|Emerald Lake (c) Kevin Dean 2011|
August in Bozeman can be HOT! While Bozeman is known for its whitewater there are a few good areas where the water slows down and offers you somewhere to escape the heat. Here are some of the options for getting outside and cooling off around Southwest Montana. This is just a few of the options, if you have others you want to add comment below!
|Paddling at Bozeman Beach|
Bozeman BeachBozeman beach is the in-town area to cool down, located north of town off of 7th bring out your water wings and splash around. Also a nice place to try out some paddle sports, people commonly head there to work on their kayak rolls or try stand up paddle boarding. Not a bad spot to hang out on the beach or play some volleyball either.
Cameron Bridge on the GallatinThere are several swimming holes on the Gallatin but Cameron bridge is easy to get to and doesn't see as much traffic as Axtell Bridge. To get there head north from 4 Corners on Jackrabbit and turn left on Cameron Bridge Road. Park at the fishing access upstream of the bridge and the swimming hole is easy to find.
Lava LakeLava lake is a short hike to a nice alpine lake. About a three mile hike from the 35 mph bridge in Gallatin Canyon takes you to this high alpine lake with nice views and a rocky coastline. The water can be a little cold but it is well worth it on a hot day.
Green Bridge/Deer Creek AccessThe Green Bridge that crosses the Gallatin at the Deer Creek trail head is a great spot to go and cool off. A popular place for bridge jumping and quick swims. The current makes it hard to sit and relax but a nice place to hang out none the less.
Ouesel FallsOuesel Falls near Big Sky offers some great river pools to cool off during the heat of the summer. A short hike in with several different pools for swimming or just wading in and relaxing. The falls are about a mile down the trail and just below the falls is the largest pool. Well worth the short hike but this water can be a little cooler than other areas on here.
|Calm water of Ennis Lake|
Ennis LakeEnnis lake is a popular spot for fisherman and boaters alike but there are some great areas to jump in and take a swim. The north side of the lake has some deeper water for about a half mile up from the dam which offers a nice spot to jump in.
Madison RiverThe Madison river in August is best known for floating, The water is too shallow for swimming and too warm for fishing so grab a tube and head out that way. While a large area around the river burned in a large wildfire earlier this year it is back open and while the water is pretty warm this time of year it is still a great option for an afternoon cool down. The most common float is from Warm Springs to Blacks Ford and takes about 4.5-5 hours but shorter options are available.
Hyalite ReservoirHyalite Reservoir just south of Bozeman is one of the most popular stretches of water for kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and fly fishing. On a nice hot day grab a stand-up paddle board and head into Hyalite for some still water paddle boarding under the spectacular mountains of Hyalite.
Fairy LakeFairy Lake may be more of a pond than an actual lake it is home to a nice little rope swing. Swing in and cool off under the summits of the North Bridgers.
This is just a quick list of some of the great places near Bozeman to go cool off. It is nowhere near a comprehensive list, with dozens of alpine lakes, rivers, ponds, and creeks around there are many more areas for you to explore. For more info on local outdoor areas check out the Our Backyard section of our website. Your comments and critiques are welcome as we spotlight areas of Southwest Montana we know and love. Email Kevin with any thoughts, corrections, or suggestions.
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