Working to keep Hyalite Canyon enjoyable for all

Friends of Hyalite is a 501(c)3, grassroots, charitable organization that draws on a broad base of community engagement to promote volunteerism and support for recreational opportunities and conservation of the outstanding, year-round, recreational opportunities found in Hyalite Canyon on the Gallatin National Forest near Bozeman, MT.

Welcome to Friends of Hyalite

New Map of Nordic Groomed Trails

Have you been frustrated trying to figure out which ski trails in Hyalite are groomed?  Bridger Ski Foundation has come to the rescue with a new map of just the groomed ski trails in Hyalite.

The older Hyalite winter recreation map includes all designated ski trails, regardless of whether they are groomed.  When you’re ready to venture into ungroomed terrain, compare the two maps to find non-groomed trails and their degree of difficulty.

BSF Hyalite Groomed Ski Trails MapHyalite Groomed Ski Trails 201410 Links to both maps can also be found on our Maps page.

The Forest Service does most of the grooming of ski trails in Hyalite.  Typically, the trails are groomed once every week or two, so you’ll often be skiing through a layer of light powder on a “groomed” run.

Bridger Ski Foundation often grooms from Sourdough Canyon, past the bridge and up to Moser Jumpoff Road.  This route can be skied as a mostly-downhill one-way shuttle run, starting at Moser parking lot and ending in Sourdough Canyon.  The first mile, up Moser Road and Moser Jumpoff Road, is snowmobile territory.


Meet Us at the Bozone 12/7/14

Bozone Brewery is hosting a fundraiser for Friends of Hyalite’s plowing fund.  Drop in Sunday, December 7th between 2pm and 8pm.  Fifty  cents from every pint sold will benefit Friends of Hyalite! The Bozone is a family friendly place too, so swing by and have a drink with us!

Tell your friends you are coming by RSVPing on our Facebook event page, then inviting others.

Thanks Bozone!  And thanks to all the beer drinkers who are friends of Hyalite!





WHAT: Annual Fall Hyalite Clean Up Day

MEETING TIME: @ 12:30 pm

Volunteers clean up Moser Road

Volunteers clean up Moser Road

Join the Gallatin National Forest & Friends of Hyalite Sunday, October 19 from 12:30 pm to 4 pm at the Hyalite Reservoir Pavilion. The annual Hyalite Fall Clean Up is an opportunity to meet like-minded community who love Hyalite and to help clean up our favorite backyard before winter.

Bring gloves, water, & appropriate clothing.


Lightning-sparked fire in East Hyalite

News media reported a small (less than 0.1 acre) fire was caused by lightning on Friday, July 11, 2014.  This fire is named Sleeping Giant, for the mountain between the East Fork Hyalite Road and the main road that leads to Grotto Falls.

Sleeping Giant Fire

Sleeping Giant Fire

According to the Bozeman Chronicle,

“The fire is located on steep, inaccessible terrain circled by a rock band, preventing firefighters from combating the blaze directly from the ground.  Firefighters plan to closely monitor the fire throughout the weekend and determine whether air resources are necessary to keep the burn contained.  The fire…does not pose an immediate threat to recreation in the area.”

If we hear of any changes, we’ll post updates here or on Facebook.

Construction Projects in Hyalite – Summer 2014

Hyalite Road, Bridge & Pavilion Construction to Begin,
Expect Short Delays

Bozeman, MT – The Bozeman Ranger District, Custer Gallatin National Forests will be starting road construction on the Hyalite Road (Forest Road #62) starting Monday, June 23, 2014.  Construction is expected to be complete by Fall 2014. Recreationists should expect short delays while traveling the Hyalite Corridor and watch for construction equipment and crews.

  • Construction will involve replacing two bridges; one near Chisholm campground and a second bridge near Palisades Trailhead. The new bridges will provide a maintenance upgrade, improve capacity and will be placed just upstream of the previous bridges. Road and dirt work will also be completed to realign the roadway to the new bridges and reposition the intersection of the Hyalite Road (Forest Road #62) and the South Fork Hyalite Road (Forest Road #6290) to improve safety and allow for a new winter recreation parking lot.
  • Improvements to the Palisades Trailhead will include an enlarged paved parking area with improved traffic flow and trailer parking, along with paved winter recreation parking lots for Blackmore, Lick Creek and Moser Creek.

