounter along the Gallatin Riverside Trail.

Usage Guidelines

– Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
– Clean up after your pets and dispose of waste properly.
– Bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail.
– Motorized vehicles are not permitted on the trail.
– The trail is open year-round, but certain sections may have seasonal restrictions due to weather conditions or maintenance work.
– Camping or overnight stays are not allowed on the trail.
– Fires and open flames are prohibited.
– Respect other trail users and yield to pedestrians.
– Stay on designated trails and do not trespass onto private property.
– Leave no trace and take all trash with you.
– Follow any additional rules or guidelines posted at trailheads or along the trail.

Seasonal Information

The Gallatin Riverside Trail is a picturesque trail located in the Gallatin Valley of Montana, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the Gallatin River. While the trail is accessible year-round, there are certain times of the year that are particularly ideal for visiting.

One of the best times to visit the Gallatin Riverside Trail is during the summer months, from June to August. During this time, the weather is generally pleasant, with warm temperatures and longer daylight hours. The trail is lush and vibrant, with wildflowers in full bloom and the river flowing gracefully. It is a great time for hiking, biking, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll along the trail. The summer months also offer opportunities for fishing and wildlife spotting, as the river is teeming with trout and the surrounding forests are home to various species of birds and mammals.

In contrast, the winter months from December to February bring a different kind of beauty to the Gallatin Riverside Trail. The trail is transformed into a winter wonderland, with snow-covered trees and frozen riverbanks. It is a great time for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, as the trail offers a serene and peaceful atmosphere. However, it is important to note that during winter, the trail may be more challenging to navigate due to icy conditions, so it is advisable to come prepared with appropriate gear and clothing.

It is worth mentioning that the Gallatin Riverside Trail does not have any seasonal closures. It remains open throughout the year, allowing visitors to enjoy its beauty in every season. However, it is always a good idea to check weather conditions and trail updates before heading out, as occasional closures or restrictions may occur due to maintenance or unforeseen circumstances. Overall, the Gallatin Riverside Trail offers a delightful experience no matter the time of year, with each season bringing its own unique charm to this scenic Montana trail.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Trail: The Gallatin Riverside Trail is designed to be accessible for individuals using wheelchairs, with smooth surfaces and gradual slopes.
2. Accessible Parking: ADA-compliant parking spaces are available near the trail entrance, providing convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
3. Restrooms: Accessible restrooms equipped with grab bars and ample space for wheelchair maneuverability are located along the trail.
4. Picnic Areas: ADA-accessible picnic areas with tables and benches are provided, allowing individuals with disabilities to enjoy outdoor meals and gatherings.
5. Signage: Clear and visible signage with large fonts and Braille is installed along the trail, ensuring individuals with visual impairments can navigate easily.
6. Accessible Viewing Areas: Designated areas along the trail offer accessible viewpoints, allowing individuals with mobility challenges to enjoy scenic vistas.
7. Assistance Animals: The trail welcomes service animals, providing a safe and inclusive environment for individuals with disabilities who rely on their assistance.
8. Accessible Water Fountains: ADA-compliant water fountains are available at regular intervals along the trail, ensuring individuals with disabilities can stay hydrated.
9. Benches and Rest Areas: Wheelchair-accessible benches and rest areas are strategically placed along the trail, providing opportunities for individuals to rest and enjoy the surroundings.
10. Accessible Trailhead: The trailhead is designed to be accessible, featuring ramps, handrails, and other accommodations to ensure individuals with disabilities can easily enter and exit the trail.

Safety Information

1. Trail Conditions: Check for any trail closures or maintenance updates before heading out to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
2. Weather Awareness: Be aware of current and forecasted weather conditions to dress appropriately and avoid potential hazards.
3. Footwear: Wear sturdy and comfortable shoes with good traction to navigate various terrains along the trail.
4. Sun Protection: Apply sunscreen, wear a hat, and bring sunglasses to protect yourself from harmful UV rays.
5. Hydration: Carry an adequate amount of water to stay hydrated, especially during hot weather or longer hikes.
6. Insect Repellent: Apply insect repellent to prevent bites from mosquitoes or ticks, particularly during warmer months.
7. Wildlife Encounter: Respect wildlife and maintain a safe distance if you come across any animals along the trail.
8. Trail Etiquette: Be courteous to other trail users, yield to faster-moving individuals, and follow any posted rules or regulations.
9. Emergency Preparedness: Carry a fully charged cell phone, a basic first aid kit, and inform someone about your hiking plans.
10. Trail Markings: Pay attention to trail markers and signs to stay on the designated path and avoid getting lost.
11. River Safety: Be cautious near the river, especially during high water levels, and avoid swimming or entering the water if conditions are unsafe.
12. Nighttime Safety: Avoid hiking alone at night, but if necessary, use a headlamp or flashlight and stay on well-lit sections of the trail.
13. Trail Buddy: Consider hiking with a friend or in a group for added safety and enjoyment.
14. Leave No Trace: Respect the environment by packing out your trash, staying on the trail, and leaving natural objects undisturbed.
15. Personal Fitness: Assess your physical abilities and choose a trail section that matches your fitness level to prevent overexertion or injuries.

Conservation Notes

The Gallatin Riverside Trail, located in Gallatin County, Montana, is considered to have a favorable conservation status. The trail is situated along the scenic Gallatin River, which is known for its pristine waters and diverse wildlife. The conservation efforts in this area have been successful in maintaining the natural integrity of the trail and its surrounding environment.

One of the key factors contributing to the positive conservation status of the Gallatin Riverside Trail is the limited human impact on the area. The trail is well-maintained and designed to minimize disturbance to the surrounding ecosystem. This has helped to preserve the natural habitats of various plant and animal species that call this area home.

Furthermore, the Gallatin Riverside Trail benefits from the presence of several conservation organizations and agencies that actively work to protect and manage the area. These organizations collaborate to monitor and address any potential threats to the trail’s conservation status, such as invasive species or habitat degradation. Their efforts ensure that the trail remains a haven for wildlife and a place for visitors to appreciate and connect with nature.

Overall, the conservation status of the Gallatin Riverside Trail is considered to be in good condition. The combination of limited human impact, effective trail management, and the presence of conservation organizations has contributed to the preservation of this beautiful natural area. It is crucial to continue these conservation efforts to ensure the long-term sustainability and enjoyment of the Gallatin Riverside Trail for future generations.

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