How To Survive Winter In Bozeman – A Local’s Guide

Seasonal change is upon us yet again and this year, I’ve had a change of heart when it comes to Bozeman’s enduring winters. I’ve found it becomes easier to get through it year after year with the right adjustments to lifestyle. Yes the days are shorter now but by the time we ring in the new year, the days will already be lengthening towards those long splendid summer days ahead.

HERE ARE 12 WAYS YOU CAN SURVIVE WINTER IN BOZEMAN:


overhead view of winter driving in snowy conditions in bozeman montana

1. INVEST IN SNOW REMOVAL: YOUR STREETS AND YOUR DRIVEWAY

A good snow shovel will do, though a snowblower is ideal for large properties. There is a city requirement to clear your sidewalks within twenty-four hours of a storm so that is something to be prepared to do, for both renters and homeowners.

drivers point of view on winter driving conditions in bozeman montana

2. GET WINTER TIRES ON YOUR CAR

…and get them on early. The first heavy snowfall every year always has a way of sneaking up on people. Get your tires swapped early October and you’ll be prepared for the worst when everybody else isn’t! Between snow tires and AWD/4WD, trust me when I say your winter driving experience will be much less stressful.

3. IF YOU COMMUTE, CHECK THE ROAD CONDITIONS BEFORE YOU GO

If you’re new to driving on snow, just take it s l o w. Leave extra space between cars and try not to be in a hurry. When the roads are a mess, plan ahead for a longer commute. Even the most seasoned drivers are out of practice when the first snowfall happens. You can stay updated on current road conditions using the road report provided by the Montana Department of Transportation.

action shot of skier at bridger bowl ski resort bozeman montana

MY BEST ADVICE:

4. FIND AN OUTDOOR WINTER ACTIVITY THAT YOU L-O-V-E

For most people… it’s skiing. And understandably so, we are very fortunate to have many world-class ski resorts nearby. (Bridger or Big Sky? We’ll let you choose.) Besides resort skiing there are plenty of opportunities for anything winter related: cross-country skiing, backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, ice hockey, ice skating, ice fishing, snowmobiling, sledding. It helps to have something to look forward to every winter, and all the better if it’s considered exercise. With more of us working from home lately, it’s important to have an activity that gets us out of the house and frankly, moving

winter snowshoeing on a trail in bozeman montana

TIPS FOR GETTING OUTSIDE:

5. FIND QUALITY WINTER LAYERS

Layering up is key to being comfortable when transitioning between seasons and also between the indoors and outside. Light layers and base layers of merino wool silk will keep you warm while regulating your body temperature. Remember to grab your mittens, hats, scarves and neckies when the temperatures fall to the single to negative digits. For the coldest days, a quality insulated down coat and thick wool socks will keep you toasty. With a healthy selection of mid-layers in your clothing rotation, you’ll be prepared anytime the temperatures drop unseasonably low throughout the year.

6. GET TO KNOW THE TRAILS AROUND TOWN

Another thing that makes Bozeman great: our public trail system. The Gallatin Valley Land Trust has done an amazing job of preserving space for trails that connect us in our various communities. Whether it is the beloved Gallagator linear trail or the newly built Story Hill Park Trail, there is likely to be one right in your neighborhood. They link subdivisions together in a way roads cannot, allowing access to different parts of town on foot or ski.

cozy cabin at lone mountain ranch in big sky montana - ami sayer real estate

7. PLAN A TRIP OUT OF TOWN                         

A vacation somewhere warm is always ideal, but when that’s out of the picture, even getting out of Bozeman from time to time helps. Winter tends to get dreary come February, so I recommend booking a trip then. Here are a couple favorites below:

yellowstone dogsledding at lone mountain ranch in big sky montana - ami sayer real estate

8. DOGSLED AT LONE MOUNTAIN RANCH IN BIG SKY

Adorable alaskan huskies and a truly exhilarating experience! Spend a day with the happy dogs at work and take in gorgeous views of the Spanish Peaks in Big Sky. Lone Mountain Ranch is winter luxury at its best: your pick of cozy yet tasteful cabins, sleigh rides to a signature prime rib dinner, and morning yoga classes by the fireside.

snowy bison in yellowstone montana during the winter - ami sayer real estate

9. SPEND A WEEKEND IN YELLOWSTONE

People come from all over the world to see Yellowstone in the summer, but locals know winter in Yellowstone is not to be missed. Take in the attractions at your own time and enjoy it mostly to yourself- I call that a win-win. The Old Faithful Lodge and the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel are the place to spend a romantic night in Yellowstone (this winter the Old Faithful Lodge is not booking overnight stays). Call the hotel your cozy homebase and spend the day skiing the trails and seeking wolves in Lamar Valley. I recommend booking a snowcoach tour to see the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone in the quiet solitude of winter.

carrots at a winter farmers market in bozeman montana

WHEN IT’S TOO COLD TO BE OUTSIDE:

10. SPEND SATURDAYS AT THE BOZEMAN WINTER FARMERS’ MARKET

Haven’t you heard? The winter farmer’s market is at the Gallatin Fairgrounds this year! Happening every other Saturday from 9am-12pm. It’s an excellent way to stay engaged with your local agriculture community at a time when fresh food is hard to find. Shopping at the farmers market takes the guesswork out of knowing what’s seasonally available in the valley and easier to plan meals accordingly.

paint and countertop material samples for indoor winter home renovations - ami sayer real estate

11. START A WINTER HOME REMODELING PROJECT

Embrace this slowed pace of life, winter is an opportune time to start a home project to keep your mind and hands occupied while indoors. Renovate that one area in your home that sorely needs the attention. Refresh your bathroom with a new coat of paint. Take this time to add those small but impactful touches to your home that will increase its value. Read my advice on selling your home for top dollar here.

winter home renovation of a modern kitchen with natural accents - ami sayer real estate

12. FIND A COMPLEMENTARY INDOOR HOBBY

Fall back on the ever reliable indoor activities: baking, fly tying, knitting, journaling, painting, reading. Put a hearty soup (or mulled wine) in the crockpot and let it simmer away while you rejuvenate from the hurried pace of summer.

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