Planning A Trip To Yellowstone: 15 Things To Know

If you are thinking about a Yellowstone vacation, we recommend you stay for at least 1 – 2 weeks if you can. There are so many amazing things to do and see in Yellowstone National Park. We have been to the park 7 times and share our tips for planning your trip to Yellowstone below.

Your yellowstone vacation

We heard a statistic that is crazy. 90% of the people that visit Yellowstone never go farther than a 1/4 mile off the main road. WOW.

They are missing out on so much that Yellowstone has to offer. Please make sure you plan to get off the main road as often as you can!


Are you researching the ultimate family vacation in Yellowstone? Planning a trip to Yellowstone is a lot of work! Let us help you!

Feeling overwhelmed by all the awesomeness that is Yellowstone?! We get it! The park is huge and there is so much to see and do. We have visited the park over 6 different times and have put together 1, 3 and 7 day guides to help you plan your ultimate trip to Yellowstone:


Table of Contents

Tips For Planning A Trip To Yellowstone

Booking Your Stay

If you want to stay in Yellowstone – which we do recommend – there are a few options. Staying in the park makes the whole experience different. You become more immersed in the park and the Yellowstone way of life.

Versus having to drive in and out of the park each day. BUT take note this means you probably won’t have good cell service the whole time. On vacation that isn’t a bad thing!

You can book your Yellowstone Hotel or Yellowstone Lodge accommodations starting on May 1st for the FOLLOWING year. So on May 1st, 2023 people were booking for July and August 2024. So book early people!

The prices vary. If you are willing to have a cabin that has a shared bathroom (kind of like camping but you get to stay in a bed!) then you will be paying less. If you want a cabin with a bathroom it is more. Decide how much time you plan to spend at the resort/cabin and make a decision based on that.

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Cabins in Tower-Roosevelt

If you are looking to stay in a campground or RV park it is the same thing. However do note that they have first come first serve campgrounds as well. But these campgrounds do not have hook ups for your RV – you can stay here but you will be boondocking (Staying without hookups). 

If you want full hookups you will want to get into the Fishing Bridge campground.

There are also some great Yellowstone VRBO options outside of the park like these:

One of a kind cabin – located by the West Yellowstone Entrance

Elk Crossing – by the West Yellowstone Entrance

Modern cabin – by the North Entrance

I know I said stay in the park. BUT if you can’t get a reservation in the park know that the towns outside the park are pretty cool too and even if you weren’t staying in them I would recommend you visit them.

The town of Cody is going to be the furthest away. For that reason we recommend Gardiner or West Yellowstone if you are really planning to explore Yellowstone.

How Long To Stay

We recommend a week because it gives you a chance to breath and to really get out to explore and enjoy the park during your Yellowstone vacation. Yellowstone is totally like Disney World where visitors have an agenda and they are knocking everything out as quick as they can.

You miss so much about the experience and the atmosphere of the park when you do that. We would really recommend 2 weeks – but understand that isn’t always possible for people. But if you can swing it then do it!

We would recommend staying a few nights of your Yellowstone vacation at each location that offer places to stay. For example:

  • 2 nights at Fishing Bridge Village – by Yellowstone Lake
  • 2 nights at Mammoth Hot Springs Village
  • 1 night at Roosevelt Village
  • 2 nights at Old Faithful Village (Old Faithful Inn is gorgeous)

I know, a lot of moving, but it is a short distance and you won’t be spending much time in your room anyways. Doing this will allow you to see and experience more of the park.

Also if you are able to stay over a week you can spread out your time at each place.

Take note that Yellowstone is HUGE and can take up to 3 hours to drive from one entrance to the other. Maybe 4 if there is a buffalo or bear sighting next to the road.

By staying in multiple places it allows you to not have to spend so much time in the car each day. Plus you can better immerse yourself in that area of the park when you are staying there.

If you aren’t staying in the park we would recommend you stay in either Gardiner or West Yellowstone. And since these are relatively close to each other you could pick just one for a home base. That being said if you aren’t against moving you could spend half your time in Gardiner and half your time in West Yellowstone and plan your Yellowstone park trips around those areas.

When To Go

You can really visit the park any time of the year! And each season brings something different to the experience.

Spring – bear cubs! Need we say more?! But also could be cold and snowy and everything may not be open.

Summer – busiest time to go. But also a great time to see everything.

Fall – this would be our favorite time to go. Less busy yet pretty much everything should still be open. And you may get a brief snow storm while you are there! Yellowstone is gorgeous covered in snow.

Winter – a whole different experience that we have not tried yet. But have heard told from workers in Yellowstone that it is their favorite time of year to be in the park and that it is just magical.

If you can plan multiple times to visit try to come during each season!

Food

Bring a cooler and perishable items. The locations have ice so as long as you replenish you can keep things in the cooler the whole time. I recommend trying to do at least one meal a day out of your cooler to save money. Peanut Butter and Jelly works out great!

They also have a few “restaurants” or more snack bar/cafeteria type of places throughout the park where you can grab a burger or chicken sandwich. But I would say for the most part inside the park is not known for its cuisine.

But if you don’t want to worry about bringing food this is an option. Just be sure to check all opening times as the restaurants are not just open all the time. You can click here to learn about the restaurant options in Yellowstone.

There are multiple general stores located throughout Yellowstone where you can grab something as well and these are open all day long. You can click here to learn about the general stores in Yellowstone.

Unless you opt to go to some of their nicer restaurants like at the Lake Hotel. But take note a lot of these require reservations.

There are also a few bars located throughout the park and we definitely recommend getting a cocktail and heading out to sit on the patio and watch the sunset or look for buffalo walking by. We really like Wylie’s Canteen at Lake Lodge. Take note the rangers are on the lookout for people that are drinking and driving – be smart and have a designated driver.

Animal Safety

LISTEN to what the Rangers say about staying away from the animals! They are amazing to see but you have to give them their space. The Bison seem so docile – but they are NOT! They can charge at a moments notice, and they are fast.

When you are out on trails or walking around be alert. You never know what is around the next corner so talk loudly and be prepared. We carried bear spray with us every time we went hiking or biking.

The rangers give a range of how far away you should stay based on the animals. My recommendation stay at least 100 yards away from all wild animals. Yes – if you are in your car they will get closer then that – just be sure not to provoke them or you may end up with a lot of damage to your car!

Respect the animals they are wild. A fear of wild animals is not a reason not to go to Yellowstone. If you follow the guidelines and are alert and smart about what you are doing. You and your family will be safe.

