Staying Safe Outside: Precautions and Updated Closures

Updated 4/3/2020

Now, more than ever, we need to get outside to move our bodies for our physical and mental health. We’ve assembled the following guidelines to help keep yourself, and your community, safe when you’re using the outdoors. We’ve consulted with our partners at the Health Department, City of Bozeman, Forest Service and other organizations and agencies to share the most current messages, precautions and closures.

Even during the Governor’s Shelter in Place Order,  outdoor recreation is still allowed, however we must continue to take safety precautions. As you prepare to head outdoors, please adhere to the following guidelines:


  • Practice social distancing. You must stay 6 feet away from people on the trail. Step aside when you encounter others, for their safety and yours.
  • Do not carpool to the trails or gather at the trailheads.
  • Wash your hands and don’t touch your face.
  • Use your best judgment and avoid the backcountry. Our first responders are busy on the front lines. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you could be injured.
  • Pack out your trash. City and State Parks are being heavily used. They are still emptying trash and dog waste but the less we throw away, the less frequently those staff will have to put themselves at risk.
  • Spread out. Now is a great time to explore new trails. The popular trails were incredibly busy last weekend. Please, consider exploring the trails near your home or visit trails you’ve never visited before.
  • Use trails in the morning when they are still frozen to avoid mud damage.
  • Avoid high touch surfaces like playgrounds, benches, trashcans and bathrooms.
  • Use the outdoors as a classroom and art studio. There are great resources online to help you keep your kids entertained, and learning, outdoors.
  • Smile. Now more than ever, a smile or wave on the trail will mean the world to your neighbors.


  • City of Bozeman playgrounds, restrooms and other facilities are closed. Parks and trails remain open at this time.
  • Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park are closed.
  • The Forest Service has closed group sites, camp sites, cabins, and bathrooms. Trails remain open at this time. Please note that the annual road closure for Hyalite Canyon started earlier this week so only foot or bicycle traffic is allowed past the gate. The trails remain open but you can’t drive to them until May.
  • State Parks have closed their group sites, bathrooms and other facilities but the parks remain open at this time.
  • The Gallatin County Regional Park dog park and dinosaur playground are closed but the rest of the park remains open at this time.

Do you have additional closures or updates to add? Send a note to so we can share and spread the word.

Don’t forget to share your photos with us on social media, tag GVLT and use #essentialoutdoors in your posts. We’ll share your adventures with the rest of our friends.

THANK YOU to the all the parks staff who are keeping our outdoor spaces clean and available for us to use during these challenging times.