Your next Greater Yellowstone adventure is only a drive away
Ah, the open road. As American as apple pie. The notion of taking to it is baked deep into our history, our music, our folklore. To attempt a separation of the open road from the people of this country is practically nonsensical, as overland voyage is as much in our blood as oversea voyage was in that of the pilgrims and immigrants that formed the backbones of what we know today to be the U.S.
In the Greater Yellowstone, a landscape traced by thousands upon thousands of roadways and pavement arteries, the concept is abundantly obvious. For residents of this wonderful region, what’s a five-hour drive, where in certain corners of the country the concept is a headache laying in wait?
Now, the EBS team doesn’t have plans to send anyone on a pilgrimage all their own, as there are some incredible summer activities within a relative stone’s throw of Big Sky. So, as the battered airline industry regains its footing, we recommend you give this list your consideration.
With that, hit the road. – EBS STAFF
Get mobile with Blacksford RV
Sponsored by Blacksford RV
No matter where your summer adventures take you, the EBS team recommends putting Blacksford RV at the top of your essentials roster. Based in Bozeman, Blacksford RV offers a pinnacle product in overland travel—brand new Mercedes Sprinters and Winnebago RVs. Every vehicle on Blacksford RV’s lineup is the perfect merger of function and fashion, where a beautiful and bespoke experience awaits anyone looking to explore the Greater Yellowstone (and beyond) through one of their rentals. Prices range from $199-$399 per day, meaning there’s an option for everyone to get in on the action.
New to the area? No problem. Blacksford RV is a leader in the overland adventure industry and can assist in curating your experience with GuidePost by Blacksford, a service that helps connect you with vetted campsites, guides and other hand-picked experiences that will leave you with memories and stories to last a lifetime.
You see, the Blacksford team knows exactly what you need to hit the road in style because the company was built from a place of personal unsavory consumer experience; founder Jonathan Distad struggled to find an RV to rent between Minneapolis and Seattle for a family foray into western Canada, ultimately discovering a culture of nickeling and diming within the industry. Distad, a clear entrepreneur, sought to fix the issue, offering a premium service that begins with a fool-proof digital onboarding and has an RV is waiting at the airport upon arrival. With 24-hour roadside assistance, you’re never far from help if needed, and, as an added bonus, every rental gets a free annual pass to the area’s national parks.
Need we say more? Let’s ride.
Visit blacksford.com for more information.
Get your cowboy on in Cody, Wyoming
Sponsored by the Park County Travel Council
Here in the Greater Yellowstone, the West isn’t just a direction. It’s our heritage and our soul, and it’s something you can feel as soon as you get to Cody, Wyoming, a town that was founded by the world-renowned showman, soldier and frontiersman Buffalo Bill Cody.
Cody has been a home base for epic adventures for over a century; where explorers, trailblazers and outlaws once walked our streets after long days of adventure, you’ll now see mountain bikers, kayakers, photographers, historians and hikers strolling through town. That’s because not only is there an abundance of beautiful mountains and rivers, but Cody is also nestled next to one of the most scenic places on Earth: Yellowstone National Park.
If you’re looking for something a little more relaxing, Cody is a great place to rest your cowboy hat, as it’s home to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, which is the most comprehensive Western museum in the region. With five museums, including the Draper Natural History Museum, Buffalo Bill Museum, Plains Indian Museum, Whitney Western Art Museum and Cody Firearms Museum, you’ll have plenty to explore. And if you’re a history buff, you can also take a tour of Old Trail Town where buildings were brought in from the immediate area, including one building that was the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang’s hideout.
Looking for a show that will get your palms sweaty? Saddle up for Cody’s nightly rodeo. Officially starting in 1938, the Cody Nite Rodeo is the longest running nightly rodeo in the country and has earned Cody the title of “Rodeo Capital of the World.” In fact, the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association has named the Cody Nite Rodeo the “Best Outdoor Rodeo of the Year” multiple times.