Cell Service

There is a Verizon tower in the park. So you can get a cell signal if you use Verizon *BUT* it is not consistent through the park and data speeds are REALLY slow during the day. It works great at 2am :)!

The Lodges do give you an option to buy access to their internet there. To use it you have to be at the Lodge you can usually buy 1 hour, 24 hours or 72 hours of internet use. So if you have to work when you are there it is possible – but not something I would 100% count on working all the time.

The signal is better at the main Lodge’s, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Old Faithful. I recommend just not counting on having service. The Lodge’s have pay phones (yes you read that right!) so if you have to make a call you can pay for time and make one. Oddly enough, I don’t know if they accept change or not, so think about a calling card as you plan.

This could be another reason you want to stay outside of the park. West Yellowstone and Gardiner have cell service. However if at all possible use this as a time to disconnect! You will be so glad you did.

Mindset

You have to get into a relaxed mindset when you enter Yellowstone. There is one road that runs the length of the park and it only has one lane on each side. RV’s and trailers drive slower, buffalo constantly cause traffic jams, and anytime there is an animal siting you will be waiting in a line of cars to get your chance to catch a glimpse!

This is also a really cool thing and Lamar Valley and Hayden Valley are great places to look for animals. Of course early morning is best and by that we mean like 5am before the sunrises to get to Lamar Valley to find a place to pull off and wait for animals to hopefully come!

Your yellowstone vacation

If you give yourself a chance to sit back and really soak everything in and feel the magic that is Yellowstone (not just the tourist attractions) you won’t want to leave! Between the views, wildlife, and thermal features, there is really something special about this park!

If you are in the middle of the park it is going to take you a good 2 hours to get to a city. Which is kind of cool. So just accept it and be ok with that.

Here is our post about what to pack for your trip to Yellowstone.

Here are 20 Tips For Visiting Yellowstone With Kids.

What To See

Each area in Yellowstone has its own unique thing to offer. Below are links into each section of Yellowstone and what we recommend doing there. Use these as a trip planner to determine what you want to see when you visit.

One of my favorite things is the Grand Prismatic Spring by West Yellowstone and Old Faithful.

We always recommend stopping in at the Visitor Center. The Rangers for the National Parks Service have so much information and are great at recommending what you should do based on weather, time of year and who is in your group.

Here are our posts on each of the different areas of the park and what to do at each of them:

Old Faithful

Grand Canyon Of Yellowstone

Fishing Bridge/Lake Area

Mammoth Hot Springs

Tower-Roosevelt

Take a road trip to Yellowstone National Park is an amazing time!! You should plan before you go but also be willing to change things up and go with the flow when you are there and don’t over schedule yourself.

A Yellowstone trip can also include visiting other areas around the park. You can turn your Yellowstone National Park vacation into a multi stop trip with everything there is to do around the park.

Towns around Yellowstone to visit: Red Lodge, West Yellowstone, Bozeman, Livingston, Gardiner. If this interests you be sure to check out our Yellowstone Vacation post.

Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park are basically connected so if you can add time to your trip to go to Grand Tetons National Park. It is outside of the South Entrance of Yellowstone.

And while you are at it go to Glacier National Park too. Did we say 2 weeks lets make it 4 and add these parks to your trip too! And check out our Yellowstone Vacation guide for all the fun things to do in Montana just north of the park.

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— Update: 25-12-2022 — We found an additional article 21 Tips for Visiting Yellowstone National Park with Kids from the website we3travel.com for the keyword your yellowstone vacation.

Yellowstone is one of the most popular U.S. National Parks, so if you are visiting Yellowstone with kids during the summer, you can expect to encounter heavy crowds. You will encounter everything from families to travelers in RVs to large bus tours full of tourists (plus hopefully some wildlife too!) Due to these crowds, while planning a Yellowstone family vacation you need to start early!

Read more  37 Stops For The Best Cross Country Road Trip [Map Included]

Yellowstone National Park is over 3,500 square miles. With a space so vast and so much to see, planning a Yellowstone family vacation can be a little intimidating. Before you stress, make sure you read these Yellowstone tips and you will feel ready to start planning a bucket-list trip to Yellowstone National Park.

Keep in mind that these tips are for visiting Yellowstone National Park in the summer. Follow my friend Bryanna’s tips if you are visiting Yellowstone in the winter.

Your yellowstone vacation

21 Tips for Your Yellowstone Family Vacation

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support in keeping this blog alive!

Yellowstone is one of the best National Parks for kids if you follow these tips:

1. Spend at least 3-4 Days in Yellowstone

To start, the one mistake that many people make, myself included, is not giving themselves enough time to experience the park. You can see Yellowstone’s top highlights in just a couple of days if you are staying in or near the park.

But there are so many things to do in Yellowstone that you really need to give yourself at least three to four days to get in some hikes and see more of the remote areas. If you have a week for a Yellowstone family vacation and love to hike, you could certainly spend all your time in the park. But for families, I’d recommend splitting a week between Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone.

2. Getting to Yellowstone

If you want to avoid connections, the closest major airport to Yellowstone National Park is Salt Lake City, which is about 4.5 hours away. However, you can fly into Jackson Hole outside of Grand Teton National Park, which is then about 2.5 hours to Old Faithful in central Yellowstone.

Alternatively, you could fly into Bozeman, Montana, which is about one to two hours from the North Entrance to Yellowstone in Gardiner or the entrance in West Yellowstone. You can then easily extend your trip to spend more time exploring Southwest Montana or staying on a dude ranch nearby.

3. Stay in the park

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If you really want to make the most of your time in Yellowstone, it is best to stay inside the park. If you can’t find accommodations within the park (and those do book up a year in advance in some situations), you will end up wasting a couple of hours each day just getting to and from your lodging outside of the park.

That level of commuting, combined with time spent driving through the park, can really take away from the joy of exploring Yellowstone, In addition, driving through the park after dark takes longer than you would expect because it is so dark and you need to be on high alert for animals in the room.

4. Make your reservations early

I can’t stress enough how important it is to start planning your Yellowstone family vacation as early as possible. Reservations within Yellowstone book up nearly a year in advance. While there are many lodges to choose from, you will likely want to split up your trip to stay in at least two different sections of the park so you don’t spend all your time driving back and forth over the same terrain.

If you can’t get a reservation right away, keep checking back as you continue planning your trip because there are cancellations. Also, campground reservations are easier to secure, but even those should be booked early.

