Pssst. Summer finds visitors fly fishing, river rafting, mountain biking, trail rides and hiking while those in the winter come to enjoy cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and touring snowcoaches. Follow this guide to find out. Old Faithful goes off about once per hour, but if you get there right after it goes off don’t stress. Fish the Yellowstone and live to tell the tale with one of our experienced guides. Grand Teton mountains as seen from Inspiration Point. Blending the Old West with upscale boutiques, Jackson is the ritziest of all Wyoming towns. COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) UPDATE: SEE DETAILS Want to receive a printed insider’s guide to Yellowstone, where to stay and what to do? West Yellowstone is an awesome place and we highly recommend adding it to your road trip of the greater Yellowstone area and the first National Park in the United States. 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. 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. Whe re: Missed seeing a grizzly in Yellowstone? But once you hit the West Thumb Geyser Basin, you can stretch your legs and explore some of the park’s amazing geothermal features. The show starts at 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday throughout the summer. 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. The dam’s visitor center is open daily May 1-Sept. 30. There’s also a lot to do when you are ready to take a break from sightseeing in the park. 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. It is really cool to see the hot spring from both locations – right up close and from up high. West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center (open year-round) ... One of the main reasons people visit Yellowstone National Park is to see the wildlife! Cody is an Old Western town that celebrates its rich history through daily summer rodeos and incredible museums that make up the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. But it has a full range of hotels and eateries, catering to every type of traveler. At least 150 geysers exist in 1 square mile here. With its sweeping alpine vistas, Beartooth Highway, along US 212, is the closest you may get to feeling as if you are on top of the world. Walk along the West Thumb Geyser Basin Trail to take in all beauty of the area. She was 10 at the time and was way more confidant and daring than I was. Set some time aside just to walk up and down the streets in West Yellowstone to do some shopping or to stop for Ice Cream – there are a LOT of Ice Cream places! Please read my disclosure for more info. 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. This is by design. Click for Privacy Policy / Disclosure Policy. Here are the top 16 essentials. Take note a lot of them do not have full hook ups. Plus they have multiple movies – and they all looked awesome. Head south over Beartooth Pass, before dropping into Cooke City and Silver Gate, the closest towns to the Northeast Entrance. We had four days in total and I wondered how to see Yellowstone in 3 days in case jet lag hit us. Note there are general stores in the park too along with places you can eat. For a full itinerary of how to plan The Ultimate Yellowstone Vacation and Beyond click here. In the summer there is also a Ropes Course that would be another fun activity for the kids to do to break up sightseeing and hiking in Yellowstone. The Theatre has been producing amazing live entertainment for over 50 years! For another fun thing to do with your family check out the Playmill Theatre schedule to see if there is a performance while you are visiting. You can easily pull off the road and see any or all of these animals at once. Plus there is a great gift shop so prepare yourself for that. 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. Yellowstone Lake with Hotel and Dot Island. 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. Save $15 on one of the three helicopter tour options when you book through See Yellowstone. I really liked the variety of pizza flavors they had to choose from. Visit Yellowstone National Park. Let’s see how we can still visit the best Yellowstone sights in just 2 days. 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. Click here to book your room at the Kelly Inn now! Some people refer to Yellowstone as the Serengeti of North America. Basically a great collection of things that kids would love to do! The best Yellowstone Tours cover the topics and locations you want to see. Visitors will find Wild West flavor, plenty of lodging and a mix of cultural and outdoor activities. Once you enter through the South Entrance, you will drive along a stretch of the park’s road without any turnoffs for more than 20 miles. Summer. 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. This is an awesome thing, so embrace the slower pace and set your expectations around it. 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. People visit Yellowstone and discover an amazing variety of experiences and destinations. Old Faithful is the most famous Yellowstone Geyser as well a lovely village with another … 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. 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. If your kids are like mine, they can be done in a museum in 5 minutes . Yellowstone is in the United States, in the states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Steamboat Geyser in the Norris Geyser Basin. We did not plan enough time to truly explore the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. 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. The bike shop gave us a variety of different options for trails we could take (a lot of them are cross country ski trails in the winter). If you are looking to tackle two national parks in one day, the South Entrance is for you. There are so many great things to do in West Yellowstone that will help to compliment your time in Yellowstone National Park. That would work out well if there's something available. Once you go through the entrance gate, the Lamar Valley unfolds before your eyes. There are tons of things to do around the area. What to take to Yellowstone with half the world's geysers, tons of wildlife, and hundreds of places to explore? . 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. Bryanna has been full time RVing with her husband and 4 kids since May 2014. My younger two (7&3) decided it was a bit too high and scary for them that time, so they stayed with Dad. Cooke City itself is a tiny town but offers a number of services from lodging to restaurants and gas. Should you stay in a historic hotel near Old Faithful, or a cabin closer to wildlife and the Lamar Valley? Too far. A good restaurant with large salads, pizza and more. 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? 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. Our Winter Activities. 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. 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. The restaurants in West Yellowstone have that Out West feel to them with a focus on Pubs and Pizza places. 