New World Gulch Trail

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New World Gulch

4 miles (round-trip to the meadow), 6 miles (via the loop), or 11 miles (round-trip to Mystic Lake) 

Duration: 3 to 7 hours 

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Elevation Gain: varies 

Activities: Hiking, trail running, skiing, fishing

Crowds: Moderate traffic

New World Gulch is located 5 miles southeast of Bozeman, branching off Bear Canyon along the east slope of Mount Ellis. The stream-fed gulch is due north of Mystic Lake. The trail climbs up the drainage, first to a meadow below Mt. Ellis, and then onto Mystic Lake, which is 6 miles from the trailhead. You can turn around at the lake and come back down New World Gulch, or, if you've arranged a shuttle, head out via the Bozeman Creek Trail. Look for elk and deer when you hit the open meadows, and carry bear spray. 

Seasonal Conditions
This trail is notoriously muddy in the spring and early summer, but with the right gear you won't have any problems. Hikers and runners mostly use this trail from June through October. Local tip: You're surrounded by water, so slather on the bug repellent. During the winter, backcountry skiers take to the trail for a quick workout; skis make the snowpack slick, so make sure you've got proper grip if you intend to hike after a snowfall. During the fall, keep your eyes and ears open for hunters. 

From Bozeman, take I-90 east to the Bear Canyon exit, just shy of the Bozeman Pass. Turn right on Bozeman Trail Rd. and then make a quick left onto Bear Canyon Rd. Drive approximately 3 miles to the trailhead parking area on the right.

Robert Stone's New World Gulch Trail Map

Map courtesy Robert Stone's Day Hikes Around Bozeman, Montana

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