5. Stay nearby if lodges are full

If you can’t get into the park, the best places to stay would be West Yellowstone (45 minutes to Old Faithful) or down in Jackson Hole (but then you are driving through Grand Tetons each day – beautiful drive but long.) When we visited Grand Teton we really enjoyed our stay at the Rustic Inn Creekside Resort and Spa.

There are also some glamping options near Yellowstone National Park, including Under Canvas Yellowstone.

6. Split your time within the park

If you do stay in the park, you may want to split your time between at least two sections of the park to minimize driving. While there are tons of services around Old Faithful and the Old Faithful Inn is a landmark, I found that area too crowded and less “National Park-like.”

Your yellowstone vacation

I would recommend staying a few days near the beautiful Yellowstone Lake, and then another couple of days up in Mammoth Springs. In Mammoth Springs, the elk like to come and graze on the town lawns in the evening, making for a great viewing experience.

7. Allow time for bison jams

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When you are planning your day, keep in mind that driving through the park takes a lot longer than you might expect (or longer than Google Maps tells you it will.) Not only are there speed limits and single-lane roads, but you can encounter slow RVs, animal traffic jams, and scenic viewpoints that will entice you to make unplanned stops along the way.

The bottom line is: give yourself plenty of extra time and go with the flow!

8. Prepare to unplug

Keep in mind that there is very little cellular service in the park. If you are relying on your phone’s GPS, be sure to set your destination at one of the few spots in the park where you can get service, like Old Faithful or West Yellowstone.

The nice part of limited cell service is that you can actually spend unplugged family time during your drives and hikes. If you will be hiking in some of the more remote areas or want GPS, you may consider bringing along a Garmin InReach.

9. Become a member

If you are staying for a few days, consider purchasing a Yellowstone Association Membership. Not only will you receive a free t-shirt, bag, or stuffed bison, but you will also get 15% off all other gift shop purchases throughout the park, while also supporting the National Park.

10. Use the bathroom when you see them

Most of the main attractions have bathrooms, although you may need to wait in line. Some of these are just a step above a port-a-potty with a compost toilet and hand sanitizer. Be sure to bring along some travel toilet tissue and hand sanitizer or Wet Ones.

11. Pack a picnic

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Each of the main villages within Yellowstone National Park has some food options, but unless you can plan your day to arrive at one of these around lunch time (and be prepared for long wait times), you may want to pick up a picnic.

There are many places throughout the park to stop and enjoy a picnic. These can all be found on the map given out at the entrance. Just keep in mind that when you get out into Lamar Valley, there aren’t many services around.

12. Leave no trace

Visiting the National Parks is a good time to teach the kids about responsible tourism. Not only does this include “Leave no Trace” principles when it comes to carrying out whatever you bring in, but it also means teaching them not to be a touron (tourist-moron).

This includes being responsible around wildlife. I love this article about the crazy questions people ask Park Rangers because they don’t understand that this is nature…not a zoo. So, no selfies with bison and no walking up to bears or elk. When they say stay back, it is for a reason. You don’t want to be one of those viral videos on the Internet showing the dumb or irresponsible things people do around wildlife.

For more on wildlife, see my post on the best places to see wildlife in Yellowstone National Park.

13. Stay on the path

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While visiting Yellowstone you also need to be respectful of the ecosystem. Yellowstone sits on top of a supervolcano. In places, the earth’s crust is extremely fragile and thin.

Last summer I read multiple stories about people who died in the park because they were hiking alone without bear spray or they fell through the earth’s crust or even that they decided to take a dip in a hot spring and got boiled to death.

It is gruesome but all avoidable. Keep a close eye (or hand) on little ones and stay on the boardwalks when visiting geyser basins or geothermal features.

14. Buy bear spray

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Even you plan on venturing beyond scenic viewpoints, it is highly recommended that you carry bear spray on any hikes or excursions within the park. You can buy bear spray at one of the visitor centers before heading out on any hikes. Make sure you are familar with how to work the bear spray and that you keep it easily accessible (not zipped away in your backpack.)

These signs along the rim hike at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone made us a little nervous and I kept my bear spray handy. Just remember that you can’t take unused bear spray on the plane ride home!

15. Don’t overdo it on the hot springs

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Everyone can get geothermal feature fatigue. There is the Norris Geyser Basin, Upper Geyser Basin, Midway Geyser Basin, and Mammoth Hot Springs…you get the idea. After a while they all start to blur and get a little less exciting with each new thermal feature you walk by.

Don’t plan on visiting multiple geyser basins in one day or they will start to be less interesting. Instead, break it up with a visit to a geothermal feature combined with a hike or a drive through Hayden’s Valley to view some wildlife.

That said, a few don’t miss thermal features include West Thumb Geyser Basin, Old Faithful, and Grand Prismatic Spring.

16. Get up early

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The best wildlife viewing is going to be in the early morning or closer to dusk. Just keep in mind that you don’t really want to drive through Yellowstone at night.

There are many parts with narrow, winding roads and you never know what might be standing in the middle of the dark road. Stop into the visitor center and ask the park rangers where wildlife has been spotted recently.

17. Wait for Old Faithful

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When visiting Old Faithful, there are multiple buildings around the Visitor Center and a huge parking lot so it can be confusing at first to figure out where to go to see the geyser eruption.

When you pull into the lot, Old Faithful will likely be on the left-hand side. If you head into the Visitor Center, you can find out when the next predicted eruption will be.

However, if you walk up and see huge crowds around the geyser area, chances are it will be soon so you might want to head right over and ask one of the park rangers.

18. See Old Faithful from the back

At Old Faithful, some recommend walking around and watching the eruption from the far side, where there aren’t as many crowds. Depending on the wind, you may also get some spray in that direction though.

We got lucky and walked right up maybe 15 minutes before an eruption. A ranger was giving a talk and people were sitting on the benches. By standing directly behind the people on the benches, we had an unobstructed view and the crowd didn’t bother us at all (until we wanted to get lunch after.)

19. Park south of Grand Prismatic Spring

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If you are going to the Grand Prismatic Spring in the Midway Geyser Basin, be aware that the parking lot is very small and gets really backed up. You may be better off parking on the street but it is only available on one side.

If you are heading north from Old Faithful, once you pass the parking lot, there is no parking on that side of the street for another mile. So either park where you see a spot before you get to the parking lot or take your chances in the lot.

Also, Grand Prismatic Spring is very popular and the boardwalks are very narrow so hold hands with your young kids so people squeezing by don’t knock them off the boardwalk.

20. Hold onto your hats

If you are wearing a hat in the geyser basin areas and it is windy, hold on tight! We saw quite a collection of hats in the springs.

