Community Nordic Trails
SUNSET HILLS LEGACY PROJECT
Preserving the winter experience on a cherished trail system.
Investing in the health of our community.
Thank you to everyone who helped us raise nearly $1 million during Sunset Hills Capital Campaign. We did it! We have a snowmaking system. Now comes the work of continuing to maintain this system. Donate or make a sponsorship today.
Located in downtown Bozeman next to Lindley park, across the street from Bozeman Health, and within minutes of city schools and businesses, Sunset Hills is the centerpiece of Bozeman's groomed trail system, with approximately 5km of skiing.
Since BSF began grooming ski trails at Sunset Hills in the late 1960s, winter trail use has increased an estimated 5,000%, contributing to the economy and Bozeman's homegrown ski-town identity.
In 2014, the SE Group assessed community priorities in the Community Nordic Trails Feasibility Study, which identified Sunset Hills as having the highest value for the Bozeman community. Based on that report, Bridger Ski Foundation and HKD Snowmakers developed a comprehensive Sunset Hills winter site plan that includes upgraded snowmaking.
Technological advances have made snowmaking more reliable and affordable. HKD Snowmakers has a reputation for sustainable practices. The HKD Impulse is a portable, low-energy use snow gun that produces quality snow at above-normal temperatures.
Optimal temperatures for making snow are below 28F wet bulb. The goal is to have a stable base by mid December that lasts through late March. Up to five snow guns can be used at one time, allowing Sunset Hills trails to be ready for skiing in as little as a week.
IN-TOWN SKIING FOR A VILLAGE
Sunset Hills is a local favorite for kids, families, visitors, students, the MSU Ski Team, BSF, Crosscut teams, Montana Endurance Academy and the U.S. Paralympic Nordic Team. The rolling terrain is perfect for everyone from beginners to experts, from the early hours of the morning, to lunch breaks, till long after dark.
The Sunset Hills venue is key to BSF's after-school and adult Nordic programs, as well as BSF's mission, vision and goals.
And, it's free for all.
- Ensure that anyone can ski for free all winter long.
- Give kids easy access to healthy, after-school ski programs.
- Be a buffer against unpredictable weather patterns.
- Open trails earlier and keep them skiable longer.
- Keep healthy, in-town recreation opportunities that reduce driving and carbon emissions and improve the physical and mental well-being of our community.
- Allows for other recreational uses of the field, such as running and cycling, as well as hay production.
Since 1936, Bozeman's ski club has enabled each generation to ski, to experience the mountains, build friendships, and develop lifelong skills and a love of skiing. We provide access to a lifetime of outdoor opportunities through world-class ski programs and grooming 70+km of public and in-town winter trails.
- In 2005, with permission from the City of Bozeman, BSF drilled a well on the southwest corner of Sunset Hills and made snow for five years. We'll use that same well, but with an added 32,000-gallon underground cistern to cool the water for better snowmaking conditions.
- As of March 2021, we've raised approximately 96% of the needed $979,000 for the project. This is a separate capital campaign that does not impact BSF's regular programs, fundraising, or budget.
- The City of Bozeman approved the project and the construction permits, and they also approved a contribution of $150,000 of cash-in-lieu-of-parkland funds toward the project.
- Installation of the snowmaking system and construction of the pump house was completed during the summer and fall of 2020, and we began making snow in late November 2020.
When will you make snow?
SPONSOR & DONOR OPPORTUNITIES
Construction partners & Contributors
HELP preserve the resiliency of our in-town skiing
Donation and sponsorship questions?
Contact Laura Huggins