With the perfect blend of adventure and western history, there’s no doubt that Cody is home to the Great American Adventure. Find yours this summer.
Visit codyyellowstone.org for more information.
Immerse yourself in the Teton Valley (Tetonia, Driggs & Victor), Idaho
Sponsored by the Teton Regional Economic Coalition and the Teton Geotourism Center
To the south of Big Sky, an epic and primordial landscape beckons in southeastern Idaho, chock-full of wildlife, natural splendor and intriguing centers of culture and information. We’re talking about the Teton Valley here, people, and there’s no place quite like it.
Begin your journey into the Teton Valley at the world’s first Geo Center located in Driggs, Idaho, a veritable portal for your journey down the Teton Scenic Byway. The Teton Geotourism Center serves as a worthy and educational introduction to all that awaits you along the byway through interactive exhibits and displays showcasing the area’s spectacular resources. The Geotourism Center is also equipped to serve as your resource for trip planning as you navigate your way along the region’s beautiful paths and roads. A virtual tour of the center is available at discovertetonvalley.com/geotourism-center
As for the road itself, the Teton Scenic Byway is a truly epic, gorgeous roadway tucked within the western portion of the magnificent Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. This byway will send you on a journey you’ll never forget, one that incorporates expansive rolling hills of farmland with the Teton Mountain Range as a backdrop, piquing interest in the natural beauty of the region as you begin your foray into Yellowstone National Park or Jackson, Wyoming, and Grand Teton National Park.
Within spitting distance of some of the area’s most popular attractions, taking a stop at the Geo Center and in the charming towns of Tetonia, Driggs and Victor, Idaho, is a no-brainer for any traveler worth their salt. Be sure to build this adventure into any trip to Big Sky this summer.
Visit discovertetonvalley.com for more information.
Reach for the sky with Geyser Whitewater’s Yellowstone Aerial Adventures
Sponsored by Geyser Whitewater’s Yellowstone Aerial Adventures
That’s the sound of the kids (and adults) having the time of their lives on Geyser Whitewater’s Yellowstone Aerial Adventures, an immense zipline and high ropes course with four ziplines totaling over 1,200 feet of zipline and 49 challenge elements—that includes spiderwebs, rope bridges, log bridges and much more—located in West Yellowstone, a scenic 45 minute drive south of Big Sky.
The first of its kind in the U.S., challenge-by-choice and completely self-navigated course boasts dozens of interactive features sure to test the courage of the whole family, leaving everyone with exhilarating tales for the car ride back to Big Sky and for friends and family back home.
Imagine this: after a day in Yellowstone National Park, packed with incredible wildlife and landscape spotting, you put the cherry on top with a thrilling adventure high in the sky, complete with stunning and unique views of the surrounding wilderness to round out the adventure. Does it get any better than that?
With options for the kiddos starting at 4 years old and up (along with a Junior Ranger course for people of all ages), there’s something for everyone, and believe us when we say that mom and dad might be the members of the family screaming the loudest as they battle the heights and the fast speeds of the ziplines. With that in mind, don’t get too bent out of shape if you see the kids get a good laugh out of the sight!
Heights aren’t your thing? The facility also boasts the Yellowstone Mining Company—a good time for treasure seekers—along with picnic tables and Adirondack chairs for lounging in style.
Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind experience, sure to complete any trip to America’s first national park. Make your reservation today for the best deal on whitewater rafting and zipline packages.
Visit yellowstoneparkzipline.com for more information.
Master the art of 3mph on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River
Sponsored by Boundary Expeditions
Focused on providing safe, exceptional quality river trips, Boundary Expeditions is an industry leader for river guiding on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho, one of the most wild, pristine and coveted waterways in the Lower 48. This 104-mile stretch of waterway is free of dams, motors and cell service and lies in the heart of Idaho’s Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness.