21. Bring binoculars

Bring binoculars! If you see a bunch of people pulled off the road with binoculars or zoom lenses, chances are they have spotted some wildlife. It makes sense to keep your binoculars and cameras within easy reach.

We were so lucky to spend some time watching a grizzly bear chow down on a dead bison in the river. Having binoculars brought the experience up close (closer than we would want to be in real life that is for sure!)

Read Before you Go

  • National Parks tips for beginners
  • 10 Must-see Places in Yellowstone

If you are planning a Yellowstone family vacation, here are some books you may want to read together first or bring along on your trip:

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

  • Buddy Bison’s Yellowstone Adventure
  • Hello Yellowstone
  • Goodnight Yellowstone
  • Yellowstone (A True Book)
  • Yellowstone National Park Activity Book
  • The Wolves of Yellowstone: A Rewilding Story
  • Junior Ranger Activity Book: Puzzles, Games, Facts, and Tons More Fun Inspired by the U.S. National Parks!

If you need help planning your trip, be sure to check out my friend Melynda’s trip planning service.

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— Update: 25-12-2022 — We found an additional article Yellowstone Vacation: 12 Day Itinerary for Visiting In & Around The Park from the website www.crazyfamilyadventure.com for the keyword your yellowstone vacation.

We have spent months in and around Yellowstone National Park and we are excited to share with you the ultimate Yellowstone Vacation both in the park and the surrounding area! Everything from where to stay, what to do and where to eat.

Your yellowstone vacation

Check out this 12-day Bozeman to Yellowstone vacation itinerary below. Or if you are looking to spend 1, 3, or 7 days exploring the best of Yellowstone – explore our guides! We put all of our knowledge into easy-to-follow, step-by-step itineraries that you just have to download and follow.

You will love visiting the geysers and geothermal features spread throughout the 2.2 million acres of America’s first national park. Plus the surrounding cities, activities and landscape have a lot of awesome things to offer. There is so much history in the area and it will give you a deeper knowledge of Yellowstone and this amazing area of the country if you explore beyond just Yellowstone National Park.

Since this is the ultimate vacation we are recommending you plan for 12 nights so you can truly explore both the park and the surrounding area. Get ready for activities including rock climbing, horseback riding, UTVing, outdoor adventure and more! If you want more on Yellowstone be sure to check out our Yellowstone National Park page with individual posts on each part of Yellowstone.

Here is a map of our recommended route:

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Here is a link to the interactive map: https://goo.gl/maps/NxEvDUEuXLmY5vQm9

Airport – Fly into Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport or drive into Bozeman to kick off your trip. Here is a great article that explains why you should fly into Bozeman.

Day 1: Bozeman, MT

Start your trip off in the city of Bozeman, Montana. Bozeman has an awesome downtown area, great restaurants and plenty of activities that you can do. It is a great way to introduce you to Montana and should be on any Montana road trip list!

Hotel: Lewis and Clark Motel

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This is a family owned hotel located in downtown Bozeman and is the perfect place to stay while you explore Bozeman. They are all about making you feel like you are a friend stopping for a visit and not just a customer. From their warm welcome to afternoon appetizers and treats offered throughout the day you will feel very welcome.

Plus their pool area is AMAZING and the Eucalyptus spa is so relaxing – all included in your stay. Make sure to block off a few hours to enjoy the pool area.

Click here to book The Lewis and Clark Motel now! 

Activity: Bozeman Hot Springs

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With 12 pools ranging from 57 degrees to 106 you will find a great pool to hang out in. Or check their schedule to see if they have live music playing that night and head here after dinner to soak and listen to the music.

Dinner

With so many options in Bozeman it can be hard to pick where to head for dinner. We recommend checking out one of these restaurants for dinner:

Sweet Chili

If you are in the mood for Thai with a fun drink menu then Sweet Chili in downtown Bozeman is the place for you.

Mountains Walking Brewery

Looking for more pub food and a good beer? Then Mountains Walking Brewery is the place.

Read more  Banff Travel Guide – Tips for your First Trip to Banff National Park

Montana Ale Works

A staple in downtown Bozeman, Montana Ale Works has a large menu with a variety of options from burgers, steaks, pasta and salads along with a great drink menu.

Day 2: Bozeman, MT

** Call Matt’s Butcher Shop and Deli in Livingston to place an order for some tasty sandwiches! You’ll need these for Day 3, spoiler alert!

Breakfast

Just like with dinner there are a lot of options for breakfast in Bozeman. Here are our recommendations:

Daily Coffee and Eatery

A great selection of fresh food and pastries along with good coffee. Grab it to go or grab a seat outside on their patio area.

The Coffee Pot Bakery and Cafe

A unique spot with delicious scones and coffee and a great selection of local pottery to purchase.

Activity: Museum of the Rockies

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Before planning your day make sure to check the schedule for the Planetarium shows at the Museum of The Rockies. We have seen 2 shows there and both of them were really well done so it is worth planning your time here around the show schedule.

The museum has a great collection of dinosaur bones along with a section on the Yellowstone area and a changing exhibit. Plus if you have little kids they have a kids hands on area upstairs.

The museum is a great way to get an introduction and history of the Yellowstone area!

Activity: American Computer And Robotics

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This could be a quick stop if you have kids who don’t want to stop and read all of the signs or can’t sit through a tour (they do offer those). Or it could be longer if you want to take the time to really look into each exhibit. In any case it is free and well worth stopping.

Lunch

There is a cool renovated area in Bozeman called The Cannery District where they took an old Canning Companies warehouse and factory and turned it into a hip restaurant and shopping area. Located just 1.5 miles from main street in downtown Bozeman it is an awesome place to grab lunch and do some shopping. The below options are all located in the Cannery District:

Lot G Cafe

This was an awesome cafe with fresh and local food. It is the perfect place to stop for a light lunch.

Pizza Campania

Craving pizza? Then Pizza Campania is a great stop and the prices are awesome and the pizza was yummy.

Deans Zesty Booch

Grab some locally brewed Kombucha – both alcoholic and nonalcoholic available. Our kids enjoyed the kombucha too!

Afternoon Activity: Rock Climbing with Montana Alpine Guides

Your yellowstone vacation

When in Montana you should definitely try to get out and try outside rock climbing and Montana Alpine Guides is a great company to go with. You meet at a designated location, they provide all of the equipment and then take you out to the rock wall.

Once there they take care of getting everything setup and then you are ready to climb. They are very helpful at giving instructions and helping you learn how to climb. They take all ages and skill levels.

