“Bears are supposed to avoid people, not run around stealing their food!”- Yogi Bear
Yellowstone is so vast, you could spend weeks exploring. For those on a tighter timeline, there are a few sights not to be missed, but also some lesser known, off-the-beaten-path areas that are well worth seeing. We’ve selected a few that span different aspects of the park, each unique and all awe-inspiring.
It’s true, a getaway with your special someone is a wonderful reprieve from the everyday bustle. It’s amazing how refreshing it is to unplug, get out, and enjoy one another’s company. Bozeman is an ideal location; it’s far enough from the urban landscape to feel as though you are really getting away, but whether you are arriving by air or auto, it’s easy to get here. The beauty of Bozeman is the amazing outdoor recreation right outside your door. And with a bourgeoning entertainment scene, you can be adventuring by day, and living it up at night. We’ve outlined some of our favorite ideas, but this is just a sampling, Bozeman has a wide array of entertaining options!
Yellowstone National Park is a beautiful summer destination for families, friends, and outdoor adventurers. When the sun is out and the kids are out for summer vacation, it is a center for breathtaking views and surprise animal sightings. There is enough to see to fill numbers of trips, countless hikes and years of memories. Check out these posts to inspire your next trip to the park and whet your appetite for a new stunning adventure.
When it comes to mountain getaways, Colorado tends to be top of mind. So what happens when you live in Colorado but want a mountain getaway of your own? You visit Bozeman, Montana! Both states are located in the Rocky Mountains, which means the outdoor adventure is similar, yet the experience is very different.
The main thing you’ll notice is the lack of crowds. Montana is bigger than Colorado, with a fraction of the people, (1 million in Montana to 5.7 million in Colorado.) During the summer months, this means fewer people on the trails, and when ski season rolls around, the lack of lift lines is refreshing. (Not to mention uncrowded runs with plenty of room to spread out!)
You’ll also see the similarities: great fishing, camping, hiking, skiing, climbing, food, and nightlife. The difference is in proximity. In Bozeman, you can drive for 15 minutes and seemingly be in the middle of nowhere. Adventuring in Colorado can require some time in traffic. In Bozeman, you can bag a peak during the day, and be back in time for dinner and a show.
Speaking of dinner, the food is amazing. What used to be a steak and potatoes kind of town now has a wide array of cuisine. Rest assured vegetarians, we’ve got you covered; delicious dishes can be found on most every menu!
The vibrancy of a college town makes the cultural scene hop. Two historic theaters have been renovated, bringing live theater, music and film to the area. These smaller venues are intimate, a real treat when seeing live performances, and our location on I-90 makes it a great tour stop for musicians across the country. Brick Breeden Fieldhouse on the Montana State University campus hosts big music names, Broadway theater and family oriented performances.
Getting to Montana is easy; if you prefer to drive, the open road is a great way to clear your head, and if you prefer to fly, you’ll arrive in a quick 1 1/2 hours on either United Airlines or Frontier Airlines. Did someone say, “weekend getaway?”
There are three main driving routes, and depending on your locale, length of trip and time of year, they are all worth exploring. It’s roughly 12 hours, give or take, so an early start will land you here in enough time to settle in and enjoy the evening.
If you’re coming through Utah, take I-70 West to US 191 N. and head to Provo, Utah. From there, stay on I-15 North to I-90 and cruise on into Bozeman! For a more scenic route, cut off at Idaho Falls and head to West Yellowstone. From there, you’ll go through the scenic Gallatin Canyon, where “A River Runs Through It” was filmed.
If you’re coming from the Denver area, hightailing it through Cheyenne to Billings is the most efficient and straightforward route, following I-25 N to I-90 W and down into Bozeman.
However, if it’s summer, and you have a couple of extra days, driving through Cody, Wyoming to Cooke City and then Yellowstone National Park is a memory you won’t forget. From Cody, you’ll drive over the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway to Cooke City. It’s worth overnighting in Cody or Cooke City, (though Cooke City is small so be sure to make reservations!) The next day, meander your way through the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park watching for bear, elk, bison and the elusive wolf.
Ready to start exploring? Download our travel guide and start planning!
Our National Park System is nothing short of phenomenal. These vast swaths of land preserved for their natural wonders are something everyone should experience. Montana has a total of nine National Park service areas, but the two most famous, Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park, are also the most different.
Glacier’s tall, jutting mountains, massive moving glaciers, and mountain lakes are a vast contrast to Yellowstone’s wide open spaces, big rivers, simmering hot pots and shooting geysers.
Yet, the two can’t be compared; each has its own beauty and intrigue.
We love our winters in Bozeman, but once the ski hills close and the snow starts to melt, spring fever sets in and we’re off chasing new activities and adventures. Part of Bozeman’s allure is the combination of outdoor recreation coupled with a cultured and vibrant community. It’s easy to be out in nature for the day and back in time for dinner and a live show! We’ve outlined a few of our favorite local activities, complete with ideas the whole family can enjoy.
One of the highlights of visiting Yellowstone National Park is watching the wildlife move about in their natural setting. Spring is especially magical with newborns playing alongside their moms, giddy with new life. The park is less crowded in the spring, which makes it a nice time to leisurely make your way through. You’ll definitely see the more common animals such as bison and elk; but if you’re diligent, (and an early riser) you have a good chance of seeing bear, moose and even the elusive wolf. Stop at the local visitor center to find out where the most recent activity is taking place.
Honestly, there really isn't a bad time to see the nation's first National Park. Yellowstone is a magical place year round. Each season has its benefits or natural cycles to look forward to, like the elk rut in the fall or the bears coming out of hibernation in the spring. The real question is what do you want to experience in Yellowstone? Is it the breathtaking scenery, the wild animals, the incredible thermal features, or the historic landmarks that dot the map? We will give you some of our favorite things about each season and then you decide when the best time to visit Yellowstone is.
Yellowstone National Park is just a stone’s throw from Bozeman, and seeing it in its winter glory is something special. Snowshoeing is one of the most intimate ways of experiencing the natural beauty, and it’s an easy activity for any age and ability.
The options are plentiful; you can plan an excursion for any duration and skill level. All trails and roads are open to snowshoeing; however, if you are on a ski trail, snowshoers are required to walk alongside the trail to keep the ski tracks in order.
We’ve created a couple of itinerary options with one short and one long, but don’t be afraid to get out and make tracks on your own!