Dog Lover’s Montana

Uplands Trail

Such a beautiful morning.

Parking off Aspen Leaf Dr., Big Sky, Montana

Butter was not able to go with us to Montana, so Kenai (dog) and Chelsie (owner) took us on this blog tour today. We were visiting these two in Big Sky, Montana and had a great time. This was the second hike we did together.

We wanted to start the day of right (before a long drive) and this hike was the perfect way to do that! The uplands trail is right on the edge of town and about a 5 minute drive from the center of Big Sky. We did see one person walking from town to the trail head, but I do not recommend this as there are no sidewalks.

Although only 2.2 miles round trip, this trail is a steady climb for 1 mile making it a moderate hike. This climb allows for breath taking views and going in July gave us blooming wildflowers popping with color. This hike, walking at a slow pace, took us about an hour.

So many wild flowers.

The Uplands trail is appropriate for a good workout with a run up the hill or an easy walk taking your time. Either way, you can not beat the views. The elevation gains can make this hike seem harder since the air gets slightly thinner. One thing is for sure, in our group, Kenai got the best workout because this is an off leash trail. She would run through the fields and trees with a smile on her face and a wag in her tail. A tired dog is a good dog and Kenai was tired at the end.

Kenai loved the open fields.

This hike is very dog friendly and dogs are able to be on or off leash as long as they are under voice command and in control. Kenai was in control, however, it was frustrating at times because we ran into a few dogs that were not under voice command from their owners. Please know if your dog is able to be under voice command and do what is best for everyone, especially due to the potential of seeing bears and moose on this trail.

We ran into about 4 dogs and 10 people during our short journey. Bikes are welcome on this trail and we did run into 2 mountain bikers. This was a Monday morning hike, so the traffic was minimal. We also passed some wildlife including chipmunks and birds. No bears were spotted today, but we had bear spray and packed everything in and out. Remember to leave the area cleaner than you found it.

So pretty.
The light on the top of the mountain made for an awesome sighting. .










The Uplands Trail gives you access to other trails allowing you to go on a longer hike if interested. This hike, Ralph’s Pass, does require a leash and the best part- they provide a leash if you do not have one! No excuses-right? If you are choosing to do this hike you will need your leash and will want to have food and water depending on the amount of time you plan to hike. However, I would suggest water even if you are only doing the Uplands trail.

Leashes for a longer path.

I got service at times during this hike, but don’t plan on it. You will want to be prepared with good clothing, hiking shoes and water. Tennis shoes will work, but with the mud, I found hiking shoes to be better. Chelsie reports this season has included more rain for big sky than is normal, so the trail was wet and we got a few drops of rain during our hike. Make sure you check the weather.

The view will make you wag your tail too!

This hike is open during the winter. Remember your yaktraks or snowshoes and a nice winter coat. Don’t forget your pups paws with some snow booties.


Recommended Supplies:

  • Towels (if muddy)
  • Poop bags
  • Leash
  • Water for you and your pup
  • Harness
  • Hiking boots
  • Bear Spray
  • Food (optional, recommended if going on other trails)
  • Coat (depending on weather)
  • Snowshoes or yaktraks (winter)
  • Booties for your pup (winter)

Kenai gives this hike 4 paws up! 

Kenai only has 4 paws…so 4 paws up is the best!