Dinner

(Pick from the list above) Sweet Chili, Mountains Walking Brewery, or Montana Ale Works. And if you want to grab a drink before or after dinner head to Map Brewery – the views are amazing and the beer is good too!

Day 3: Bozeman to Livingston

Time to leave Bozeman and head over to Livingston – the original city entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Now a city filled with history and art galleries and located right along the Yellowstone River.

Breakfast

Check out whichever place you didn’t visit yesterday in Bozeman before you head to Livingston: Daily Coffee and Eatery or The Coffee Pot (details listed above).

Drive from Bozeman to Livingston

Jump in the car to head to Livingston – about a 30 minute drive. Head straight to Matt’s Butcher Shop and Deli to pick up your lunch.

Activity: Head out to Float, Fish or Both!

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Livingston is such a cool town and it is awesome how everyone works together here to customize your trip and make it what will work for you. You definitely get that small town feel here and it is great. With a family of 6 they split us into 3 on a fishing boat and 3 floating down the river in another boat.

George Anderson’s Yellowstone Angler

If you need to rent any boots or fishing gear (if you go with an outfitter they will provide fishing gear for you) this is the place for you. Also if you are going to be fishing this is where you can get your fishing license.

If you are looking for a nice float down the Yellowstone River (and if it is warm enough the kids can jump off the boat and swim) there are a couple options:

Rowdy’s River Guides or Rubber Ducky Rentals

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If you are looking for a fishing trip – where they provide all the fishing gear (you would still need to buy a fishing license) then check out:

Montana Expedition Trading Company or Sleeping Giant Tours

Or if you want to do a joint float and fishing trip then just give one of the companies a call and let them know and they will work together to get your custom trip setup.

Activity: Yellowstone Gateway Museum

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A great museum to go to to continue your history of Yellowstone and the surrounding area. They have a variety of hands on activities for the kids and take you from the past to the present for Livingston, Yellowstone and the surrounding area.

Dinner: Mint Bar and Grill

Your yellowstone vacation

A family friendly bar with a restaurant that participates in “Taste Our Place” so you know you are getting local Montana food. You can feel the history in the building and the food and drinks were delicious.

Hotel: Travelodge

A nice and clean option for your night in Livingston and close to all of the activities. We were able to get connecting rooms here which was great with 6 people.

Click here to book the Travelodge now!

Day 4: Livingston To Red Lodge

Livingston is a cool historic town with a great story to tell. It is definitely a place worth stopping as you learn more about this area of the country and the history of Yellowstone. Plus it is a great place to get out on the Yellowstone River. Now it is time to head southeast, but up in elevation to the mountain town of Red Lodge.

Breakfast: The Other Cafe

Grab breakfast at The Other Cafe diner attached to the Travelodge – where the pancakes are as big as your plate! Then get in the car for the 2 hour drive to Red Lodge.

Lunch

For being a small mountain town you wouldn’t expect the food to be so good. But get ready for a variety of different kinds of restaurants all with amazing food! Below are a few options for lunch.

Prerogative Restaurant 

This was such a unique option for lunch!  You order a protein, then select the accompanying plate to go with it.

From meat options to vegetarian options and fun side plants like roasted carrots with truffle vinaigrette and parmesan. Plus salads, sandwiches and a great drink menu. Check out the menu here. 

Red Lodge Pizza Company

A great option for pizza and a salad bar. They have some fun flavors of pizza and the crust is really yummy. They also have a great cookie dessert where the cookie is cooked in a small cast iron pan and then ice cream is added on top of it.

Activity: Rent an UTV from Red Lodge Power Sports

Your yellowstone vacation

For a fun way to explore the surrounding area rent an UTV from Red Lodge Power Sports. They had a 6 seater and helmets for all the kids so it was perfect! They will share with you different routes to take. We went on the HellRoaring Plateau trail and it was beautiful.

Activity: Clay Class at Red Lodge Clay Center

Your yellowstone vacation

Our kids loved the private clay class we did. One of their resident artists spent 2 hours with us teaching the kids how to make cups and bowls. It was a fun activity and perfect to do on a rainy day.

Activity: Golfing at Red Lodge Mountain

Your yellowstone vacation

Craig hit the links for a round of golf. There were deer watching him the whole time and the views were beautiful. The course is really spread out so it was nice, wide and open.

Walk Around Downtown

Your yellowstone vacation

There are a lot of cool shops in Red Lodge. Our kids would recommend the Montana Candy Emporium! I would recommend the Phoenix Pearl Tea Shop – that also has a wall of board games you can play while you drink your tea.

Dinner

Dinner like lunch will be hard to make a choice! Here are 3 more great options for dinner.

Carbon County Steak House

For a nice steak dinner – with local options Carbon County Steak House is where you want to be. The atmosphere is more upscale yet jeans are totally fine. Plus the food is really well done and they have a great menu and kids menu along with lots of drinks to pick from. Click here for the menu.

Bogarts

Feeling like a Margarita? Then Bogarts is the place for you! They are known for their Margaritas and for good reason, they are delicious.

The food was good too with a variety of Mexican dishes plus pizza and salads. And they bring out chips and salsa to start which is always a win with our kids. Check out their menu here. 

The Pub At The Pollard Hotel

Located right in The Pollard Hotel they offer a delicious menu of steaks, burgers, pasta and salads. Our kids really liked the huge pretzel and cheese sauce.

I really enjoyed my Huckleberry Moscow Mule. They have live music on Friday and Saturday too.

Red Lodge Ale

If you are feeling like checking out a brewery then Red Lodge Ale is the place to go. They have a variety of beers they brew on site (their Bent Nail IPA is delicious) and a selection of Ciders that they brew in Billings. They also offer a variety of sandwiches: smoked, Ruebens, paninis, and baked sammies, plus burgers, tacos and salads. Click here for the menu.

Hotel: The Pollard Hotel

Your yellowstone vacation

The Pollard Hotel is a historic hotel located in downtown Red Lodge. It is the perfect location for exploring Red Lodge. You can walk to all of the restaurants and they have a gym and restaurant right on site.

Click here to book The Pollard Hotel now! 

If you are looking for more Montana getaways check out this great post: 5 Weekend Getaways In Montana

Day 5: Red Lodge to Cooke City

Breakfast: The Pollard Hotel

The hotel offers a delicious sit down breakfast with Montana skillets, french toast, pancakes and everything you would want for a huge and yummy breakfast. Our kids loved getting the hot chocolate to start their day.

