Hike and Learn

Hike and Learn with BSCO

2018 Program Dates.

Hike & Learns are free, guided walks on the Big Sky trail system. You’ll meet new people, learn something new, and explore a new trail. A knowledgeable expert will guide you and provide insight into our local environment and ecology.

No RSVP is necessary, just arrive a few minutes beforehand. Meeting locations are listed next to the descriptions. Many of the walks are family friendly, and kids encouraged! Because these are group walks, please keep your dog on a leash. We will post on our website and social media if walks are cancelled due to weather. Please bring water and appropriate shoes for light walking. Sunscreen and layers are recommended on sunny days!

When: June 26th and then every Tuesday from July 10 – September 4 at 10:00 a.m.

Where: Trails throughout BSCO’s community trail system

Cost: Free!

Tuesday, June 26 – 10:00 a.m. – Guided Hike along the Uplands Trail

Spend the morning on a short hike with a BSCO staff member along the Uplands Trail. This 2-mile-long trail is steady climb to a higher elevation with a great view of Big Sky. We will complete the loop and finish at the same trailhead.

Tuesday, July 10 – 10:00 a.m. – History Hike with Historic Crail Ranch Conservators
Crail Ranch Trail

Take an easy hike along Crail Ranch Trail (3 miles round trip) to compare current views with landscape views through Historic Crail Ranch Museum’s photo archives. Examine fencing from homesteading pastureland days and learn the stories they tell. *Optional tour of the Crail Ranch Homestead Museum after the hike.

Meet at Historic Crail Ranch. From the Meadow Village head north on Little Coyote Road. Pass the Big Sky Community Park then turn left onto Spotted Elk Road, the ranch will be on your left.

Tuesday, July 17th – 10:00 a.m. – Guided Hike along Little Willow Way and Black Diamond Trail.
Just under two miles total, we will start out hiking along the Middle Fork River on Little Willow Way before climbing moderate elevation on the Black Diamond Trail. Enjoy scenic views of the Community Park and Lone Mountain as we complete the loop back to the Little Willow Way trailhead.

Meet at the Big Sky Community Park near the River Pavilion. From the Meadow Village, head north on Little Coyote Road, go past the Big Sky Chapel and pond and turn right into the park. The River Pavilion is to the right near the playground.

Tuesday, July 24th – 10:00 a.m. – Wildflower & Weed Identification with Gallatin Invasive Species Alliance
Ousel Falls Trail
Join plant experts for a hike at beautiful Ousel Falls and learn more about the native and non-native vegetation that surrounds us! We’ll identify every plant we can, from the abundant native wildflowers to invasive species.

Meet at the Ousel Falls Trailhead. From Town Center, head south on Ousel Falls Road for approximately 2 miles, turn left after Crown Butte Road into trailhead parking area.

Tuesday, July 31 – 10:00 a.m. Guided Hike on the Beehive Basin Trail

Hike to a pristine alpine mountain lake enjoying great scenery, wildlife and vegetation along the way. A member of the BSCO staff will guide the 6.6-mile hike. Explore the latest trail added to the BSCO system and hear about planned improvements for the trailhead. Bring plenty of water, snacks and sunscreen.

Tuesday, August 7 – 10:00 a.m. Meadow History Hike with Historic Photography
Town Center to Ousel Falls Rd. Trail

Meet at the Town Center Fire Pit and hike along meadow trails, and learn about the ranching history of the South Fork and West Fork areas through archival photos with similar views you will see, and historical information curated by the Historic Crail Ranch Museum. 2 miles round trip along a level gravel trail.

Tuesday, August 14 – 10:00 a.m. – Your Forest at Work with the Natural Resource Council
Beehive Basin Trail.

Explore our local forest ecology and learn to identify common trees and how they have evolved with wildlife and wildfire. Experience wide open meadows, mountain views and an abundance of wildflowers. Experts will be on hand to help identify wildflowers and invasive weeds.

Tuesday, August 21 – 10:00 a.m. – Guided Hike along Ralph’s Pass

Explore Big Sky’s newest trail and experience views of the South Fork of the West Fork, an alpine forest and shale created thousands of years ago. Created as a connector trail between Ousel Falls and the Uplands Trails, the hike will start at Ousel Falls for an in and out hike. Arrange a shuttle from the Uplands trailhead or extend the hike on your own via the Uplands and Ousel Falls Road Trail for a half day hiking adventure. In and Out distance is 6.4 miles.

Meet at the Ousel Falls Trailhead. From Town Center, head south on Ousel Falls Road for approximately 2 miles, turn left after Crown Butte Road into trailhead parking area.

Tuesday. August 28 – 10:00 a.m. – Guided Hike along the Hummocks Trail.

Enjoy a morning hike exploring the hummocks terrain and discover an alpine pond while looking for Sandhill Cranes, foxes or weasels. This hike covers a variety of terrain including seeing Huckleberry Ridge Tuff and has a slight elevation gain. The hike is three miles round trip.

Meet at the trailhead on Aspen Leaf Dr. Turn on Aspen Leaf drive from Ousel Falls Rd., pass by the rodeo bleachers and continue down Aspen Leaf Dr. crossing the river. The parking area is just past the river on the left.

Tuesday, September 4 – 10:00 a.m. – Bird Walk and Identification
South Fork Loop Trail

Spend the morning on a short hike through multiple habitats, attempting to identify different bird species by sight and sound. You will learn about bird identification, as well as how to use the terrain and your surroundings to help you identify birds. Please bring binoculars. 1.5 miles round trip.

Meet at the South Fork Loop Trailhead. From Town Center, head east on Aspen Leaf Drive, the trail is on the right, before the bridge over the river and before the Hummocks and Uplands trailhead. Park alongside the road.