5 Favorite Things About Spring in Bozeman, MT
So, I have this problem. Each time the seasons change, I say the newest season is “my favorite.” And, while I realize that they can’t all actually be my favorite, somehow in those magical moments of each changing season, they really are. I guess it’s not a bad problem to have. Crushes come and go, but Montana is my forever crush -- and maybe it’s because with each new season, Montana helps me rediscover things I love from seasons past.
Technically, Spring 2020 runs March 19 – June 19th. Although, as anyone in Bozeman knows, “spring” doesn’t necessarily mean drastically warmer days. If last spring is any indication, we may have some snowstorms ahead – and I really hope that we do – bring on that spring skiing!
Here are some of my favorite things about spring in Bozeman, Montana:
Longer (slightly, maybe, possibly) Warmer Days
My favorite thing about living in Bozeman is all the outdoor recreation that abounds within minutes of town. In the winter, I still get out and about -- but with two young kids, my outside time is limited by the daylight – especially on school days. So without a doubt, one of my favorite things about spring is the longer days. I’ve learned that I can’t always rely on Montana to give me warmer days in spring, but it does provide longer days and I’ll take it! On average there are 9 daylight hours in January vs. 12 hours of daylight in March (Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). On the First day of spring, March 19th, the sunset is predicted for 7:30 p.m. For comparison, on January 19th, the sun left us at 5:10 p.m. As we get further into spring, we get more daylight (i.e. more time to play outside after school). So, I can’t wait to pick up my kids from school and head to some of our favorite spots where we can throw rocks in creeks that are rushing with snow melt, look for wildflowers and then watch the sunset as we drive home.
Events WITH Outdoor Dining & Music
In general, the Bozeman community has awesome events all year round. But in the spring and summer, there are so many outdoor events to enjoy! Venues like The Old Saloon and Pine Creek Lodge start their outdoor concerts, you can dine outside on patios again, and the spring sunshine brings out smiles in everyone. In Spring of 2020, there are a couple new places opening that I’m excited to check out as well! The Farmacy – Bozeman’s first plant-based restaurant - is slated to open as well as The ELM, the new music venue that’s been under construction on 7th by RSVP Motel. Also in March, Bozeman Running Co’s 5K Brew Run Series starts up again! On the second Wednesday of each month (March – December) you can run a 5K to a different local brewery and get a pint. We signed up to run all of them as a family this year – wish us luck!
When talking about spring favorites, I can’t forget to mention Spring Skiing! This winter was pretty mild up until February, and we didn’t have to brave sub-zero ski days. But with spring skiing, the days are usually even warmer, sunny and it is a fun time to get out on the slopes especially with younger kids. I grew up skiing Bridger every weekend as a kid, and I have some good memories skiing in snow pants and a t-shirt. Bridger Bowl is projected to stay open through the beginning of April and Big Sky through mid-April, so I’m definitely looking forward to some spring skiing days in the near future. And, of course, if you are a backcountry skier, Montana has plenty of ski days stretching into May, June and even July!
Cleaning might sound like a weird thing to look forward to, but I love Bozeman and our surrounding recreation so much that I really do look forward to the organized “Clean-Up Days” around town. The Bozeman Clean Up Day this spring is on Saturday, April 25th. Anyone from the Bozeman community who wants to participate can meet at 8:30 a.m. at the Bozeman Public Library for a complimentary breakfast and to get a “clean-up kit” provided by the City of Bozeman. The kit generally includes trash bags, gloves, safety vests and other information about what to do that day and how to keep Bozeman clean. For anyone who loves Hyalite as much as I do, come join me at the Hyalite Spring Cleanup Day! Friends of Hyalite organizes a clean up in the spring and the fall with help from the City of Bozeman and the Forest Service. The Hyalite Cleanup Days have removed over 10,000 pounds of garbage and recyclables from Hyalite over the past 10 years. The clean up crews focus on trailheads, parking lots, campsites and along the roads. The Spring 2020 Cleanup Day for Hyalite is TBD based on weather and snow, but check with Hyalite.org towards the beginning of May for the exact date – it’s usually the first or second weekend in May. My kids and I volunteered at the Hyalite Fall Cleanup and had so much fun – they learned so much about how important it is to take care of the places we love.
Wildflowers & Robins
Last, but certainly not least, on my list of spring favorites is the return of wildflowers and backyard robins. As the days get warmer in the spring, the blanket of white that we’ve been accustomed to transforms into new life, and we love to see all the wildflowers pop-up. The first of the spring wildflowers are usually buttercups, and some of my kid’s favorite wildflowers are shooting stars and elephant heads. They like the look of them, but they also really like the names of those particular flowers! Bozeman offers some wonderful spots to see wildflowers close to town. Some of our favorites include History Rock and Moser Creek up Hyalite, Sypes Canyon, Drinking Horse and the M Trail. The M Trail is probably one of the most popular trails in Bozeman and you can see bluebells, shooting stars, buttercups and more as soon as the snow melts there, but May is one of the best times to see all the wildflowers there. The robins come back to Bozeman around this same time and we’ve been lucky enough to have a robin build a nest in the tree right near our back deck the past few years. It’s been so cool to watch the robin pair build/repair the nest, lay their pretty blue eggs and then see the eggs hatch into tiny little robins. Although, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m always so sad on the day I look into the nest and it’s empty. Here’s to hoping a robin picks our tree again this spring!