Mountain Project Logo

Living in Bozeman...Is it worth it?

Original Post
Justin G88 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2015 · Points: 230

It seems this is a bit of a contentiousness issue. The climbing and skiing look great, but it also seems over run with people (and tourists).
Before everyone tells me Montana is full and I should go somewhere else. I have couple job prospects, Bozeman being one of them.
A little about me, I am single male in my early 30s and work in natural resources. I currently live in Yakima WA, the PNW is great, but Yakima itself is pretty limited.

Any insight would be great. Thanks!  

Jimmy Godin · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jan 2018 · Points: 30

Bozeman’s cool

jon jugenheimer · · Madison, WI · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 2,485

I would 100%. 

Nick Votto · · CO, CT, IT · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 320

If you think Bozeman's overrun I'm not sure where else you could go.....

It's awesome, if you're a fisherman even more so.  Mountain biking and ice climbing are stellar as well. 

Justin G88 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2015 · Points: 230
Nick Votto wrote: If you think Bozeman's overrun I'm not sure where else you could go.....

It's awesome, if you're a fisherman even more so.  Mountain biking and ice climbing are stellar as well. 

Hmm okay. I mean a population of ~40,000 isn’t THAT big. I’m just basing this off stuff that I read. So it’s good to hear insights from other folks. Thanks 

Bart Young · · Jackson, WY · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 1

Bozeman is def not overrun by tourists. At least not by other mountain town standards.

Corey Flynn · · Knox · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 150

definitely less busy, crazy, pretentious than boulder. Its a GREAT american mountain town

Tom Chingas · · North Conway, NH · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 0

I live in Bozeman. I wouldn't say it's overrun. The population is increasing rapidly though and the housing/rent prices are inflated because of that. I think it has the reputation of being totally crowded because most of Montana is so desolate.

The skiing is good. I pretty much only backcountry ski and if you have any imagination at all it's easy to tour all day without seeing other people. The skiing is characterized by long rolling/flat approaches. I like it though. I hear Bridger Bowl can be really crowded on a pow day, but who wants to wait in line to ski tracked out snow anyway.

There is plenty of climbing around here too. The Spire climbing gym is great as well.

Hit me up if you end up moving here and are looking for ski partners.

Ccfuchs · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 0

Lived in Bozeman for my whole adult life (5 years), and I've just moved away. There's a lot of money moving in, and that's good for just about everything but paying rent (which has definitely skyrocketed). Wages haven't increased though :( It feels just like a upper middle class suburb outside of a big city, but you can access the mountains 5 mins or less from leaving town. Big variety in rock types, world class resort SKIING, world class ice climbing, world class fly fishing, world class kayaking, great paragliding school. Basically you can do any action sport within a half hour of leaving town. Its SUNNY all the time which makes the long winters awesome (5-6 months of winter a year). There's definitely a young vibe in town (college town), and a real community (free summer concert series on main st. in the summers, environmentalist ethics). Summers are awesome when the majority of college kids filter out. There's a real feeling of freedom here (not too many people in your business, chill cops, big sky). Good schools, good people and located in a GREAT state. Some of the biggest drawbacks: expensive (by MT standards), an ego floating around, not true to it's MT roots, and it will be boulder in 20 or 30 years. VERY competitive for best city in MT, get it while it's good.

Ccfuchs · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 0

Also tourists are not even close to bad compared to other similar caliber mountain towns. People going to Yellowstone in July are the worst of it. Some big sky traffic in the winter.

Shane F · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 0

Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley are great. As others have said the place is growing, fast. Housing can be expensive. The trails just out of town can be super busy but if you go another 5 minutes, you will have the place to your self. The airport is another big plus. The population growth means more flights at better rates. Seattle and Vegas can be had for under $200 round trip. If driving is your style, the interstate connects you to a lot of cool places in less than 12 hours. City of Rock, the Fins, Ten Sleep, Devils Tower, and many more are within reasonable three day weekend distance.

Beyond outdoor recreation, there is music and events happening all the time. You can easily find good live music most nights of the week. Adult sports are pretty big, soccer and hockey come to mind as the biggest.

