Dog Friendly Hikes in Big Sky

Big Sky, Montana is a dog friendly place. You'll spot dogs just about everywhere - on walks, on hikes, at shops, in cars, at the resort. Dogs love Big Sky and the big outdoor playground that we call our backyard. In fact, Big Sky might just be a doggie paradise.

Dogs of all shapes and sizes live in and visit Big Sky - chihuahuas, labradoodles, black labs, golden retrievers, huskies, terriers, and mutts. They all love it here because they get to enjoy the great outdoors just like you and me.

It's no surprise, but your dog wants to get out and experience the great outdoors. So take them on one of the many dog friendly hikes in Big Sky. Dogs make excellent hiking companions and they may even love hiking more than you do.

If you're looking for dog friendly hikes in Big Sky, Montana, here are a few easy suggestions:

  1. South Fork Loop - 1-mile round trip – This timbered loop allows for a quick run for you and your pup! South Fork Loop is adjacent to the Gallatin River if your dog needs a drink! For a lengthier hike, continue on the same road and it leads to Hummocks and Uplands Trails.
  2. Little Willow Way - 1.6-mile round trip – Looking for something easy yet scenic? Little Willow Way is local favorite as it is flat and well-maintained with a gravel road—perfect for older dogs! This trail starts in the Big Sky Community Park and follows the West Fork of the Gallatin River. Keep an eye out for wildlife!
  3. Ousel Falls - 1.6 miles round trip - Ousel Falls is Big Sky's most popular hiking trail. Dogs will love following the wide trail along the South Fork to this stunning 35-foot waterfall. Leashes are required.
  4. Hummocks Trail - 3 miles round trip - Hummocks trail is a series of three loops through the forests near Big Sky Town Center. There's lots of water and shade. Watch out for bikers and other hikers.
  5. Lava Lake Trail - 6-mile round trip – Standing out as one of the more popular trails in the Gallatin Gateway is Lava Lake. The trail leads you through both forest and meadow at a gradual increase of 1,600 feet where it finally stops at the picturesque Lava Lake. You and your pup can enjoy swimming or fishing in the quiet waters that are surrounded the countless pines.
  6. Beehive Basin Trail - 6.6 miles round trip - For a bigger adventure head to Beehive Basin and let your dog off leash in this breathtaking alpine cirque. There is lots of water and usually lots of people. Watch out for wildlife near this well maintained trail.
  7. North Fork Trail - 8.4-mile round trip – This moderate trailhead serves for both hikers and bikers alike! Your furry friend will get the thrill they are looking for as you venture through adventurous terrain. If you wish to keep going, 6.7 miles further leads to Bear Basin, or take the Beehive Connector Trail!
  8. Cinnamon Mountain Trail - 8.5-mile round trip – If you’re looking to break a sweat, make your way to the Cinnamon Mountain Trail located 10.5 miles south of Big Sky. With a 2,600-foot elevation increase, this trail will give you and your pup a great workout alongside the beautiful landscape. Make sure to bring an adequate supply of water as well as bear spray.

The Gallatin National Forest has trails everywhere. Grab a map and explore the numerous dog friendly hikes in Big Sky Country. Dogs are not allowed to hike in Yellowstone National Park. Be aware of where the park boundary begins (about 14 miles south of the stoplight) so that you don't get ticketed!

Here are few tips to keep in mind before your dog heads off on a hike with you:

  • Keep your dog safe. Be aware of hazards - deadfalls, rocks, river crossings, other animals, other dogs, hunters.
  • Ensure that your dog is always on leash or on voice command.
  • Remember that other people don't love dogs as much as you do - especially kids.
  • Obey all dog rules that are posted at the trailhead.
  • Pick up your dog poop!
  • Yield to horses at all times.
  • Bring all the necessary things for your dog - water, collar, leash, pack, poop bags, first aid kit, snacks, food.

Your going to love Big Sky's dog friendly hikes and so will your dog. Make sure your dog behaves in a responsible manner so that all dogs can continue to enjoy this outdoor playground.

Heading to Yellowstone? Going rafting or rock climbing? If your four legged friend is cooped up, contact Hiking Hounds - a dog walking and pet sitting service located right in Big Sky, Montana. They can make sure that your dog is having a blast while your off on your next adventure.

Need dog friendly lodging in Big Sky? Try:

Happy trails!