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. If you are traveling with kids you can put together an awesome Yellowstone itinerary with kids! Bring your binoculars! When to Go . Plus they have adjoining rooms you can get if you have a larger party. Some of them were in the park and some of them were in West Yellowstone. Admission to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West is good for two days, so take your time exploring. The Ultimate Yellowstone Vacation and Beyond click here, 7 Things to Know About the travel Berkey Water Filter System, 31 Road Trip Essentials You Don’t Want To Leave Home Without, Airbnb Yellowstone: 21 Unique Places You Will Want To Stay. Not just normal pizza flavors, but things like white sauce and artichoke. 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. From there, the West Thumb Geyser Basic and Old Faithful lie to the southeast and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone to the north. Snowmobile Rentals. Driving US 212 west is arguably the most dramatic route to enter the park. Since the early 1900s, West Yellowstone has provided a tourist-friendly gateway to the geysers of Yellowstone National Park and its resident bison, bears and elk. While Cody is 53 miles from the East Entrance, it is the closest town to the entrance. They also have wolves – who were gorgeous and really active, otters that we could watch under water, bald eagles and more. Best National Parks To See The Northern Lights Flying to Yellowstone National Park and then renting a car is the best way to visit the Yellowstone National Park. Fly Fishing. In the Boiling River, one of two sanctioned swimming areas in the park, you can swim in an area where warm hot springs water enters the Yellowstone River. There are some nice souvenir shops and also great outdoor gear shops like the Madison River Outfitters and the store in the Free Heel and Wheel shop where you can rent the bikes. Snowmobile tour and Snowcoach reservations are highly recommended, especially if you plan to visit during the busy Christmas or New Year’s Day holidays. So beautiful and we hit the guide jackpot when Duke picked us up! Click here to get more information on visiting Yellowstone National Park. The Park’s Grand Loop is shaped like a figure 8, divided into the Upper Loop and Lower Loop. 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. It’s best to leave Fido at home, but if your dog is along here's how to make the best of it. Walk along the West Thumb Geyser Basin Trail to take in all beauty of the area. From it, you can drive to the Northeast Entrance is a matter of minutes. This is also where I got the Huckleberry Margarita and it was yummy. West Yellowstone’s trails are easy to navigate, and maps are available at most West Yellowstone businesses. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. They pack the streets making this one of the snowmobile friendliest places on earth, after all, it is the snowmobile capitol of the world. © 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. It is also home to grizzly bears, black bears, bison and elk, among many others. Further south is the Upper Geyser Basin, which is home to Old Faithful, Biscuit Basin and others. 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. Before you get in the car grab a small cooler and toss a few things in just in case you need them. It was a great experience at the Kelly Inn and we were sad to leave. Jackson itself is an incredible mountain town that attracts skiers to its steep slopes in the winter and throngs of tourists in the summer. You also pass the Boiling River turnoff on the stretch of road from Gardiner to Mammoth. Pets are prohibited throughout most areas in national parks. It does cost extra and took about 1 hour, but it was so worth it for the kids to go behind the scenes and actually into the habitat. They also have new release movies and a couple other documentary films that also looked really interesting. If you're coming from the Pacific Northwest or even Missoula, Mont., the North Entrance, along US 89, may be the one for you. Today, it supplies water to 93,000 acres of farmland in the Bighorn Basin, bringing to life alfalfa, sugar beets, oats, barley and beans. To get to the park’s East Entrance, you will pass through Cody, Wyo., founded by Buffalo Bill Cody himself. Family taking photos at Yellowstone's North Entrance sign. All the rooms on the first floor have doors that open inside and outside to the parking lot. Enjoying Your Yellowstone Experience Travel to Yellowstone in the spring or fall to avoid the biggest … Honestly we thought it was going to take us about an hour since it is such a small space. This site uses cookies. Every time we went in and out of the park we were stopped or slowed down due to an animal sighting. assuming you don’t get stopped by any wildlife traffic jams – which you most likely will. Completed in 1910, it was the tallest dam in the world then. But there's a surprise when you head south from Yellowstone. Distance from West Yellowstone: 48 miles or 1 hour and 18 minutes – give or take due to traffic and animals. Check by the front for information on doing a scavenger hunt with your kids through the museum section. Day 1 Upper Loop. 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. These are always a great way to help the kids learn and stay focused! 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. Driving over Beartooth Pass, northeast of Yellowstone National Park, Closest to Cooke City, Mont., and its sister village Silver Gate, this entrance gives you the best access to Yellowstone's legendary Lamar Valley where grizzlies, black bears, bison and wolves roam. Grand Prismatic is an amazing sight and one well worth seeing from multiple locations. We got the jalapeno poppers with Huckleberry sauce for an appetizer and they were delicious. 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. Speechless. Here is a map to show our recommendations: One of my favorite places in Yellowstone! 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. I wish we would have planned to spend a whole day here watching the grizzly bears and wolves along with the other animals (they switch out which bears are in the habitat you can see about every hour), the talks, and the movies. Walk next to the Grand Prismatic on the boardwalk that takes you right out next to the hot spring where you can feel the warmth coming off of the hot spring and you can smell it! Home to bison, grizzly bears, black bears, wolves and elk, plan to spend some time along the roadside pull-offs, viewing the animals from a safe distance. You didn't think we'd create a list of the best things to do in West … This also included getting an animal pin and hearing from one of the workers all about the grizzlies and the center! Ve known it best since 1970 looked really interesting amazing variety of thermal features, or peaks drive Big. 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