Palisade Falls is a pawfect place for a short but scenic hike with your four-pawed pal! The trail runs for just over half a mile out-and-back, and can easily be done in under an hour. Palisade Falls is located fifteen miles from the town of Bozeman, MT in the popular Hyalite Recreation Area, a little past the reservoir. You’re very unlikely to need to camp here, but if you do want to explore the rest of the preserve, you and your pup can pitch your tent at any one of Hyalite Recreation Area’s three campgrounds (for a $10 reservation fee). The closest parking area to the trail is in Hood Creek Campground, next to the reservoir.
Hiking up to Palisade Falls can feel like using a video game cheat code -- you can’t help but think that such great rewards are coming with too little effort. The sight of the stunning, eighty-foot waterfall draws you in, but look a little closer and you’ll see how striking the rocks underneath are -- strange columns that were formed from lava millions of years ago. You’ll also find a small creek, and your pooch is welcome to splash about a bit as long as they’re leashed!
Not only that, but Palisade Falls is about as accessible a hike as you’re likely to get outside of an urban greenway. Most of the way to the falls is paved, and while the path does have a bit of a slope, it’s very gentle, about ten to twenty degrees. You'll also find restrooms and picnic tables at the campground. All this comes at a cost, of course -- it’s no secret that Palisade Falls is a great spot for a hike with all the family (including furry family members), so the trail is practically guaranteed to be crowded during the summer months. The trail is only partially shaded, but as Montana weather is pretty cool even in July, you and your buddy will probably be fine. Just remember to bring bags and water!