Jimmy Godin · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jan 2018 · Points: 30

Speaking to your professional interest in natural resources, I can’t think of many places in the country that are better for your profession than Bozeman. The GYE (Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem) has tons of top notch conservation organizations doing great work.

I wouldn’t say it’s overrun with people, either. The Gallatin Canyon is by far the most popular place to climb in the area, and even on a Saturday in July I’ve only had to wait behind one party to get on some of the trade routes.

As for the single 30 yr old thing, I hear the small-ish size of Bozeman limits the dating scene, but like previous posters mentioned, lots of folks in their post-graduate years seem to be moving to Bozeman quickly so it’ll probably become easier.

Good luck on your move.

Paul Morrison · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 10

Why has no one mentioned the beer?

mills101 Mills · · Kalispell, MT · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 563

In terms of My Montana: Bozeman is cool, Missoula is better, Flathead is best. It definitely feels like more of a "scene" there than other Montana cities ... I guess that can be good or bad depending on the vibe you're going for.

Brian Seegers · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 10

Not a Bozemanite, but having lived or traveled most of the West remember that when people say a city is X they’re generally comparing it to standards for that state. Bozeman IS overrun by tourists - compared to the rest of Montana which is one of the least populated states. Bozeman is awesome. Complaints from friends I’ve heard are that flights are extremely expensive, dating scene is bad post grad and it can be isolating.

mills101 Mills · · Kalispell, MT · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 563

Ha, if you're looking for a dating scene and the "dating scene is bad" in Bozeman, I definitely wouldn't recommend living anywhere else in Montana. :) 

ryan Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 0

Do you ice climb? If you ice climb then move to bozeman.

IJMayer · · Anacortes, WA · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 235
ryan Smith wrote: Do you ice climb? If you ice climb then move to bozeman.

the winter sports are better, and more people do them. the rock climbing is ok, but the season is short, and there's not many outdoor climbers.

ryan Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 0

The winter sports are better then the ice climbing?

Graham Johnson · · Gunnison · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 0

I live in Bozeman briefly for a few months about 10 years ago.  I liked the town, access, etc... but I found it really hard to break into the climbing scene. People just didn't seem that interested in climbing with someone new and somewhat temporary. 

B-Mkll Mackall · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 1,833

Lived here for 6 years so far and love it. Getting more expensive but compared to any other town with a similar quality of life (Jackson, Bend, Telluride, Boulder etc.) it is totally still in the affordable realm. Groceries and gas are way cheap compared to most of the rest of the West. Montana loves its private land and as a result Bozeman's access to outdoors, particularly the alpine, is IMO highly overrated compared to, say, anywhere in Colorado but you do avoid the crowds. Just be ready for lots of 5+ mile flat and forested approaches for skiing and climbing, and tons of elevation gain to get into the alpine with a few exceptions. Anyone who complains about Bozeman being crowded is probably originally from here.

Food/ dining scene is excellent and getting better. Many breweries and a surprisingly good winery, though the breweries close at 8pm and can only serve 3 beers for inane and dated legal/political reasons. Music is similarly improving from when I moved here, though bluegrass and folk still dominate (fine by me. )

Fishing is "mecca" level if you consider the 3-hr driving radius, rock climbing is great, varied, and widespread but very under the radar. There's a LOT more than guidebooks would suggest. We are 4-6 hours from a number of world-renowned climbing spots (Ten Sleep, CoR, Devil's Tower, Tetons). Ice climbing is amazing if you're into that. Boating is generally excellent. Skiing is outrageously good for lift-accessed/hike-to in terms of crowds and snow quality, with the aforementioned caveat about long approaches to find any BC skiing of real quality. Bridger Bowl is a 25 minute drive from downtown and is the best terrain I've ever skied.

I'm going to go ahead and 100% flat disagree with the "limited dating scene" notion. Bozeman is about as full of single, active, smart, attractive people who love to go out as you can get, and is plenty big enough to mitigate the "goods are odd and odds ain't good" mountain town trope. Met my wife here.

+1 for finding the various outdoor rec communities rather hard to break into. It can feel a little clicquey, only because when EVERYONE does their sport at a very high level, the desire for putting effort into new partners is pretty low.

My 2 cents.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Wyoming, Montana, Dakotas
Post a Reply to "Living in Bozeman...Is it worth it?"

Log In to Reply