Ousel Falls Trail & Beehive Basin Brewery

Big Sky, Montana

Here’s another peak at our amazing trip out West! This was a little hike & hop that we did on our way from Bozeman down to West Yellowstone. The towns are only about 2 hours apart, but it was some of the most beautiful scenery we had ever seen! We were constantly pulling off to gaze at sheer cliffs and clear blue rivers. Along the way, we stopped at Big Sky Montana, a well known mountain resort to check out a short hike and a new brewery. Ousel Falls was the perfect trek for us because it offered a lot of bang for your buck. We really didn’t want to exhaust ourselves before we even made it to Yellowstone and it was also only 2 miles away from Beehive Basin Brewery, a new microbrewery in the Big Sky town center. Nestled in the meadow, the brewery offers incredible views of the surrounding mountains. We ordered sandwiches from the nearby deli, had a cold brew, and relaxed in the beauty of the ridges. Definitely worth a stop if you’re on the road to West Yellowstone!

One of the pull-offs along the way from Bozeman to Big Sky

THE HIKEOusel Falls Trail

Length: 1.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 250 ft
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 45 mins
Trail use: Hiking, biking, leashed pets
Parking: Large lot with vault toilets
H&H: 4/5

Ousel Falls is a delightful little trail just minutes away from the main town center of Big Sky. It’s maintained by the Big Sky Community Organization, a nonprofit that manages many of the local trails in the area. It’s clearly a popular trail judging by the ample parking lot and the wide, gravel trails. Also there are vault toilets in the parking lot so that’s always a plus. The trail starts with a bit of a steep decline, but there are railings and benches which make it accessible for most abilities. Along the way, you pass over the South Fork of the Gallatin River several times, offering lovely vistas and plenty of benches for relaxing in the beauty. Within no time, you’ve already reached the falls! Although several other hikers told us the cascade was very light, we still thought the falls were gorgeous. I loved that we could get so close to them! There were so many friendly people along the trail and several offered to take pictures of us. I’ll never get over how warm the camaraderie among hikers is!

If this trail is too short for you, there are several other hikes in the area, including some mountain treks. We were short on time, so this little hike was perfect for us. I think this hike would also be great for families or people with some mobility issues. The trail is very wide throughout and mostly free of tripping hazards. There’s also a great spot to bring a picnic! Overall, we were really pleased with this hike, especially since it was a spur of the moment stop for us. So glad we did!

THE BEERBeehive Basin Brewery

Address: 245 Town Center Ave, Big Sky, MT 59716
Distance from Trail Head: 2.2 miles, 6 mins
Website: http://www.beehivebasinbrewery.com/
Food?: BYO, deli right across the street
H&H Rating: 4/5

By the time we finished our hike, we were definitely ready for lunch and a rest. Taking in beautiful scenery really works up an appetite! Thankfully, Beehive Basin Brewery had been on my radar since I was originally planning our trip. Although they don’t have a kitchen, they encourage you to get food from one of the local restaurants. We opted for delicious sandwiches from the deli next door. I cannot even begin to tell you how much they hit the spot! 

Beehive Basin has an excellent patio with gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains. It was so peaceful out there. That is, until we started to get sunburnt! It’s amazing how quickly you can burn at higher elevations. Luckily, it was a quiet day at the brewery so we had no problem grabbing a seat inside. I was really impressed with the decor inside the brewery. It was the perfect blend of mountain lodge and art gallery. Taking notes for my future place! Our beer was pretty good for a very new brewery! I really hope they continue to grow. My favorite pour of the afternoon was the Mad Fresh Hop Pale Ale which was made with freshly picked hops from a local hop farm. J really liked the Malty Mountain Rye since he’s usually a big fan of malty flavors. All in all, I’m so glad that we stopped in Big Sky!

Our Beer:

  • Montana Wheat Bier – Witbier – 4.5%
  • Mad Fresh Hop – Pale Ale – 5.4%
  • Green Bridge IPA – American IPA – 6.4%
  • Malty Mountain Rye – Rye Beer – 6.2%

SUM UP: Ousel Falls is an easy out & back trail in Big Sky, Montana that is 1.6 miles long. It has some small elevation gains but is well suited for all ages and abilities. The trails are very wide and even with several benches to take breaks. The short trail guides you through pine forests and over and across the beautiful South Fork Gallatin River. The Ousel Falls themselves are breathtaking and the trail allows you to both at the base and from overhead. Make sure to take plenty of pictures! Only 2 miles away is Beehive Basin Brewery, a new microbrewery that has a constantly rotating taplist. Offering views of the surrounding mountains, Beehive is a perfect place to relax with a crisp beer. We can’t wait to share more of our Montana/ Wyoming adventures with you soon!

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