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Bridger Foothills Trail #534

Difficult
 4.7 (3)

An often overlooked trail in the shadow of the Bridger Ridge.


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Map Key

19.9

Miles

32.0

KM

Point to Point

8,980' 2,737 m

High

5,465' 1,666 m

Low

4,993' 1,522 m

Up

8,508' 2,593 m

Down

13%

Avg Grade (7°)

43%

Max Grade (23°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

Access to this trail is best from the east side at Fairy Lake, but it can also be accessed from the west (with more elevation gain necessary) from the Corbly Gulch trailhead.

An alternate to the must-do Bridger Ridge Traverse is the Bridger Foothills Trail. This National Recreation Trail traverses nearly the entire length of the Bridger Mountain Range and offers hikers long views of the Gallatin Valley, The Tobacco Root Mountains, the Madison Range, the Gallatin Range, and the towns of Bozeman and Belgrade.

The Foothills Trail is not for the faint of heart nor for a hiker fearing massive elevation gain and loss. The trail follows the myriad of coulees that make up the west side of the Bridger Mountains and the trail goes up and down into each and every single one of them. The trail dips into a little draw only to immediately take you back up and out of it giving you a glimpse just a bit farther down valley.

The long traversing nature of the trail means that it crosses many other trails and most hikers will find its primary use is to simply connect two of these together. A popular mountain bike route is to connect the Sypes Canyon Trail with the College M Trail via the Foothills Trail. Other options are Corbly Gulch and Middle Cottonwood as well.

Prepare for a many hour jaunt should you wish to hike it in its entirety. Bring plenty of water as the trail is located high enough up that it only touches the tops of a few of the seasonal streams and creeks that run down the west side of the range.

Contacts

Shared By:

Sam H

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 3 votes

#5696

Overall
  4.7 from 3 votes
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4 Star
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Trail Rankings

#150

in Montana

#5,696

Overall
215 Views Last Month
8,735 Since Apr 23, 2015
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Photos

Mountain goat
Apr 23, 2015 near Bozeman, MT
Looking down Middle Cottonwod
May 15, 2019 near Bozeman, MT
Bridger Foothills Trail
Apr 23, 2015 near Bozeman, MT
Junction where the Ridge Trail leaves the National Rec trail up and into the high country.
Apr 22, 2015 near Bozeman, MT
Approaching Ross Pass
Apr 22, 2015 near Bozeman, MT
Meadow along Middle Cottonwood
May 13, 2015 near Bozeman, MT

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Minor Issues 78 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jul 8, 2020
Kai Duckworth
Jul 4, 2019
Renee Kerznar
Connecting with Ridge from corbly gulch — 11h 46m