Throughout the day they have a variety of talks where you can learn all about the animals. Yellowstone Lake with Hotel and Dot Island. There are a variety of hotels and RV parks right in West Yellowstone which means you can walk to a lot of the restaurants and attractions. From Cody to the entrance, you will take the Yellowstone Highway, also known as US 16-20-14, past the enormous Buffalo Bill Dam six miles from town. That would work out well if there's something available. The shop has really nice mountain bikes and helmets for all ages, plus they do have bike trailers if you have little ones that won’t be able to keep up. It’s home to the Steamboat Geyser, which is the world’s tallest geyser at 300-plus feet. Plus they are all really close to the West Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Enjoying Your Yellowstone Experience Travel to Yellowstone in the spring or fall to avoid the biggest … By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. If your kids are like mine, they can be done in a museum in 5 minutes . Situated in Gardiner, Mont., a lively small western town, the North Entrance is open year round and is the only way to reach the park’s northeastern border in the winter. You’ll want to stop at the Midway Geyser Basin, slightly south, which is home to the dazzling Grand Prismatic Spring, which has resident bacteria that creates rainbow-like rings in the spring. Snowmobile Rentals. When we decided to visit Yellowstone National Park, it was part of a longer road trip and one of the biggest questions we had was how many days to spend in Yellowstone out of the two-week trip. She specializes in writing inspiring national park travelogues, foodie adventures and personal, heartfelt stories of people who shape our culture. In the rooms you have a small fridge and a microwave as well in case you want to bring in some of your own food. Want to experience some of the West’s most spectacular scenery in a town that can feel like a cross between Northern Exposure and Animal Planet, given its wild neighbors living up the street in Yellowstone? This is also where I got the Huckleberry Margarita and it was yummy. You are guaranteed to see a grizzly at … We got there on time in the morning so we could sign the kids up (5-12) to be Kid Keepers – which meant they got to set out the food for the bears to find when the grizzlies came back in the habitat. Depending on how many days to see Yellowstone you have planned, a guided tour can insure you see the best of Yellowstone. Summer. Snowmobile tour and Snowcoach reservations are highly recommended, especially if you plan to visit during the busy Christmas or New Year’s Day holidays. Grand Teton mountains as seen from Inspiration Point. The Cody Cattle Company has a really casual atmosphere where kids can run around the establishment’s wooden picnic tables. There are five entrances ⎯ North Entrance, Northeast Entrance, South Entrance, East Entrance and West Entrance. Click here to book your room at the Kelly Inn now! Closed in the winter time, the Northeast Entrance makes sense to enter if you are coming from the northeast side of Montana like Billings or Red Lodge, Mont. If you are traveling with kids you can put together an awesome Yellowstone itinerary with kids! See a variety of thermal features right next to Yellowstone Lake. From there, head west to view Old Faithful or continue north along the shores of Yellowstone Lake and on up as far as the Lamar Valley, which stretches to the Montana border and is known for its abundance of large mammals, including wolves, bison and bears. Instead we could have spent all day there! Yellowstone’s location is a little remote but there is a range of regional airports located near the park. Find your perfect day hike with our personalized guide. With its historic downtown and numerous family friendly activities, including the Cody trolley tour where you can learn more about Cody’s history, it is well worth a stop for a day or two. The East Entrance brings you right to the Yellowstone Lake, the largest mountain lake at such a high elevation of 7,733 feet. What to see and do in Yellowstone Let me start with the highlight: the wildlife. The thrill of watching large predators like the American grizzly and the wolf go about their lives in a secure, poaching and hunting free setting is truly a unique experience. Seating is somewhat limited in the pizza place so if you don’t want to wait, try to get here earlier or later at night. For the last 6+ years they have explored all over North America and share their top tips on things to do in locations with kids, along with road trip ideas and tips on RVing. Old Faithful goes off about once per hour, but if you get there right