Introduction to Bozeman, Montana
The city of Bozeman, situated in southwestern Montana, serves as the county seat of Gallatin County. The city is named after John M. Bozeman, founder of the Bozeman Trail, a shortcut connecting the Oregon Trail to the gold rush territory of Montana. Bozeman lies about 60 miles east of Butte and 98 miles southeast of the Montana state capital of Helena. The city is also located 93 miles north of Yellowstone National Park.
The city's proximity to the Bozeman trail helped spur its growth, as did the area's fertile land. Incorporated in 1883, Bozeman hosted the founding ten years later of the state's land-grant college, the Agricultural College of the State of Montana. The school was later renamed the Montana College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts and after that the Montana State College before finally becoming Montana State University in 1965. The university's sprawling campus is today the largest in the state.
Attractions in the Bozeman Area
Visitors and residents have easy access to both cultural and recreational attractions in the Bozeman area. Low-cost skiing is available at the non-profit Bridger Bowl Ski Resort in the Bridger Mountains. The American Computer Museum depicts years of technology with thousands of artifacts designed to appeal both to the novice and technology expert. The Children's Museum of Bozeman presents hands-on, sensory exhibits as well as after-school and summer programs for kids. The Gallatin Pioneer Museum gives visitors the opportunity to step back in time and learn about Gallatin County's heritage. Exhibits include a reconstructed log cabin, a model of old Fort Ellis, and Indian artifacts, as well as more recent artifacts such as Model-A and Model-T automobiles, and old telephones and radios. The Museum of the Rockies, located on the Montana State University campus, houses the world-class Taylor Planetarium. One of Bozeman's most popular annual events is the Wild West Winterfest, which features horse drawn wagon rides, a kid's rodeo, a barn full of farm animals for the kids, a hockey tournament, and the Dog Keg Pull where dogs of many breeds and sizes pull a full keg of beer on a sled.
A two-hour drive will take visitors to the legendary Yellowstone National Park, the world’s first National Park and also the largest in the United States. Yellowstone contains more than 2 million acres of thundering waterfalls, steaming geysers, crystalline lakes, and panoramic views. Yellowstone is also the greatest wildlife sanctuary in the nation, encompassing over 3,000 square miles of natural beauty.
There are no major league professional sports teams in Montana, but fans of collegiate sports don't have to leave Bozeman to see first-rate athletic competition played by Montana State University Bobcats teams. The Bobcats, who compete in the Big Sky Conference, participate in NCAA's Division I (I-AA for football). Bozeman is also home to the Bozeman Icedogs, a hockey team which participates in the North American Hockey League (NAHL).