What to do in Bozeman in November
What to do in Bozeman in November? The mad rush is over, for now. There is downtime in Montana for tourist influx. The Appeal of a Montana summer is over and the skiers are anxiously waiting for the snow reports. It’s currently mid-October and the snow hasn’t even fallen yet. In fact, the high today will be nearly 70 degrees! This will change shortly though as we transition from sun to snow.
However, it does beg the question; If it’s too cold to do outdoor activities but not enough snow to ski, what is there to do in Montana in November?
The simple truth is it’s not too cold to do outdoor activities and even better, there are ways to stay warm. The locals never stop having fun. An extra layer and some gloves keep it going. Here are some of the most fun things you can do in Montana in November.
Montana Adventures in November
The traffic is gone and the animals are on the move, making late fall one of the best times for wildlife viewing in Yellowstone Park and surrounding areas. The Lamar Valley remains open throughout the year and is one of the best spots to view a griz from a nice safe distance. Another hidden gem is the B-Bar Ranch, just north of Yellowstone in the Tom Miner basin. Although the bulk of the ranch is private property, they have cleared and sign posted a parking area across from a field and hillside that has become a favorite fall grizzly spotting area. At dusk it is not uncommon to see five or more bears come out of the forest to graze on native roots. Moose, elk, and big horn sheep are also a common sight. If you go, it is imperative to respect the landowners fences and private property, so visitors can enjoy this site into the future. Binoculars are required, a rental spotting scope is even better.
November usually calls for a hat, jacket, and gloves- but if you get lucky some of the best days of the year on the trail are the beautiful bluebird days of November. Favorites can be Storm Castle and Lava Lake in Gallatin canyon or Triple Tree and Drinking Horse closer to Bozeman. Just remember, wherever you go, bears are out and about this time of year so make sure to bring your bear spray. You can rent bear spray from Explore Rentals, or you can purchase from any outdoors store in the area if you live in the area. November is big game hunting season, so leave your antler hats at home!
The rivers don’t need a reservation and the fishing keeps getting better until the temperatures really drop. This time of year has the least amount of pressure on our famous Blue Ribbon trout waters, giving you perhaps the best chance of the year to land your personal best – while being all by yourself. Bring your waders or rent waders from Explore Rentals and be out there all day. Hiring a guide is of course never a bad idea. Some of the best can be booked through Montana Angler. Get out there and get after it!
Go for a Drive:
Any direct you pick from Bozeman will find you on beautiful roads and a majestic experience.
Bridger Loop: Head north through Bridger Canyon for a stunning mountain road drive. Lunch at the Bank Bar in Wilsall is not to be missed; their burgers are all made from local ranches and they have the best fries around. From there, head south to Livingston on route 89. Have a stroll around this super cute western town and check out their ample art galleries, coffee shops, and breweries. A short 20-minutes on I90 will put you right back in Bozeman.
Ennis Loop: Head west out of Bozeman towards Ennis. Winding along the Madison River will eventually put you in the fly fishing capital of the world, Ennis, Montana. Deemo’s Meats has arguably the best beef jerky on the planet, grab a bison burger at the Gravel Bar, and then wash it down with some craft Whiskey at Willie’s Distillery. From here you can head east past Cameron and connect with route 191, which will take you back north past Big Sky along the Gallatin River.
Count on at least three hours of driving for each of these trips, and add time on top of that for photo stops and other detours. It is important to note that both of these routes take you over mountain passes that are subject to snow and ice conditions so it is really important that your car has good tires. You don’t need chains, but anytime after November 1 in Montana, snow tires are very highly recommended
Winding Down the Day:
There’s nothing better than soaking in a hot spring after a long day and a chill in the air. Bozeman hot springs in town is nice but just outside of town are a few more great spots. Norris Hot Springs, Chico Hot Springs, and Yellowstone Hot Springs are all great alternatives if you can make one last push for an adventure.
Bowling at Ponderosa Social Club:
Yes, Bowling. This is a new spot in Bozeman just off 7th ave. It is what I would consider “new Bozeman”. They have done a phenomenal job with the building, and it is a fun place to go hang out have some food and drinks.
It’s been a long day of fishing, hiking, or traveling and you are just ready to sit down and have a beer. Well, you’re in luck. MAP brewery is probably my favorite for their location and views. There is also Mountains Walking just north of downtowns and Bridger Brewery within the MSU campus. Additionally, there are great beer sanctuaries like Shine Beer Sanctuary, Bozeman Taproom, and Hop lounge.
Armory Rooftop Bar:
One of the best new perks of “New Bozeman” is the rooftop bar at the Armory Hotel. Its open to the public and gives stunning views of downtown and the Bridgers. This is a unique spot to hang out and kick back for a little bit.
Montana in November offers all the same amenities without the crowds. Bring a jacket, go for an adventure, and enjoy what Montana has to offer. And if you need to a vehicle to get around, we got you covered. See you soon!