after it goes off don’t stress. Pets are prohibited throughout most areas in national parks. First, decide whether you intend to snowmobile inside or outside Yellowstone National Park. Fairy Falls is one of Yellowstone’s tallest waterfalls. Sitting at the only year-round entrance to the world’s first national park, pretty much everything in Gardiner is colorful from the scenery and people to the names of dishes on menus, adding a poetic slant to your visit. There are a lot more things to see and do in Yellowstone from hot spring fed rivers you can swim in to unbelievable hikes and great places to grab a drink. It’s best to leave Fido at home, but if your dog is along here's how to make the best of it. There are tons of things to do around the area. Check by the front for information on doing a scavenger hunt with your kids through the museum section. Follow this guide to find out. For a full itinerary of how to plan The Ultimate Yellowstone Vacation and Beyond click here. The dam’s visitor center is open daily May 1-Sept. 30. See a variety of thermal features right next to Yellowstone Lake. Before you get in the car grab a small cooler and toss a few things in just in case you need them. Be patient and flexible Hundreds of thousands of people visit Yellowstone during the months of June, July, and August. What to take to Yellowstone with half the world's geysers, tons of wildlife, and hundreds of places to explore? This is an awesome thing, so embrace the slower pace and set your expectations around it. Too far. So be prepared for that. Exploring with a personal guide who knows the landscape, wildlife, and secret spots is a great way to discover the national park's most gorgeous places. Note there are general stores in the park too along with places you can eat. Click for Privacy Policy / Disclosure Policy. Planning a vacation to Yellowstone involves many details, one of which is deciding how you will enter the park. Walk along the West Thumb Geyser Basin Trail to take in all beauty of the area. They are super helpful and knowledgable on the area so just tell them what you are looking for and they can point you to the right trails! We did not plan enough time to truly explore the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. . Head over to the Canyon area of Yellowstone to visit the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Artist Point, and the Uncle Tom Trail. So beautiful and we hit the guide jackpot when Duke picked us up! Fish the Yellowstone and live to tell the tale with one of our experienced guides. This site uses cookies. Head to Gardiner, Mont., just five miles from Yellowstone’s steaming terraces of Mammoth Hot Springs, one of the park’s many natural wonders. Fairy Falls. Plan Your Vacation Now. Further south is the Upper Geyser Basin, which is home to Old Faithful, Biscuit Basin and others. Family taking photos at Yellowstone's North Entrance sign. It is directly across from the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center and the Yellowstone Giant Screen Theatre and right down the street from the Historic Museum. From Old Faithful to Fountain Paint Pot, you’ll see Yellowstone National Park highlights on this full-day tour from Island Park or West Yellowstone. You also pass the Boiling River turnoff on the stretch of road from Gardiner to Mammoth. Minutes from the West Entrance sits West Yellowstone, Mont., home the Grizzly &Wolf Discovery Center, as well as lodging and dining. It is the Lamar Valley that the first wolves were reintroduced to the park in 1995-97. We got the jalapeno poppers with Huckleberry sauce for an appetizer and they were delicious. Plus there is a great gift shop so prepare yourself for that. A good restaurant with large salads, pizza and more. Expect golds, bright oranges, and fiery reds to begin showing above 7,000 feet in mid- to … Steamboat Geyser in the Norris Geyser Basin. From Billings, you can take I-90 west to US 212 west and from Red Lodge, Mont., take US 212 west. One side of the building is the Pizza place and the other side is the bar – no one under 21 is allowed in the bar area. My younger two (7&3) decided it was a bit too high and scary for them that time, so they stayed with Dad. From it, you can drive to the Northeast Entrance is a matter of minutes. They also have new release movies and a couple other documentary films that also looked really interesting. Grand Prismatic is an amazing sight and one well worth seeing from multiple locations. I really liked the variety of pizza flavors they had to choose from. A visit to West Yellowstone Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center is guaranteed to be one of the best awe-inspiring experiences you will ever have. Cars