From May to October, Boundary Expeditions provides 5-night-6-day Middle Fork rafting trips ranging from 75-100 miles per trip. While there are slower moments, where the company’s three pillars—adventure, conservation and education—are explored through amazing connections and discussion with staff and guests alike, adults and youth will enjoy the thrilling Class III-plus whitewater rafting that will have you recounting stories from your trip for years.
In addition to the whitewater rafting, guests will also be treated to gorgeous hiking, world-class fishing, a uniquely tailored camping experience, delicious cuisine and the highest level of service from Boundary’s professional guides and staff. The outfit’s multi-day trips come complete with camping equipment, a flight into Indian Creek (if required) and plenty of opportunity to enjoy spectacular scenery, wildlife and time to immerse yourself in “river time” at 3mph. No worries, it’s all been handled for you.
From the moment you arrive on a Boundary Expeditions journey, you become a part of their tight-knit, well-trained staff family, and the company’s chief goal is to show each guest incredible service and an unforgettable river experience that will keep you coming back for years to come.
Limited spaces for August are available, act fast!
Visit boundaryexpeditions.com for more information.
Enjoy a soak and midweek retreat at Chico Hot Springs
Sponsored by Chico Hot Springs
Nestled in the beautiful Paradise Valley in southcentral Montana, only a hop, skip, and a jump from the Yellowstone River and Yellowstone National Park, oh and not to mention the greater than 10,000-foot Emigrant Peak that overlooks it, Chico Hot Springs has welcomed weary travelers, starry-eyed lovers and individuals looking to explore the mountainous landscape of the West for over 120 years. Need we say more?
What began in 1900 as a humble hotel with the additional draw of soaking in the soothing, natural mineral hot springs; Chico has morphed and even changed hands a time or two, into an 800-acre world-class resort and day spa.
A wealth of offerings can be found in the immediate area as well as on site at Chico Hot Springs, including fly-fishing, exquisite meals and the opportunity to dance the night away. Chico offers a wide array of lodging opportunities from cabin stays to top of the line rooms.
What better time than following an extended, mandatory period stuck inside your own home to book the staycation or vacation of your dreams. Chico Hot Springs is currently accepting reservations for midweek stays after fully booking weekends for the summer season. As an added bonus this season, only guests that book a room are able to soak in the pristine hot springs, meaning more space for you to relax and unwind.
You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity. Visit chicohotsprings.com and book your Chico stay today, you can thank us later.
Recreate in scenic West Yellowstone, Montana
Sponsored by Destination Yellowstone
Yellowstone National Park is the eldest of all the national parks in the United States. Of the five entrances to the historic park, West Yellowstone, Montana is the closest of them all to the majestic Old Faithful geyser as well as the mesmerizing Grand Prismatic thermal pool.
Looking for something to do in town? Good news: You can witness the majestic animals of the park minutes from where you’re staying. The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center, located on the southern end of West Yellowstone’s main strip, recently welcomed two grizzly cubs and four wolf pups.
If it’s fishing or boating you seek, West Yellowstone is the place for you. With the Madison and Gallatin rivers within spitting distance, it’s a trout anglers’ paradise. While there, why not rent a boat or kayak from the local marinas and troll on Hebgen and Quake lakes?
After a day on the water you can visit Yellowstone Aerials to get your adrenaline rush. Work your way through ropes courses or take a ride on their ziplines.
Seek solitude in the comfort of the surrounding wilderness on hundreds of miles of ATV, mountain biking and hiking trails.
Immerse yourself in the rich history of the area at The Museum of the Yellowstone. Continue your educational experience by taking a self-guided tour to learn about the catastrophic earthquake of 1959.
Come one, come all; there’s lodging to fit the needs of every family. From RV parks to hotels and cabins, and even camping, you can hand select a stay all your own.
Visit destinationyellowstone.com for more information.
