Check out our must do list of adventures in Yellowstone Country Montana. This summer we spent 6 nights in Montana on a whirlwind trip exploring all of Yellowstone Country. Yellowstone Country is marvelous, beautiful, and there is so much to do that I felt like I could easily spend another week exploring and repeating all of my favorite activities! We’ve curated a list of the 8 Best Things to do in Yellowstone Country Montana based on our most favorite excursions and experiences. Check out our list to help create your own itinerary based on your families interests to explore the beauty of Montana’s Yellowstone Country.
8 Best Things to do in Yellowstone Country Montana
Horseback riding at Diamond P Ranch in West Yellowstone
Add horseback riding to your list of must do adventures! We went horseback riding with Diamond P. Ranch in West Yellowstone, and it was amazing! You can can check out our full review and see photos Diamond P Ranch Horseback riding review here. The horses were well behaved and great to ride on, the guides were very helpful, and we got to ride up a mountain to see the continental divide! We had cold weather, but were comfortable the whole time because we were dressed appropriately. We even had some beautiful snow at the end! I would recommend this to anyone looking for a fun excursion through Gallatin National Forest and pretty views of the continental divide!
Fly Fishing with Arrick’s Fly Shop in West Yellowstone
Montana is full of gorgeous rivers and river valleys. One of the best ways to experience the river is to get out on the water through fishing or boating. Our first ever fly fishing experience was on the Madison River with Arrick’s fly shop, and it was great! Even though we’ve never been fly fishing before in my life, the friendly guides taught us the tips and tricks of the trade and were right there by our side the whole time to help us with everything from telling us when to pull and getting the fish in the net to untangling our lines, and even helping us to cross the river (harder than it sounds) in order to get to the best fishing spots. They fully equipped us with all the gear we needed with waders, lines, rods, and, of course, flies. This is perfect for experienced or first time fly fishers to be able to explore and fish on the beautiful Madison River from inside Yellowstone National Park.
Whitewater Rafting in Gardiner
We got to whitewater raft down the Yellowstone River through the adorable town of Gardiner, Montana. Although the waters were a chilly 42 degrees, we still had a great time with views of Electric Peak, Yellowstone National Park, and of course, the river. We were fully provided for by the company with a wetsuit, fleece, booties, and gloves to help stay warm. The rapids were very fun and overall not too rough. The perfect excursion in Gardiner! (Although those icy water temps would have felt a lot warmer if it had been 95 degrees outside! )
Kayaking with the Bozeman Kayak Company
While in Bozeman, we got to Kayak down the Madison River with the Bozeman Kayak Company. Kayaking was one of our absolute favorite excursions. We have never been kayaking before, but no experience was needed for this trip. Our amazing guides drove us down to the river, helped us onto our kayaks, and told us where to spot wildlife and avoid rocks. There were two guides, so anyone could go at any pace they wanted. We had an amazing time, great weather, and even some cool wildlife sightings (a beaver swam under our kayak)! Check out our Bozeman Kayak Company video review and photos of our adventure here.
Lone Peak Expedition in Big Sky
Lone Peak – the humongous mountain that Big Sky is at the base of. On the Lone Peak Expedition, you get to take a ski lift and tram up to the top of the mountain and look out at Big Sky from the very top. Unfortunately, our expedition got cancelled due to thunder, but we were still able to go half way up on the ski lift which was still unimaginably amazing!!
Riding up on the ski lift, we were able to look down on Big Sky and up at Lone Peak. With the temperature dropping, we even experienced some snow flurries on our way up. When we reached the top, we visited the little food snack that’s open in the winter for skiers, and take some pretty awesome pictures with Lone Peak practically to ourselves.
Ousel Falls Hike in Big Sky
Our first night in Big Sky, we went hiking at Ousel Falls on the trail very near the Mountain village shopping center area. The hike was about a mile and a half long, and not too steep, although there were some switchbacks. It’s a great way to experience the Gallatin National Forest. This is a stroller-friendly trail, so it truly wasn’t that hard. We highly recommend the Ousel Falls hike as a way to venture into the woods amidst the towering tree without the huge time commitment a longer more rigorous hike would require. Throughout the whole hike, there was beautiful views of the huge evergreens reaching to the sky along the river banks. And when we reached the end, we were treated to a view of the roaring Ousel Falls – a beautiful waterfall cascading down into the river. You can read more about the Ousel Falls hike and trail at AllTrails.com.
Chico Hot Springs in Paradise Valley
On our way back to the Bozeman from Gardiner, Montana (located at the North Entrance of Yellowstone Park), we made a stop at Chico Hot Springs, before our flight home. These naturally-heated pools were a relief after our 42 degree water during our whitewater rafting excursion! Come to Chico Hot springs to sit back and relax in their beautiful pools and lodge, and grab a scoop of huckleberry ice cream on the way out like we did!
Yellowstone National Park
Last but not least, Yellowstone National Park is the number one must do in Montana. I mean, it’s called Yellowstone Country for a reason, right? From hot springs and mud pots to geysers galore, there’s so much to do and explore in Yellowstone National Park! And let’s not forget the wildlife either – the buffalo are everywhere! Make sure to visit Old Faithful, take a hike, and get your National Park Passport stamped at our nation’s first national park.
Note: Thanks to Yellowstone Country Montana for hosting our family on this press trip. As always all thoughts and opinions are our own. And you can see the beauty of Montana speaks for itself!