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Bozeman, Mont.: Weekend Escape

Enjoy winter sports and great food in a lively college town surrounded by mountains. 

Kid sledding on Peet's Hill in Bozeman, Mont., image
Photo caption
A young speedster catches some air on Peet’s Hill, a popular sledding slope in Bozeman, Mont.

Skiers with PhDs, shoppers with snow boots, golden laboradors with unleashed spirits—welcome to Bozeman. This university town embraced by mountains elevates wintertime fun to a science. Expect cold air and fine options for warming up. Area code is 406.

TO dO aNd SEE Bridger Bowl Ski Area This nonprofit hill with resort-grade runs offers powder without pretension. 15795 Bridger Canyon Rd., 587-2111, Bohart Ranch Cross Country Ski Center Skiers glide along 19 miles of groomed cross-country trails not far from Bridger Bowl. 16621 Bridger Canyon Rd., 586-9070. Beall Park and Southside Park Two well-maintained outdoor ice rinks give kids plenty of room to skate circles around their parents. 582-2290, Chalet Sports Need skates? Rent them in the heart of town. 108W. Main St., 587-4595, Peet’s Hill Generations of thrill seekers have zoomed down this sledding spot on the edge of popular Lindley Park. East Main Street at Cypress Street, 582-2290, Hyalite Reservoir For some real winter scenery close to town, drive up the regularly plowed Hyalite Canyon Road, the local cold spot for ice fishing, snowshoeing, and the unofficial sport of snowdrift diving. Bozeman Hot Springs Locals and travelers ease themselves into chlorine-free pools ranging from bone-chilling to muscle melting. 81123 Gallatin Rd., 586-6492,

SHOPPiNG The Last Wind-Up Gearheads revel in the collection of grandfather clocks, 18th-century pocket watches, and cacophonous cuckoos. 11 E. Main St., 587-7209, Visions West Gallery The colorful abstractions may be out of most people’s price ranges—Terry Karson’s collections of cardboard cutout butterflies go for $8,000—but browsing is free. 34 W. Main St., 522-9946, Schnee’s The flagship store, the first of three in Bozeman, is a local institution for shoes, boots, and outdoor gear. 35 E. Main St., 587-0981,

EaTS Copper Whiskey Bar & Grill A basement restaurant with lofty tastes, the Copper Whiskey serves truffle-Parmesan popcorn, beef brisket tacos, and grilled salmon fillets to accompany whiskeys from Montana, Scotland, and points between. 101 E. Main St., 404-1700, Over the Tapas Big flavors come packed onto small plates. Winter means squash ravioli; the sizzling shrimp beckons in every season. 19 S. Willson Ave., 556-8282, The Nova Cafe Diners line up outside this morning-to-afternoon spot for breakfast burritos, homemade granola, and frittatas with local bacon and eggs. 312 E. Main St., 587-3973, Montana Ale Works Stop in on any given winter’s night and you’ll hear lots of ski stories told over burgers and pints. 611 E. Main St., 587-7700,

Photography by Bob Allen

This article was first published in January 2014. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.