Dog Lover’s Montana

Ousel Falls Trail

The start of the hike. I love their cool trash can decorations!










Ousel Falls Rd., Gallatin Gateway, MT, 59730

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.

Sweet Kenai, on the way home from the hike.

The first hike we did was Ousel Falls, a great option after a long drive and limited time. Chelsie reported that this hike is consistently well groomed and is an easy stroll. We found these facts to be accurate and also learned the falls is named after the Ousel Bird (also known as the American Dipper).

Turns out, for us, this was an adventurous hike since a stormed started as soon as we reached the falls! We got rained on the whole way back and it was very wet by the time we reached the car. Luckily, the entire hike was only 1.6 miles from the trailhead. It is possible to walk from town center to this hike for a longer 5.6 mile walk.

Due to our experience, I would recommend you look at the weather and take rain jackets and towels if you find the forecast calls for rain. Either way, towels for the water loving dog will be an essential.

Getting back I was wet and muddy. It was worth it!
This hike is along the South Fork of the West Fork of the Gallatin River.

This was an easy hike with lots of bridges, places to sit, a picnic table, and trails connecting to other hikes. Restrooms and garbage cans are positioned at the beginning of the hike before you begin.  The trail is very well kept and we saw many families, strollers, fishermen and dogs on the trail. Although we did not see horses this trip, they also share this trail. This is an on-leash trail. Kenai was on her leash except for when swimming.

Kenai excited after getting out of the river.

The trail was wide allowing our little group to easily talk and interact. It was dog and stroller friendly with plenty of  space when passing. It took us about 40 minutes to walk to the falls and back, walking at a slow to medium pace.

There was a picnic table with a great view of the 100 foot waterfall. On a sunny day, it would be great to stop and eat. This hike is in bear country, so please be bear safe. This includes,  packing everything in and out, only having food out when you are eating and bringing bear spray.  Despite the heavy traffic on this trail, it is important to follow the signs posted to help avoid having bears visit this trail to forage for food.

Lovely Kenai.
Everywhere you look is beautiful on this hike.









The Ousel Falls trail is great for the whole family, but the end has large rock stairs and they are slippery when wet. Be cautious if you are not good with stairs or carrying a child/small dog. It was fun to be down by the falls and Kenai loved swimming in the river.

Remember to bring poop bags and to leave the area cleaner than you found it.

This hike is open in the winter and Chelsie spoke about the beautiful winter icicles and frozen sights. If hiking in the winter it will be important to have snowshoes or yaktraks for you and to protect your pups feet from the cold.

Kenai jumped right in!


Recommended Supplies:

  • Towels
  • Picnic (optional)
  • Poop bags
  • Leash
  • Water for you and your pup
  • Doggie life vest
  • Harness
  • Tennis shoes
  • Bear spray
  • Coat (depending on weather)
  • Snowshoes or yaktraks (winter)
  • Booties for your pup (winter)

Kenai gives this hike 4 paws up! It is great to have an easy hike with beautiful views for the entire family.

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






2 Replies to “Dog Lover’s Montana”

  1. Wow. This trail looks fantastic and walking through snow country would be an experience for this Australian. Ditto for picnicking with bears. I just remember seeing a movie with Yogi Bear outsmarting picnickers. Kenai’s a beautiful dog with a real zest for life. I tend to feel us humans could learn alot about how to live from dogs. My dog usually takes herself outside to lie in the sun now that it’s winter while I might be having a nap, or on my computer.
    xx Rowena

    1. Kenai does love life! I think that yogi probably does exist, but they just show up and get it, no need to outsmart anyone. I am not sticking around when a bear is present 😉 Thank you for visiting! Hope you get to walk to snow country some time.

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