are the best option for taking a trip around Yellowstone unless you are riding with a bus tour or concessionaire. Head south and you will see the largest geyser basin in Yellowstone called the Lower Geyser Basin, which includes Fountain Paint Pot, Firehole Lake Drive area and the Great Fountain Geyser. To travel from Big Sky to West Yellowstone turn south on US Highway 191 and follow it for approximately 51 miles. If you drive farther north, up to the park’s northern border with Montana, you can explore the boardwalks of Mammoth Hot Springs, a two-tier travertine wonder. Click here to get more information on visiting Yellowstone National Park. Personalized guide to help you decide where to spend the night, from car camping paradise and remote backcountry sites to a slice of RV heaven. Distance from West Yellowstone: 32 miles and 51 minutes, but same as above – assume it is going to take longer and that there will be animal sightings or backups on the way. This RV Park is located right by the Giant Screen Theatre so it is a great location if you want to be able to walk to everything in West Yellowstone. Your visit to West Yellows... Read more . Here are the top 16 essentials. Visit Yellowstone National Park. To get to the park’s East Entrance, you will pass through Cody, Wyo., founded by Buffalo Bill Cody himself. There are so many great things to do in West Yellowstone that will help to compliment your time in Yellowstone National Park. Today, it supplies water to 93,000 acres of farmland in the Bighorn Basin, bringing to life alfalfa, sugar beets, oats, barley and beans. Plus they have multiple movies – and they all looked awesome. Take note a lot of them do not have full hook ups. The best Yellowstone Tours cover the topics and locations you want to see. People visit Yellowstone and discover an amazing variety of experiences and destinations. We can’t give you an hour-by-hour plan because there are 5 different places where you might be entering the park, but here is a plan for a 2 day visit. Cooke City itself is a tiny town but offers a number of services from lodging to restaurants and gas. The tiny outpost of Cooke City (year-round population is 100) has a downtown that spans only a few blocks but offers good dining and lodging options. Fall foliage. It is a great way to learn about the history of Yellowstone and how it was found and the studies they continue to do on it. You'll get a free map when you go through an entrance station, but if you want to plan in advance, purchase a Trails Illustrated map of Yellowstone from REI.com. We really enjoyed the Kelly Inn and would definitely recommend it as a place to stay when you come to visit. Make West Yellowstone, Montana, your destination for winter adventure in Yellowstone National Park, including skiing, snowmobiling, and snowcoach tours. Idaho Falls to Yellowstone West Entrance (108 miles, 1.48 hours) Pocatello Yellowstone West Entrance (158 miles, 2.32 hours) Airport in Utah. Plus, if you are staying in Jackson, Wyo., the South Entrance is the easiest entrance to access Yellowstone. The restaurants in West Yellowstone have that Out West feel to them with a focus on Pubs and Pizza places. This huge park has five entrances and five developed visitor areas. Should you stay in a historic hotel near Old Faithful, or a cabin closer to wildlife and the Lamar Valley? And dogs are welcome! DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. assuming you don’t get stopped by any wildlife traffic jams – which you most likely will. You’ll find the Lamar Valley will give you an overwhelming sense of what the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem looked like before white pioneers settled there more than 150 years ago. Whether you’re a beginner or an old pro, you’ll be glad you took this chance to spend time in nature and see our favorite river in a whole new way. © 2021 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. All Rights Reserved, North Entrance Brings You to Mammoth Hot Springs, Northeast Entrance Puts You at Doorstep of Park’s Wildlife, East Entrance Brings You to Yellowstone Lake, South Entrance Allows You To Tackle Two National Parks in One Day, West Entrance Brings You to Geyser Paradise, bison, grizzly bears, black bears, wolves and elk, shorelines are dotted with geothermal features, Hotels And Cabins Inside Yellowstone National Park. Old Faithful is the most famous Yellowstone Geyser as well a lovely village with another … It is always crazy to me how bright the colors are. COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) UPDATE: SEE DETAILS Blending the Old West with upscale boutiques, Jackson is the ritziest of all Wyoming towns. Located just across the Wyoming border in