West Yellowstone, Montana is tucked into the corner of Montana before the Wyoming border. This rustic mountain town sits adjacent to Yellowstone National Park and is known as the best gateway to the park.
West Yellowstone is located adjacent to Yellowstone National Park, so most of the best activities revolve around exploring the park. Yellowstone National Park is one of the best national parks in the country and one of the most recognized around the world. Yellowstone spans nearly 3,500 square miles atop a volcanic hot spot. Yellowstone is famous for its beautiful natural features like its canyons, alpine rivers, lush forests, hot springs and geysers including Old Faithful. Its also recognized for its hundreds of American animal species including bears, bison, wolves and elk. There are all kinds of great hikes you can take that take you to the most scenic spots in Yellowstone. Be sure to check out the Yellowstone River, where there are great views from above that look down into the river gorge. Old Faithful is a must-see and you could see it the normal way with all the other tourists, or you could take a hike on the Observation Point Trail to Observation Point, which gives you a birds’ eye view, from 200-feet above, of the many thermal features and geysers in the area including Old Faithful. In downtown West Yellowstone, visit the popular Playmill Theater, which provides wonderful interactive performances that are a lot of fun. Members of the cast greet and show audience members to their seats and even grab them items from concessions and souvenirs. Once the shows begin, there is an audience sing along followed by a variety show before the main performance begins. It’s great fun for the whole family and definitely a must-visit when in West Yellowstone.
If you want to get out of the Yellowstone area and visit some other places in the region, there are some decent day trip options from Yellowstone. One option is to take a 1.5-hour road trip to Idaho Falls, Idaho. It’s a nice town where you can visit the Museum of Idaho where there is a lot of interesting history about the state, Lewis and Clark expeditions and more. Idaho Falls also has the Tautphaus Park Zoo and you can enjoy walking or biking on the city’s six-mile path next to Snake River. If you’re in the mood to explore nature further, you could head down to the Grand Teton National Park, just about 1.5 hours south of West Yellowstone. Grand Teton National Park is another one of the country’s best national parks, and the area offers great wildlife tours in the park, or you could find some trails and hike on your own and get some wonderful views of the landscape as well.
There are beautiful mountain homes and cabin style vacation rentals located in West Yellowstone. Look for rentals along Boundary Street, North Canyon Street or off of Yellowstone Avenue in order to be close to the park.
Downtown West Yellowstone is small enough to walk between the stores and the restaurants, but you’ll want a car in order to get around Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding areas.
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