Bozeman | Belgrade | Greater Gallatin Valley

Gallatin County is home to the small cities of Bozeman and Belgrade, the towns of Big Sky, Manhattan and Three Forks, and numerous smaller unincorporated hamlets.  Lewis and Clark traveled this way on their Corps of Discovery mission.  Named after the Gallatin River, Gallatin County is nestled between four mountain ranges, offering access to thousands of acres of the Gallatin National Forest and hundreds of miles of blue ribbon trout streams. Alpine Skiing & Snowboarding, hiking, biking, fly-fishing, and rafting are popular activities.

The largest city in Gallatin County is Bozeman – Bozeman is also the county seat. A unique small city, Bozeman is an amalgamation of ranchers, artists, professors, ski enthusiasts and entrepreneurs, and is home to Montana State University.  Bridger Bowl ski resort, a non-profit community ski resort with world-class terrain and notorious for its ‘cold smoke’ powder, is a short 16-mile drive from downtown Bozeman. Bozeman’s main street was named one of the Top Ten in the nation in 2012 by the American Planning Association – loaded with delicious restaurants is home to many museums, talented artists and excellent galleries.

Located nine miles to the west of Bozeman is Belgrade.  Built as a railroad town, stories vary as to the origin of the town’s name, but most certainly the name is linked to Belgrade, Yugoslavia and Serbian financiers who invested in the Northern Pacific railroad.  Belgrade has established itself as an independent community with excellent services and the unbeatable experience of a small town. Located in the center of the Gallatin Valley, views of the Bridger Mountains from here are expansive.  The Gallatin and East Gallatin rivers flow just a few miles from the historic downtown area, both featuring blue ribbon trout fishing. Yellowstone International Airport is located in Belgrade.

Manhattan is located 20 miles to the west from Bozeman, a quaint agricultural community with a growing manufacturing sector.  Blackhawk! recently relocated here.  Fishing is a great pastime with miles of “blue-ribbon” trout streams in the area. For history buffs, there is a wealth of information in local museums, libraries and state parks about the Lewis and Clark Expedition who explored this area in the summers of 1805 and 1806. Views are open and sweeping of the surrounding area from Manhattan, with the rolling Horseshoe Hills to the north, the Bridger Mountains to the east, the Tobacco Root Mountains to the west and the Spanish Peaks Wilderness to the south. Enjoy special community events such as the Manhattan Potato Festival which celebrate the community’s heritage and rural lifestyle.

Three Forks is located 30 miles to the west of Bozeman, just to the south of the headwaters of the Missouri river, where the ‘Three Forks’, the Gallatin River, the Madison River and the Jefferson River, come together.  Missouri Headwaters State Park historical exhibits, interpretive signs, scenic viewpoints, picnic areas and hiking trails. Just outside town is Montana’s first state park, Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park, located 17 miles west of Three Forks. It features one of the most highly decorated limestone caverns in the Northwest. The Madison Buffalo Jump State Park is located off I-90 near Three Forks. This buffalo jump vividly demonstrates a hunting technique used in Montana 2,000 years ago. Interpretive displays explain how bison were stampeded over the cliffs.

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