“As the Gallatin Valley continues to grow; visitor use in Hyalite Canyon, a popular destination point for day hiking, fishing, biking and longer trips, expands as well,” said Wendi Urie, Recreation Program Manager, Bozeman Ranger District. “The existing bridges have reached their useful life span and are narrow making them difficult to plow for winter recreation use.” Overall these improvements will allow for safer travel on Hyalite Road and increased parking for recreational users.

  • The Hyalite Pavilion will also receive finishing touches with a new bridge across Blackmore Creek, handicap accessible features throughout and the completion of neighboring trails connecting to improved day-use picnic sites for the summer season. The work on the Pavilion and trails will begin after the July 4 weekend.

Full access to Hyalite trails and the reservoir will be available throughout the construction phases, but recreationists should anticipate delays as construction progresses. To check on construction updates call the Bozeman Ranger District at: 406-522-2520 or visit the Gallatin National Forest website under Alerts and Notices.

Hyalite is one of the most popular recreation destinations on National Forest System lands in Montana and provides unparalleled access to the Gallatin Crest, hiking, biking, running, photographing, fishing, ATV and motorcycle use to approximately 50,000 people a month. To learn more, and get your free Motor Vehicle Use Map visit the Bozeman Ranger District or download maps online under maps and publications.

All Hyalite Roads Open

The East Fork Hyalite Road opened June 2 (in case you missed it on our Facebook page) and all other scheduled roads opened as planned on Monday, June 16.

Please note that motorcycles are not allowed on the Emerald Lake and Hyalite Lake trails until July 16, and timeshare rules apply then.

As the Forest Service pointed out, “”Some roads and trails will still be muddy, snowy and wet. If you encounter these conditions please TREAD LIGHTLY. This is the time of year when we can cause the most damage to our roads and trails.”

This is what trails look like when used while wet:

mud pits created by ATVs

More of Hyalite Road Opens

Grotto FallsHyalite Road is now open to Grotto Falls, as of Saturday, May 31st.

The East Fork (to Palisade Falls and Emerald Lake trail) remains closed until more snow melts.


Hyalite Day Use Pavilion

Picnic Pavilion

In honor of Memorial Day and those of you remembering our fallen soliders and police with a lovely day in Hyalite, here are some details about the Day Use Pavilion, one of the most popular amenities in Hyalite.The pavilion was built in collaboration with the Montana State University School of Architecture, The Gallatin National Forest and local construction professional volunteers. The structure is 20 feet by 50 feet, offers seating for 25 and two grills. There is a fire place and a separate fire pit that is not yet finished. The pavilion on the northwest shoreline of Hyalite Reservoir.

(c) Barbara Geller  Over the summer of 2014, Gallatin National Forest plans on finishing the landscaping around the pavilion. Once completed, you will be able to use the Gallatin National Forest web site to reserve it similar to the other rental cabins on the forest. Until then, use is first come, first served. For more details or an estimated date it will go into the reservation system, you can call the Bozeman Ranger District at (406) 522-2520.

Hyalite Road Opening to Dam May 16

Many Roads Across Bozeman R.D. Delayed Opening

Release Date: May 15, 2014

Contact(s): Mariah Leuschen, 406-548-1174, Marna Daley, 406-587-6703

Bozeman, MT –The Bozeman Ranger District, Custer Gallatin National Forests will be opening Hyalite Canyon Road to the dam (FS Road #62) on Friday, May 16 to motorized use.  This year, Hyalite Canyon received about 130% – 150% of the average snowfall and currently an ice layer still covers Hyalite Reservoir and much of the road and trail system above the dam are snow covered and soft.

“If recreationists choose to utilize Hyalite, we urge common sense as hiking and camping opportunities are very limited in Hyalite Canyon at this time,” said Wendi Urie Recreation Program Manager.  “An early morning ski is possible, but many roads and trails are extremely soft or still remain snow covered.  Damage on both trails and road systems can be greatly reduced by minimal use during spring melt-off conditions, benefiting the longer-term recreational use of those road and trail systems.  The road beyond Hyalite Dam to Grotto Trailhead remains snow covered and soft and Langhor, Hood and Chisholm Campgrounds remain closed.

