Gallatin County is a county located in the U.S. state of Montana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 89,513, making it the third-most populous county in Montana. Its county seat is Bozeman, home of Montana State University.
There's a reason the Gallatin Valley has been dubbed a "dream area" and lauded for offering high quality of life by National Geographic Adventure. When you fly in over the Bridger Range or drive into the valley and find yourself surrounded by mountains, it's easy to understand why people want to live, work and play here. Add the cultural amenities of a local symphony and ballet, the vibrancy of a college community, and an energetic downtown Bozeman.
The Gallatin Valley is an all-season adventure hub. In winter, skiers can choose from two downhill ski areas (Bridger Bowl is just 20 minutes away, and Big Sky about an hour). Groomed public Nordic trails allow visitors to try out cross-country skiing skills. During the summer and fall, hikers and cyclists can access hundreds of miles of trails in the surrounding mountains or camp by pristine alpine lakes.
Floating the famous Madison River is a popular summer activity, along with more thrill-inducing kayaking on the rapids of the Gallatin and Yellowstone rivers.
Forests and wilderness areas surround the Valley. The Gallatin National Forest has 2,200 miles of trails, 1,740 miles of fishable streams and rivers, dense timbered valleys and rugged peaks and 700 high-mountain lakes. Hyalite Canyon, just minutes from the MSU campus, offers world-class hiking, mountain biking, rock or ice climbing, canoeing and camping. The Bridger Mountains, north of town, have great hiking and mountain bike trails, along with incredible vistas and Bridger Bowl, one of the best community ski hills within 20 minutes of a major university campus.
From the nation's first National Park to the world's first International Peace Park, Montana is as refreshing and tranquil as it is rugged and exhilarating.