Visit a Dude Ranch
Sponsored by the Dude Ranchers’ Association
Is there really any better way to experience the West than on horseback? We’ll wait…but in our opinion, the answer is simple: no there isn’t! Get your boots on and saddle up cowboys and cowgirls, because no matter where you are in Montana or the western United States, there’s a dude ranch nearby, ready to provide you with an authentic Western vacation experience, complete with a cowboy hat.
Since 1926 the Dude Ranchers’ Association has been assisting adventure seekers looking for the ride of their lives. Their website is a database of all registered member dude ranches in the U.S., helping pair you with a ranch that fits your ideal experience. While on their website or speaking with them on the phone, they can even provide you with safety procedures and updates from the ranch of your choosing.
The DRA’s goal is to preserve the Western “cowboy” lifestyle that many of us have emulated at some point in our childhood. Why wait? Now is your chance to slow down and indulge, while taking a ride through the Rocky Mountain West and experiencing the cowboy way firsthand!
Giddy up and get yourself on down to check out a dude ranch near you! And don’t forget if you have any questions, the DRA is there for you.
Visit duderanch.org for more information and to schedule your trip today!
Explore Ashton and Island Park, Idaho
Paid for in part by a grant from Idaho Tourism
Looking for somewhere to stay in close proximity to Yellowstone National Park? Look no further than Eastern Idaho’s Yellowstone Teton Territory. A stay in Ashton or Island Park, Idaho will not only put you at the doorstep to America’s oldest national park, but Grand Teton National Park is right down the road, too.
In the time that you don’t spend immersing yourself in the wonders of both national parks, there’s plenty more to do in the Yellowstone Teton Territory. Rent a side-by-side ATV to create your own adventure in Island Park, or simply take a drive to admire the breathtaking Mesa Falls.
Don’t forget the fishing! With renowned trout waters in any direction, both Ashton and Island Park are the ideal place for an angler to wade on in. Teton, Fall, Henry’s Fork, and Warm rivers await you and your party. Book your stay with Three River’s Ranch and their experienced guides will put you on the fish, ensuring you’ll be set no matter which fly is hatching during your visit, all you have to do is set the hook.
Lakeside Lodge, located in Island Park, features live music every Friday and is situated on the banks of the Island Park Reservoir so you can end your day listening to the calming waves lapping on the shoreline.
Want some entertainment after a long day? Island Park’s Yellowstone Playhouse features fun for the entire family.
Searching for some grub? The Frostop has been serving up warm meals in Ashton for more than 55 years. Although if you’re looking for a challenge, why not take on the colossal burgers from Big Jud’s.
Visit yellowstoneteton.org for lodging, and more information and to see what you’ve been missing.
Stay and play in Livingston, Montana
Sponsored by the Livingston Chamber of Commerce and TBID
No matter the season, Livingston, Montana has something for everyone. Stay in one of the eight hotels located throughout the town, offering unique experiences to fit everyone’s style of home away from home accommodations. Don’t worry, for those looking to immerse themselves in Mother Nature, there are ample camping opportunities in the immediate area as well.
From fly-fishing or river rafting on the Yellowstone River, golfing at the scenic Livingston Golf Course, and hiking any one of the numerous trails to be found in the area in the spring and summer to hunting in the fall and finally, cross-country and downhill skiing or snowboarding in the winter months, there really is something to suit the whole families fancy. Oh, and lest we forget that Yellowstone National Park is located nearby, calling your name for a visit.
If it’s an informative experience you’re after, this small town has you covered; Livingston is home to three museums and theaters for you to explore. Looking for something a little more upbeat? Livingston has the tune for you, why not stop by one of the many live music opportunities that the town has to offer for your viewing pleasure. End your day with an exquisite meal at one of the many local restaurants, but be warned, they’ll leave your mouth pleading for more.
Whether it’s work or travel, anytime of the year, Livingston has something for everyone.
Visit VisitLivingstonmt.com for more information and to prepare your trip today.