Grotto Falls, Hyalite Reservoir
I know I have mentioned before just how fortunate we are to live in one of the most beautiful areas of the country. I recently realized how little I post about our adventures at home. I suppose it is easy to take for granted what we have right outside our front door when you have lived in a place for so long. We are surrounded by a plethora of outdoor adventures for all activity levels, including my “is-it-time-to-hibernate-now-that-winter-is-here” self. I am, and always will be, a warm weather kind of girl, but Montana winters are very, very looong. I mean extremely, brutally long!!! So in order to prevent myself from becoming the person who holes herself up in her cozy house by the woodstove, but hasn’t seen daylight for 8 months of the year, I have turned to snowshoeing for our winter family adventures.
My girls love skiing and snowboarding in our fantastic mountains that surround us. But, let’s be honest, skiing and snowboarding are not a cheap family hobby. Plus, there is a definite learning curve to both of those activities. However, with snowshoeing, if you can walk, you can snowshoe. And, once you have the equipment, which is not nearly as expensive as skis or snowboards (we got ours at Costco), it’s a pretty much a free activity, and I like free.
Recently, my youngest daughter and I headed up to the Hyalite Reservoir area South of Bozeman, Montana with some friends to snowshoe to one of the local waterfalls, Grotto Falls. The road to get to the falls is narrow and can be icy, but speeds are low and, for the most part, it is well maintained and there is a large parking lot and outhouse at the trailhead for your convenience. This is a very easy family hike. It covers 2.5 miles roundtrip, is nice and wide, and is easily accessible for all skill levels. In fact, I don’t know if snowshoes were an absolute necessity the day we were there. However, there is a chain of 10 or more waterfalls on the Hyalite Creek Trail past Grotto Falls, and we were planning on heading up to the further waterfalls that day. For that, you definitely needed snowshoes.
We hiked in an incredible snowstorm. The kind of storm that brings a quiet hush to the world. You can’t help but feel in awe of the beauty around you. And having my adorable, little snowshoeing buddy, just made it all the better. For an easy family adventure with great rewards at the end, I highly recommend a trip up to the frozen waterfalls at Hyalite.