Montana, West Yellowstone is a convenient entrance town for those coming from Idaho or western Montana, especially Missoula. This is by design. Not just normal pizza flavors, but things like white sauce and artichoke. The staff was awesome and super accommodating when we got there and nice throughout our stay. You can stay the entire YNP trip there without a big problem. It also is home to a number of well-equipped RV parks, which make it a fantastic place to park your RV and launch your tours of the park via your car. With 2.2 million acres ⎯ larger than the size of Rhode Island ⎯ the park is enormous, which is why it’s a good idea to figure out what you want to see and know which entrance is closest to those sights. Order our free stunning Yellowstone Trip Planner filled with an inspiring itinerary, gorgeous photographs and everything you need to plan your dream vacation. Next up, get back in the car and drive over to the Fairy Falls trailhead where you can hike up to the overlook. From Mammoth, you can head east on the northern most road in the park to get to the expansive Lamar Valley, referred to as the Serengeti of the United States, because of the extraordinary diversity of mammals living there. The Park’s Grand Loop is shaped like a figure 8, divided into the Upper Loop and Lower Loop. Among the many rare species you might encounter are grizzly and brown bears, wolves, mountain lions, foxes, coyotes, elk, deer, buffalo, moose and every matter of birds. After many trips to Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier and the Black Hills, we've created the ultimate list or our favorite things to bring along. What to do in West Yellowstone (besides going in to Yellowstone National Park): Zipline Adventure Park-My daughter and I did this a couple of summers ago and had a total blast. Salt Lake City to South Yellowstone (300+miles, 4.5-6 hours) Unless you arrive at West Yellowstone airport, you will end up renting a car and being on the road for at least an hour. Please read my disclosure for more info. West Yellowstone is a town in Gallatin County, Montana, United States, adjacent to Yellowstone National Park.The population was 1,271 at the 2010 census.West Yellowstone is served by Yellowstone Airport.It is part of the Bozeman, MT Micropolitan Statistical Area.. West Yellowstone offers lodging, gift shops, and other services to travelers visiting nearby Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone's Mammoth Hot Spring Lower Terrace. You didn't think we'd create a list of the best things to do in West … Our Winter Activities. To continue with the history lesson, head over the Yellowstone Historic Museum in the old train station that was a depot for the Union Pacific Railroad. You can click the link below to get more information about planing your time in Yellowstone. Jackson itself is an incredible mountain town that attracts skiers to its steep slopes in the winter and throngs of tourists in the summer. Every time we went in and out of the park we were stopped or slowed down due to an animal sighting. But once you hit the West Thumb Geyser Basin, you can stretch your legs and explore some of the park’s amazing geothermal features. Here are the details on each to help you plan your adventure to the country’s oldest national park. Head south over Beartooth Pass, before dropping into Cooke City and Silver Gate, the closest towns to the Northeast Entrance. Distance from West Yellowstone: 48 miles or 1 hour and 18 minutes – give or take due to traffic and animals. The museum isn’t very big, but they have a great I Spy game for the kids to play and when they finish it they get a prize. Some people refer to Yellowstone as the Serengeti of North America. As part of that, it makes sense to bring some snacks and water along with you – in case you are sitting and waiting longer than expected. It is really cool to see the hot spring from both locations – right up close and from up high. Drive your snowmobile like you do an ATV in Marysvale Utah. Bring your binoculars! Bryanna has been full time RVing with her husband and 4 kids since May 2014. If it is important to you and your family to learn more about the history of Yellowstone and West Yellowstone, be sure to stop here. Basically a great collection of things that kids would love to do! Types of Things to Do in West Yellowstone Outdoor Activities (42) Tours (30) Shopping (12) Boat Tours & Water Sports (9) Nature & Parks (8) Fun & Games (7) Classes & Workshops (3) Nightlife (2) Museums (2) Concerts & Shows (2) Transportation (2) Spas & Wellness (1) Sights & Landmarks (1) Water & Amusement Parks (1) We got the Calamity Jane and it was delicious! 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