Top 12 Hiking Trails in Montana | Billings KOA Holiday
Top 12 Hiking Trails in Montana
Montana is home to picturesque national parks and forests, offering nearly endless ways to experience the wilderness. Whether you're looking for a short, easy walk or long backpacking trails, Montana offers some of the best. Consider exploring these hiking trails during your trip to Montana.
Top Montana Hiking Trails
Consider visiting some of the best hiking trails in Montana when planning your next trip out west.
1. Boulder Pass Trail — Glacier National Park
Boulder Pass Trail is located in Glacier National Park near Babb, Montana. The trail is one of the north-most in Montana, lying close to the Canadian border. The hike is over 30 miles long and ascends to nearly 7,500 feet at the highest point near Chapman Peak. The trail is challenging, though it offers views of high alpine passes, waterfalls and rivers, Kintla Lake, Upper Kintla Lake and a glacial cirque. Boulder Pass Trail is popular for backpacking, birdwatching and camping.
If you're traveling from KOA Billings, Boulder Pass Trail is less than 8.5 hours away.
2. Danny On Memorial Trail — Flathead National Forest
Located at the base of the Whitefish Mountain Resort in Whitefish, Montana, the Danny On Memorial Trail begins at the resort and climbs 3.9 miles of alpine trails through the Flathead Valley, gaining 2,300 feet of elevation. This trail is one of the most popular in the area, and for a good reason — the trail offers an aesthetic experience with views of Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake and the Canadian Rockies. A unique feature of the Danny On Memorial Trail is that you can ride the chairlift up the mountain and hike down or hike up and take the chairlift down.
The trip to Danny On Memorial Trail from KOA Billings is a 7.5-hour drive or a five-hour flight.
3. Hidden Lake Overlook Trail — Glacier National Park
The Hidden Lake Overlook Trail is one of the most popular in Glacier National Park. The trail begins at the Logan Pass Visitor Center and is a 2.7-mile out-and-back trail that reaches an elevation of 7,150 feet at its highest point. This hike is relatively easy with some more challenging spots. While snow can linger at this elevation, much of the hike is through open alpine meadows full of wildflowers that bloom near the end of summer. The trail takes you out to reveal an overlook of Hidden Lake.
The Logan Pass Visitor Center and trailhead are just under seven hours from KOA Billings.
4. Mount Aeneas Summit Trail — Flathead National Forest
Beginning at the Jewel Basin parking lot, the Mount Aeneas Summit Trail is a 6-mile roundtrip hike that reaches 7,500 feet at the summit. The trail can be strenuous in certain spots, though it is a popular choice. Once you reach the summit, you'll have 360-degree views of Hungry Horse Reservoir, Glacier National Park, Flathead Valley and the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
At KOA Billings, you're only a little over seven hours from the Mount Aeneas Summit Trail.
5. Mystic Lake Trail — Custer Gallatin National Forest
Mystic Lake Trail is a 5.5-mile roundtrip hike through the Beartooth Mountains near Roscoe, Montana. The elevation gain is around 1,300 feet, and the trail is considered moderately difficult. The entire hike offers incredible views of mountains, wilderness and creeks. The trail takes you to Mystic Lake, the deepest lake in the area. Mystic Lake is home to a hydroelectric dam, and several trails wrap around the lake, offering more opportunities for exploration.
The Mystic Lake Trail is just under two hours away if you're looking to hike closer to KOA Billings.
6. Palisade Falls — Bozeman
If you're looking for a short and easy yet scenic hike, check out the Palisade Falls trail at the Hyalite Recreation Area in Bozeman, Montana. The trail is only 1.2 miles out-and-back with an elevation gain of 250 feet. The trail leads to the 80-foot Palisade Falls that tumble down a cataract of the Palisade Mountain. The trail is mostly paved and sees a lot of foot traffic.
The trail and Hyalite Recreation Area are about 2.5 hours from KOA Billings.
7. Highline Trail — Glacier National Park
The Highline Trail in Glacier National Park has a trailhead at the Logan Pass Visitor Center. You can take a one-way hike from Logan Pass to the Loop Trailhead on Going-to-the-Sun Road or the other way around, or you can take an out-and-back hike from the Loop to Granite Park Chalet. The out-and-back hike is nearly 15 miles long and is 7,280 feet above sea level. This trail offers stunning views and great opportunities for spotting wildlife like mountain goats, bears and bighorn sheep.
The Highline Trail is about seven hours from KOA Billings.
8. Lava Lake Trail — Custer Gallatin National Forest
Outside of Bozeman, Montana, in Custer Gallatin National Forest, the Lava Lake Trail follows Cascade Creek through dense forests to a rewarding view of Lava Lake and the surrounding Spanish Peaks. This 6-mile roundtrip hike is 7,100 feet above sea level, and despite being a rocky trail, it's only moderately difficult. Once you reach the lake, you may rest and enjoy the views, swim or fish, so bring the necessary gear.
It takes a little over 2.5 hours to drive to the Lava Lake Trail from KOA Billings.
9. Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail allows visitors to hike along the Continental Divide, which stretches from New Mexico to Montana. The trail is over 3,000 miles long in total, and you can hike a portion of the trail in Montana. The closest point to access the trail from KOA Billings is between Helena and Elliston, which is a four-hour drive from the campground. The elevation on the Montana Divide can range from 5,000 feet to 11,000 feet, depending on where you are on the trail.
The best part of this trail is that you can hike it for as long or short as you want and still experience national history.
10. Beehive Basin Trail — Big Sky
Located near Big Sky, Montana, the Beehive Basin Trail offers a picturesque hike through tall forests and alpine meadows and around creeks. This 6-mile roundtrip hike begins with an elevation of 9,200 feet and is a popular hiking and skiing location. The trail is only moderately difficult, making it well worth the views.
From KOA Billings, the Beehive Basin Trail is about 3.5 hours away.
11. Trapper Peak Trail — Bitterroot National Forest
Located about 20 miles southwest of Darby, Montana, is the Trapper Peak Trailhead at an elevation of 6,300 feet. This trail is about 8 miles out and back and is a challenging hike. Views from the peak include the spacious blue sky and surrounding mountain peaks. Because it's a bit more difficult, there are typically fewer people on the trail, allowing you to explore at your own pace.
Trapper Peak Trail is nearly six hours from KOA Billings.
12. Holland Falls National Recreation Trail — Flathead National Forest
The Holland Falls National Recreation Trail is a popular, easy and scenic hiking trail near Condon, Montana, in the Flathead National Forest. The trail only climbs 750 feet in elevation and is wide and well-marked. This trail follows the shoreline of Holland Lake until you reach the waterfall, making the hike a little over 3 miles roundtrip.
Holland Falls National Recreation Trail is about six hours from KOA Billings.
Plan Your Stay at KOA Billings
There's no denying that one of the best ways to experience the Western United States is through camping. The Kampgrounds of America located in Billings, Montana, was the world's first KOA destination. We're conveniently located within driving distance of some of the best Montana hiking trails and other must-see locations.
Explore our availability to begin planning your Montana hiking trip today!