Frozen LakeGenerally, an average of 50,000 people a month, visit Hyalite during the summer and it is easily one of the most popular Forest Service destinations in the region.  Friends of Hyalite, a local non-profit organizes bi-annual clean-up days, helps fund the winter road plowing, and promotes public stewardship.

“The annual Spring Clean Up day was recently postponed due to the volume of snow in Hyalite,” said Joe Josephson, Executive Director for Friends of Hyalite, “to help out and keep informed visit for updates on rescheduling.  Clean-up days help keep Hyalite enjoyable, the canyon provides unparalleled access to four season destination recreational opportunities.”

Most other roads on the Bozeman District scheduled to open May 16th will also remain closed due to snow cover and soft roadbeds.

  • Storm Castle Road, (FS Road #132) from Highway 191 to Rat Lake Road (FS Road #3112) and Swan Creek Road (FS Road #48) to the Swan Creek Campground and Trailhead will open as scheduled.
  • Swan Creek, Spire Rock, and Red Cliff Campgrounds will also open May 16.
  • Greek Creek Campground is closed due to Highway 191 construction.

Recreationists venturing out for first spring hikes are reminded to carry bear spray, follow food storage regulations and remain aware of their surroundings, as they enjoy Hyalite canyon and surrounding district trails.  Loose rocks and debris are common during spring break-up.

For updated road, trail and campground information please call the Bozeman Ranger District at (406) 522-2520 or call the 24 hour Information line at (406) 522-2534.  If you do come across a gate the road is closed with spring melt-off and snow conditions.  Recreational crews are out daily checking and monitoring conditions to open roads as soon as seasonal designations and spring melt-off conditions allow.  Administrative traffic may be on Hyalite Road checking conditions and preparing campgrounds as the snow continues to melt.  General information on Gallatin National Forest recreation activities can be found at:


- FS -

12 Guided Hikes in Hyalite for 2014

Ready for a new adventure?  Looking for hiking companions?

Considering joining Montana Wilderness Association on one of their scheduled hikes, several of which are in Hyalite Canyon.  This is the 52nd year that MWA has offered free, member-led excursions into some of Montana’s finest backcountry.  For more details and to sign up, go to the MWA website.

  • Sat 6/21/14: Summer solstice walk to Fox Creek Meadow (1 mile)
  • Sat 7/12/14: Grotto Falls parents & pre-schoolers hike (3 miles)
  • Sun 7/13/14: Blackmore Lake parents & grade-schoolers hike (3.5 miles)
  • Sat 7/19/14: East Hyalite Divide (6.5 miles)
  • Sat 8/9/14: Flanders Lake & Meadows (6 miles)

BWAGS near Window Rock Cabin


Women are welcome to join the Monday BWAGs (Bozeman Women’s Activity Group) on their scheduled hikes this summer.

The BWAGS meet at Museum of the Rockies to car pool; hike descriptions are on the full 2014 Monday BWAG Hike Schedule; no RSVP required.  Their hikes in Hyalite include:


  • Mon 6/30/14,  8:30 am: Moser Creek to Sourdough Canyon (10.5 miles, 600 ft elevation gain)
  • Mon 7/14/14, 8 am: East Hyalite Divide (6.6 miles, 2600 ft)
  • Mon 8/11/14, 8 am: Emerald Lake (10.0 miles, 2000 ft)
  • Mon 10/25/14, 9 am: Rocky Overlook (5.7 miles, 1165 ft)

Big Sky Hikers venture into Bozeman for hikes, too.  They meet at the Big Sky Community Park to carpool.  Meeting time for the hikes below is 8:15.

  • Thu 6/26/14: Emerald Lake (9 miles, 1850 feet elevation gain)
  • Thu 7/24/14: History Rock (7 miles, 1440 ft)
  • Thu 7/31/14: Hyalite Ridge from Storm Castle Creek (12.5 miles, 1500 ft)

Bozeman Adventure Club usually hikes a couple times in Hyalite each season, although no hikes in Hyalite have been announced yet.