Hiking The Uplands Trail in Big Sky, Montana
Location: Big Sky Town Center
Trailhead: .75 miles from Big Sky Town Center on Aspen Leaf Drive
Distance: 2.2 miles loop
Time: 45 minutes
Start Elevation: 6285 feet
Elevation Gain: 460 feet
A very cool thing happened in Big Sky this summer – the Big Sky Community Corporation received a $25,000 Recreational Trails Grant. The result is two cool new mixed use trails in easy access of Big Sky Town Center.
The Uplands and Hummocks trails are located .75 miles from Town Center on Aspen Leaf Drive. Overall the trails cover over 5 miles of hiking and biking terrain (and potentially low angle ski touring in the winter). The trails celebrated their grand opening on August 12, 2014. The best part of this is that this is only Phase 1 of trail building in the Big Sky Town Center area – eventually it will meet up with Ousel Falls Trail. Awesome. You can read more about the trails on Explore Big Sky.
Let’s take a closer look at the Uplands Trail. The trailhead is located about .75 miles from the Hungry Moose on Aspen Leaf Drive. The Uplands trail is accessed by heading uphill and east out of the small parking lot. It crosses a small bridge and quickly works right (south) and uphill. The low angle trail is ideal for mountain bikers, hikers, joggers, dog walkers, or even all-terrain rollerbladers.
The Uplands trail works through aspen groves, meadows full of wildflowers, and fields of chirping crickets hiding in sage plants. It’s a mellow path with amazing views. It casually gains 460 feet over a total of 2.2 miles. After about 10-15 minutes of hiking the trail splits and forms a loop. There are no tricky turns, it’s all very straightforward.
Overall, a casual walk with the dog takes about 45 minutes. Link it with the Hummocks trail for a longer adventure. Always be bear aware and moose aware too. Plus, the views are pretty amazing.
After the hike or bike, feel free to stop by the South Fork of the West Fork of the Gallatin River to wash off the mud, clean the dog, or cool off in some refreshing Montana water.
The Uplands Trail is an ideal quick hike in the Big Sky area. It’s destined to be a busy spot so be trail courteous, pick up after your dog, and bring your bear spray. Be sure to thank the Big Sky Community Corporation too! Have fun and enjoy.