Activity: Horseback Riding with Elk River Outfitters

Your yellowstone vacation

We have gone horseback riding in other flat locations, but going in Red Lodge where we were climbing up the side of mountains and through streams was quite the experience! The guide takes you out on a trail through the water and up the mountain to a beautiful view of 5 mountain ranges.

Activity: Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary

Your yellowstone vacation

To continue with the educational part of Yellowstone and the surrounding area you won’t want to miss the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary. They offer a self guided tour but we would recommend booking a tour with the team here. They will walk around and give you the backstory of how each of the animals ended up there. While also teaching you about this area of the country.

The Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary is not associated with Yellowstone National Park but is privately run. We met Gary the owner who is also the author of the Who Pooped In The Park Books.

Check out this post for more on Red Lodge, Montana: 22 Amazing Things To Do In Red Lodge Montana

Lunch

Choose from the many options listed above for lunch or dinner to eat before you head out on the Beartooth Highway!

Drive: The Bear Tooth Highway

Your yellowstone vacation

Hit the road to drive the Bear Tooth Highway to get into Cooke City (Count on 2-3 hours). Be prepared to make lots of stops at the pullouts for amazing views and pictures.

Dinner: Miners Saloon

A local favorite that is the first restaurant in Cooke City to use local and sustainable food. They offer burgers, tacos, salads, and pizza.

Hotel: Soda Butte Lodge

A great rustic but modern Montana Style lodge for your night in Cooke City!

Click here to book the Soda Butte Lodge now! 

Day 6: Cooke City, MT into Yellowstone To Gardiner, MT

Breakfast: Pilots Perk

For breakfast head to the Pilots Perk for a coffee and some pastries! Plus they have a selection of local books to pick from if you need some reading material.

Activity: Cooke City – Visitor Center

Your yellowstone vacation

We always recommend stopping at a Visitor Center before heading into the park. It is helpful to get maps, the park newspaper, and to get any updates on what is currently going on in the park. Plus there is a small museum here so it is a great learning opportunity.

Head into Yellowstone National Park

The drive itself is beautiful and you never know with wildlife how long it is going to take. It is pretty common to be stopped on the road while you wait for a Bison to cross or a slowdown for people pulling off to watch a bear or an elk. Especially when you drive through the Lamar Valley area – so keep your eyes open!

Also know you will have to stop and pay the entrance fee to the park. With all the amazing things to see in Yellowstone it is totally worth it. We have the year pass that is $80 and gets us into all the National Parks.

If you plan on visiting more then 1 national park this year it is well worth it. They also have daily and weekly passes and you can purchase all of these at the gate.

We recommend downloading the GYPSY Guide for Yellowstone before heading into the park. It will give you a great audio tour of the area you are driving through.

Tower Roosevelt Area – Towers Fall Hike

Your yellowstone vacation

Set your GPS to the Tower Falls hike in the Roosevelt area of Yellowstone. This is a 1 mile hike to a beautiful waterfall. But be prepared it is a steep incline. But it is worth it.

Lunch: Roosevelt Lodge

After your hike head to the Roosevelt Lodge to grab lunch – they have a sit-down restaurant with a variety of food options. Check out their menu here. Then grab a drink and sit out on the porch and just enjoy the surrounding area and being in Yellowstone!

Hike: Mount Washburn

Your yellowstone vacation

This is a 6 mile roundtrip hike up to the top of Mount Washburn. It isn’t an easy hike but it isn’t super hard either. We were able to do it with our kids when they were 7, 5, 5 and 3. The views at the top are amazing!

Activity: Stagecoach or Horseback Riding

Or if you aren’t up for a hike look into the following activities that are offered from the Roosevelt Lodge: Stagecoach Adventure or Horseback Riding,

Dinner

Head into Gardiner to grab dinner at one of the many restaurants in Gardiner. Our recommendations are listed below:

Wonderland Cafe

A newer restaurant in Gardiner that is part of the Taste Our Place program that focuses on local ingredients. We loved the atmosphere here and the great variety of fresh food options. Check out there menu here.

KBar Pizza

A fun old school Gardiner pizza joint. The pizza was good and they had a nice drink menu along with a big TV for the kids to watch while we waited for our food.

Stay: Sunny Slope House

Your yellowstone vacation

Time for a house stay! And the Sunny Slope is awesome. Located just 15 minutes from downtown Gardiner and up in the mountains it is the perfect Yellowstone Vacation lodging option. Especially if you are ready for some more space and privacy after spending almost a week at hotels.

Click here to book the Sunny Slope House now!

Day 7: Yellowstone Wildlife Tour and Hot Springs

Today you will get up early for an amazing Wildlife tour and then head out to the Hot Springs to relax in the afternoon. And then the next day you will head back into the park for more exploring.

Breakfast: Included in activity

Activity: Yellowstone Wild Tour

Your yellowstone vacation

You will have to meet in Gardiner at 5am or 6am depending on the time of the year. But it is totally worth it! You will meet your guide from Yellowstone Wild and will jump into their van to head out to Lamar Valley before sunrise (when the animals are most active). Your guide will start right out of the gate sharing all sorts of information with you about Yellowstone and the animals.

When we reached Lamar Valley we got out and our guide setup our scopes and right away we spotted a Grizzly Bear then Elk then a pack of wolves. We were able to watch the pack of wolves hunt down an Elk. It was amazing! And all of this before breakfast!

Your yellowstone vacation

Our guide then brought out fresh baked huckleberry scones, hot chocolate and coffee for breakfast. YUM!

After that we continued throughout the north end of the park looking for more wildlife and found a mountain goat, more bears, more elk, bison and birds. It was an awesome day and our guide was super knowledgeable. The Yellowstone Wild guides are all immersed in Yellowstone and volunteer to help with the animals in the park and have a deep knowledge of the park, the area and the wildlife.

Read more  Must Haves for Twins to Add to Your Registry List

We then had lunch at a picnic area in the park that our guide brought and set up for us. It was a great way to spend a full day in Yellowstone. This is by far the best of all Yellowstone Tours!

Lunch: Included in activity

Activity: Yellowstone Hot Springs

Your yellowstone vacation

Once you get back to Gardiner head out to the Yellowstone Hot Springs. These beautiful Hot Springs have a cold pool and multiple hot pools and the views are spectacular. Take a few hours to relax and recount your awesome day of wildlife sightings!

Dinner

Head into Gardiner to visit either KBar or Wonderland Cafe for dinner.

**Stop at Gardiner Market to grab breakfast and dinner supplies so you can sleep in and have dinner at the house at least one night.**

Stay: Sunny Slope House

Day 8: Explore More Of Yellowstone

You will head into the park to do more exploring today – but before you do that have a relaxing morning and breakfast at the Sunny Slope House.

