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

Hyalite Road Spring Closure

April 1 – May 15 marks the annual spring closure of Hyalite Road at the mouth of the canyon to motorized use. Each year, Bozeman Ranger District provides a seasonal closure during the spring break-up period as the road sub-grade thaws and becomes saturated with snowmelt. As one of the most popular recreation destinations in Montana, Hyalite receives an overwhelming amount of traffic and the asphalt road is unable to support the repeated motorized use during the spring thaw which causes additional surface cracking and potholes. This transition period provides a great opportunity to clean-up Hyalite, Bozeman’s well-loved backyard and provide a variety of non-motorized recreational options throughout the spring season.
“Hikers, bikers, runners and other recreationists all enjoy and look forward to experiencing Hyalite in a different way during this 1.5 month closure,” said Lisa Stoeffler Bozeman District Ranger. “The plowing and winter access provides a fantastic winter opportunity. We are thankful to Gallatin County and Friends of Hyalite for their community involvement helping continue to keep Hyalite plowed.”
Over 20,000 visitors a month explore Hyalite during the winter, and upwards of 80,000 a month during the summer. That makes Hyalite one of the most sought after destinations, but with all that love from recreationists, it is also important to take care of our backyard treasure. Friends of Hyalite, a local non-profit providing support, conservation and year-round recreational opportunities in Hyalite will be hosting a clean-up day on Saturday, May 9. Meet at the Hyalite Canyon fishing access at 9:30 a.m. where groups will travel up the canyon to pick up along the road, trailheads, parking lots and other heavily used areas.
“With the amazing access we all enjoy comes the added responsibility to take care of our favorite backyard,” says Joe Josephson, Friends of Hyalite Executive Director. “With the lack of snow around the area, recreationists have hit the canyon particularly hard and the mess left behind is considerable this season with trash, pallet fires, shooting areas and dumping. We need your continued support to help keep Hyalite enjoyable to all.” Visit for more information.
For additional information please contact the Bozeman Ranger District at (406) 522-2520 or visit us online at

A Free Guided Tour in Hyalite on Snowshoes

“Seldom visited meadows, a huge old tree, and tantalizing views of the high peaks of the northern Gallatin Range.  What more could one ask for in an easy to moderate snowshoe hike?  We will start on an unnamed creek, climb to a magnificent meadow, and cut across the Buckskin and Moser Creek drainages before returning to our starting point.”

Each year, Montana Wilderness Association leads guided snowshoe hikes in wilderness areas around Montana. Not only are the hikes free, but they will even provide snowshoes if you don’t have them.  This year, one of those guided tours will be to Hyalite Meadows on Saturday, January 31st, 2015.  This hike will be led by the president of MWA’s local chapter, Roger Jenkins, who loves to find hidden meadows and off-the-beaten-path routes.

Space is limited, so reserve your spot.  Register at


It’s time to Tour Hyalite

2015-HyaliteTourJoin us for the annual Hyalite Tour.  This fun, free, family-friendly Nordic ski event includes skiing and a free lunch.

Saturday, January 3 at 10:00 a.m.

Meet at 10:00 am at the Hyalite reservoir parking lot. Bring classic skis.

There will be various route options — of 5, 7 and 10 miles — and route maps will be available.

Free lunch of soup, bread and hot drinks starting at 12:30 pm. Please bring a holiday treat to share if you’d like!

Wax technicians will be on hand to help you kick wax your skis. Kick wax has been donated by TOKO.


This annual tour has become a great holiday tradition! It is for all ages to enjoy, but please leave your doggies at home.

If you have questions, please call the BSF office at 406-587-2445.

The Hyalite Tour is hosted by



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.