Lunch – Yellowstone Grille

Head into Gardiner to grab lunch at the Yellowstone Grille before heading into the park. The Yellowstone Grille has salads, burgers, pastries and a variety of different coffees. It is a great place to grab a light lunch before heading into the park.

Roosevelt Arch

Your yellowstone vacation

You will drive into the park under the first entrance to Yellowstone – The Roosevelt Arch! Make sure to stop and get out to walk through the doors of the arch and be on the lookout for Elk around the area.

Boiling River

Your yellowstone vacation

The Boiling River is located in Yellowstone a few miles before the Mammoth Hot Springs area. If you put in the Boiling River in your GPS before you leave Gardiner you can get an idea where you are going. But pay attention since you will come up to a parking lot that goes on both sides of the road. It is before the hot spring and is where you have to park – and there is no sign – so pay attention.

Once you are parked you will walk about 1/2 mile to get to the entrance of the river. It is where the cold water of the river meets the boiling water from the hot springs. It is a really cool experience!

Hike Bunsen Peak

If you are up for a more challenging hike, then head to the Bunsen Peak trail head – past Mammoth. For a 4.6 mile roundtrip hike with a 1300 foot gain.

Visitor Center and Fort in Mammoth Hot Springs

Your yellowstone vacation

Head back to Mammoth to visit the Albright Visitor Center where you can talk to the rangers, the kids can get their junior ranger books and you can explore the small museum there.

There are most likely going to be Elk all over the place in Mammoth so be prepared for that and keep an eye out! They literally just sit right on the lawn. But still follow the same wildlife recommendations and keep your distance. They may not look very wild sitting on the nicely manicured lawns but they are still wild animals.

Walk over to explore the Historic Fort Yellowstone. It is a .6 mile walk through the Fort and normally takes about 45 minutes to walk through.

Mammoth Terraces

Your yellowstone vacation

Head over the Mammoth Terraces to hike on the boardwalk through the Terraces and hike up to the top to look out over the Terraces and Mammoth. You can park at the bottom walk among the lower terraces then drive up to the top and walk among the upper terraces or you can hike the whole thing from the bottom to the top and back down.

Dinner

Head back to the Sunny Slope House to make dinner and relax at the house for your last night.

Stay: Sunny Slope House

Check out these awesome Montana Airbnb options too!

Added Stay: Sage Lodge and Chico Hot Springs

Your yellowstone vacation

If you have an extra night, then add in a stay at the beautiful Sage Lodge and head over to Chico Hot Springs to play disc golf and visit the historic Hot Springs. If you can’t stay the night then see if you can squeeze in an extra day to visit Sage Lodge for lunch and then head over to Chico for a few hours.

Your yellowstone vacation

Day 9: Drive to West Yellowstone

Time to head over to West Yellowstone to explore the geysers and more of the thermal features. Like we mentioned be prepared for animal traffic jams on your drive over.

Breakfast

Have breakfast at the Sunny Slope house as you get everything packed up and ready to check out and head over to West Yellowstone.

Canyon Area of Yellowstone

Your yellowstone vacation

On your way to West Yellowstone plan to stop in the Canyon area of Yellowstone to eat, do some sightseeing and do a hike. This is a side trip that will take you away from West Yellowstone but it is worth it do it and makes sense to do it on your way – since getting here from West Yellowstone would take a decent amount of time.

Lunch

Grab lunch at the Canyon Village. There are a couple different options here for lunch from a full service grill to a cafe. You can check out more of the options here.

Lookout: Artist Point

Drive over to the Artist Point lookout to take in one of the iconic Yellowstone views.

Hike: Uncle Tom’s Trail

Your yellowstone vacation

Uncle Tom’s Trail is a great way to really get a feel of the “Grand Canyon” of Yellowstone. The trail takes you down 300 stairs and into the canyon to an overlook platform. It is a bit of a challenge getting up and down the stairs but it is a beautiful site.

The other option is to hike the south and north rim trails. We haven’t done these but we heard they are beautiful!

Continue into West Yellowstone and check in to the Kelly Inn. Then head out to explore West Yellowstone.

Activity: IMax Show on Yellowstone

Head over to the Yellowstone IMAX theatre to watch the Yellowstone show. It is a great way to get more history on Yellowstone and to learn about how it became a National Park. They have a variety of other movies at the theatre so if you are looking to do something different check out what they are currently showing.

This is a regular theatre with popcorn and candy!

Dinner

West Yellowstone is a tourist town so there are a variety of different dinner options from Pub style to pizza to a bus! Yes you read that right, a converted bus that serves Mexican food. More on our recommended options below.

Slippery Otter Pub

A pub style restaurant with pizza, salads, burgers and steaks. We recommend the jalapeno wontons with huckleberry dipping sauce. They were delicious!

Wild West Pizzeria and Saloon

It is hard to find someone who has visited West Yellowstone and not been to the Wild West Pizzeria. It is a staple in West Yellowstone and serves a variety of different pizza options and pasta along with a yummy Huckleberry Margarita!

Taqueria Las Palmitas

For a unique experience head to Taqueria Las Palmitas which is located in a renovated Bus in downtown West Yellowstone. They offer a variety of Mexican dishes with outside seating and also a few inside seats.

Hotel: Kelly Inn

Your yellowstone vacation

Kelly Inn has a nice pool and hot tub area. It was really nice to end each night sitting in the hot tub while the kids played in the pool. They also have a nice sized continental breakfast available as part of your stay. Plus the location is perfect for exploring Yellowstone National Park and the town of West Yellowstone.

Click here to book the Kelly Inn now! 

Day 10: Explore West Yellowstone and YNP

Start your morning off by grabbing breakfast at the Kelly Inn hotel – included in your stay. Then head across the street – literally to the Wolf and Grizzly Discovery Center.

Activity: Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center 

Your yellowstone vacation

We didn’t know what to expect when we went to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center but we were pleasantly surprised and actually wish we had more time to explore! Before you go be sure to check the schedule to see what is going on that day so you make sure to get there on time. We just made it in time for the Keeper Kids option ($5 extra charge per kid) and were so glad we did.

The kids were able to go into the Grizzly habitat and hide food for the grizzlies! They offer a variety of different talks throughout the day and videos so it is good to check the schedule ahead of time.

Activity: Yellowstone Historic Center

Your yellowstone vacation

The Yellowstone Historic Center is the next stop on your Yellowstone history tour! It is a small museum but they over a fun scavenger hunt for the kids and there is some great information about the history of West Yellowstone and the park. This will be a quick 1 hour stop but it is worth it.

Lunch

Grab lunch at one of the West Yellowstone restaurants listed above – or if you are looking for something quick check out Ernie’s Deli.

Drive into Yellowstone

The rest of the day will be spent exploring the western side of Yellowstone National Park. Don’t forget about the animal traffic jams so be prepared to spend some time in the car.

1st Stop: Grand Prismatic

Your yellowstone vacation

This is one of my favorite places in all of Yellowstone! The colors are so unreal it seriously looks like someone painted it. Stop here to get out and walk on the platform that takes you out to the Grand Prismatic. You can actually feel the heat when you are walking out there and normally it is windy so don’t wear a hat.

2nd Stop: Overlook Hike

Your yellowstone vacation

The overlook hike has been closed for years due a forest fire in the area so I was so excited when we went this time and it was open! You will park at the Fairy Falls trailhead and start on that trail until you get to a sign that points to the Overlook – head up there for an awesome view of the Grand Prismatic from above.

3rd Stop: Old Faithful

Your yellowstone vacation

Next head over to Yellowstone’s most famous geyser: Old Faithful. What I like to refer to as the Disney World of Yellowstone. Always a busy place with a huge Visitor Center, restaurants, general store, a lodge.

In the visitor center there will be a sign telling you the next predicted time that Old Faithful will go off. It is usually right +/- 20 minutes.

If you are close to the next time it is going to go off there are a few things you can do in the area. You can explore the museum and gift shops in the visitor center. Head over to Old Faithful Inn to admire the inside of the building and grab an ice cream cone or a snack. Or head over to the general store to do some shopping, grab a snack, or grab a $1 ice cream bar.

Make sure you head back to Old Faithful at least 20 minutes before the estimated time so you don’t miss it!

Old Faithful Geysers hike

Your yellowstone vacation

In the visitor center at Old Faithful there is a map of all of the geysers in the area and trails you can go on – right from the visitor center. I recommend heading out to the Morning Glory Pool.

On this walk (it is all boardwalks or paved and is a really easy hike) you will pass multiple geysers. It is about a 1.5 mile walk to get to the Morning Glory Pool. But there is so much to see on the way it doesn’t feel like it!

4th Stop West Thumb

Your yellowstone vacation

Drive about 30 minutes (unless there is an animal traffic jam) over to West Thumb to walk the loop to see more thermal features and to see Yellowstone Lake. A .6 mile boardwalk trail that is not difficult.

5th Stop Firehole River Swimming Area

Your yellowstone vacation

If you have time and want to take a swim stop at the Firehole River swim area on your way back to West Yellowstone. This is by no means a hot spring but the water is warmer than you would expect and it is pretty cool to be swimming in Yellowstone National Park! Plus the drive in is pretty.

Dinner

Grab dinner in West Yellowstone before heading back to the hot tub at the Kelly Inn!

Hotel: Kelly Inn

Day 11: Biking and Yellowstone Lake

Sleep-in, grab breakfast at the hotel and then walk around West Yellowstone for souvenirs.

Activity: Rent Bikes at Free Wheel And Heel

Your yellowstone vacation

A fun activity to do if you are looking to burn some energy is to rent bikes in West Yellowstone at to ride around West Yellowstone and into the park. There are a variety of trails that you can take right from the bike shop. When you rent your bikes ask for recommendations and they will let you know where to go. You can opt to go on the mountain biking trails in West Yellowstone or take a trail in Yellowstone park.

Lunch

Grab a quick lunch in West Yellowstone before heading back into the park.

Drive Over To The Yellowstone Lake Area

This is a 90 minute drive and like we have mentioned multiple times it almost always takes longer then you expect when driving through Yellowstone. Take the route through Canyon which will then take you through Hayden Valley where there is a high chance to see wildlife!

Fishing Bridge Visitor Center and the Beach

Stop at the Fishing Bridge Visitor Center to check out the museum and then walk behind the visitor center and down to the shores of Yellowstone Lake to walk along the shore. Don’t forget this is bear territory so make sure to have your bear spray with you.

Hike: Storm Point

Your yellowstone vacation

Drive over to the Storm Point trailhead for a 2.3 mile loop hike that takes you along Yellowstone Lake and into an old growth forest. It is a pretty easy hike and you may see marmot, bison or other wildlife.

Lake Lodge

Your yellowstone vacation

Next head over to the Lake Lodge to grab a drink and sit out on the porch looking out over Yellowstone Lake and the mountains. If you are there at sunset you will see a reverse sunset – where the sun sets behind you, but changes the mountains to a pink color.

They do offer dinner here, but it is more cafeteria style eating. If you want to go for a gourmet dinner you could head over to the Lake hotel to eat. But know that you usually need to make reservations in advance to be able to eat here. They do have a bar area here and a sitting area where on certain nights of the week they have a string quartet that plays.

Dinner

If you didn’t grab dinner in the park then head out in West Yellowstone to eat.

Hotel: Kelly Inn

Day 12: Fly out of Bozeman

That is a wrap on your Yellowstone Vacation! Check out of the Kelly Inn and make your way up to Bozeman to the airport. Or start your drive home.

We had so much fun exploring Yellowstone Country and much preferred doing it this way than with a Yellowstone vacation package that would have limited our time to explore out side of the park. Next up we would love to come back and explore all of the winter activities that Yellowstone country has to offer!

Extra Days

If you have extra days there are a few more places we would add to the list.

Glacier National Park

Glacier is a unique place to visit and is so different from Yellowstone yet so amazing. It is at top of our list for favorite National Parks. You can learn more about Glacier here: 19 Magical Things To Do In Glacier National Park

Grand Teton National Park

It is awesome that Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks are so close together so you can easily add it on to your trip. If you leave Yellowstone out of the south entrance you can just drive right into Grand Teton National Park! Learn more here: 5 Family Friendly Things To Do By The Grand Tetons.

Devils Tower National Monument

Devils Tower National Monument is an interesting stop! You only need one night and one day to explore but if you have the time make the stop. It is a cool place.

For more posts on the area check out:

Yellowstone Country Road Trip

Airbnb Yellowstone: 21 Unique Places You Will Want To Stay

Montana National Parks

22 Amazing Things To Do In Red Lodge Montana

9 Awesome Things To Do In West Yellowstone

23 Exciting and Fun Things To Do In Bozeman, MT

This post was written in partnership with Yellowstone Country.

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