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Things to Do in West Yellowstone

It may be a small town, but there are plenty of things to do in West Yellowstone!

Take a break from the Park and add to your vacation adventures with this list of activities from water sports to trail rides to hiking, plus museums, family entertainment and more.

And all of it's in West Yellowstone or close by!

Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center

See live bears, wolves, river otters, raptors and ground squirrels in West Yellowstone’s non-profit wildlife park and educational facility.  Explore the interactive, indoor bear exhibit, and if you’re lucky, you may be able to watch the bears test products for official “bear-proof ratings."  There’s also a movie room that shows videos about the area’s wildlife and natural environment.  Open 365 days a year.

201 South Canyon Street, West Yellowstone, MT 59758

Yellowstone IMAX Theater

Watch movies about Yellowstone on the giant IMAX screen and learn about the Park’s unique features.  The theater also offers movies on other topics, as well as current feature films.  Concessions are available, plus Yellowstone exhibits and a gift shop too.

101 South Canyon Street, West Yellowstone, MT 59758

Yellowstone Historic Center Museum

Browse through exhibits and learn about the history of the area and early travel to and through Yellowstone.  You can also see movies about the great Yellowstone fires of 1988, the earthquake that created Quake Lake in 1959, early travel and visitors to Yellowstone, and the first-ever aerial tour highlighting Yellowstone’s natural wonders. New exhibits every year.  Open mid May through early October. 

Located inside the 1909 Union Pacific train depot, on the corner of Yellowstone Avenue and Canyon Street, West Yellowstone, MT 59758

Zipline Adventure Park – Yellowstone Aerial Adventures

The Zipline Adventure Park features over 1000 feet of ziplining thrills on 4 different family-oriented ziplines.  There’s also a giant ropes course featuring 49 challenging elements.  Options and activities for small children, ages 3 and up, are available as well.  Zipline + Rafting combination packages are also available with Geyser Whitewater Expeditions (see lower down on this page).

105 S. Faithful Street, West Yellowstone, MT 59758

Bike Rentals from Free Heel & Wheel

Your go to source for bike rentals, service and gear in West Yellowstone.  They offer mountain bikes, road bikes, kid’s bikes, kid carriers and strollers.  They also offer bike servicing from simple flat tires to complete overhauls, as well as gear and clothing.

33 Yellowstone Avenue, West Yellowstone, MT 59758

Historic Walking Tour of West Yellowstone

Stop by the Yellowstone Historic Center Museum and pick up a free West Yellowstone Historic Walking Tour map.  (Or click on the photo above to access a digital version.)  You’ll learn about the early days of West Yellowstone life, the significance of 21 landmarks located within a 4 block radius in town, plus the history of fire in West Yellowstone.

The Playmill Theater

Providing live family theater and positive entertainment since 1964.  Shows run daily (excluding Sundays) from Memorial Day through the end of August.

29 Madison Avenue, West Yellowstone, MT 59758

Yellowstone Playhouse at Island Park

Entertaining locals and visitors with family-friendly musical spoofs for 10+ years, the Yellowstone Playhouse at Island Park offers theater entertainment from Memorial Day weekend through August, Monday through Saturday.  They offer dinner theater options or you can just watch the show without dinner.

5163 Hwy 20, Island Park, Idaho

Hike - Riverside Trail (Easy to Moderate)

The trailhead is located on Boundary Street in West Yellowstone at the end of Madison Avenue.  This easy, kid-friendly, 7.7 mile loop trail takes you to and along the Madison River.  It’s a great option for families and those new to hiking.  There are 3 options you can choose for this trail.

For a shorter hike, you can simply go the first part of the trail that takes you to the actual loop.  This part is flat and straight and takes you through forest for about a mile.  Once you reach the intersection for loop parts of the trail, turn back.  (About 2 miles round trip.)

For a medium distance hike, turn right when you get to the intersection and follow the upriver loop.  This will circle back around to the point where you started, and you can turn left to head back to the straight part of the trail you came in on.  (About 3.5 miles round trip.)

For the longest hike, turn left at the intersection and follow the downriver loop. When you come back to the intersection you can either continue on with the upriver loop or turn right and head back out along the straight section of the trail.  (About 5.6 miles if you just do the downriver loop, and 7.7 miles if you do both loops.)

Always hike in groups of 3 or more and carry bear spray with you.  At the very least bring: sunscreen, bug spray, a hat, a light jacket and water. A snack is a good idea for longer hikes.

Hike - Boundary Trail (Easy)

The trailhead is located at the north end of Boundary Street in West Yellowstone and runs about 3 miles along the boundary of Yellowstone National Park to Baker’s Hole Campground.  (About 6 miles round trip.)  This trail is pet friendly, but pets must be on leash and you must clean up after them.

Always hike in groups of 3 or more and carry bear spray with you.  At the very least bring: sunscreen, bug spray, a hat, a light jacket and water. A snack is a good idea for longer hikes.

Hike - Rendezvous Ski Trails (Easy to Moderately Strenuous)

Great for summer and fall hiking, this large trail system is located at the south end of Geyser Street behind the Povah Community Center in West Yellowstone.  Trail options can be from as little as 0.5 miles to a seemingly infinite combination of intersecting loops.  You can hike it every day while you’re here and do a different hike each time.  Be sure to check out the maps at the trailhead.

Always hike in groups of 3 or more and carry bear spray with you.  At the very least bring: sunscreen, bug spray, a hat, a light jacket and water. A snack is a good idea for longer hikes.

Hike - National Forest Trails (Easy to Strenuous)

To find some great hikes just outside of town in the Gallatin National Forest, visit the Hebgen Lake Ranger Station at the north edge of town on Canyon Street.  It’s a great place to ask about nearby hikes that are appropriate for your group’s ability level.  Open Monday – Friday, 8am to 5pm.

331 US-191 (aka Canyon Street), West Yellowstone, MT 59758

Always hike in groups of 3 or more and carry bear spray with you.  At the very least bring: sunscreen, bug spray, a hat, a light jacket and water. A snack is a good idea for longer hikes.

Tour the Earthquake Lake Geologic Area

On August 17, 1959 a 7.5 magnitude earthquake caused a massive landslide which damned up the Madison River and created Earthquake Lake.  On that horrific night, hundreds of visitors camping along the river became trapped and 28 people lost their lives, many of whom were never recovered.

Located just north of West Yellowstone near Hebgen Lake, the Earthquake Lake Geologic Area consists of the Quake Lake Visitor Center plus 5 spots along Hwy 287 which highlight that fateful night’s significant events and remnants of the destruction. There are 2 additional stopping points at the West and East Portals to the area which introduce the geologic and human stories, as well as the timeline of the events that unfolded that night.

The visitor center offers educational movies and interpretive displays about the night Quake Lake was formed, education on plate tectonics and earthquakes, plus a working seismograph and gift shop.

Open daily Memorial Day weekend to September 15th.  Drive north out of West Yellowstone on Hwy 191 about 8 miles. Turn left on Hwy 287 near Hebgen Lake and drive about 9 miles to the Visitor Center, which is a good place to start the tour.

Horseback Riding - Diamond P Ranch

Horseback ride through the serenity of the Gallatin National Forest and up into the mountains for beautiful views of the surrounding area.  Morning, afternoon and evening trail rides are available Monday – Saturday.  And after your ride you can also spend some time at their Cowboy Fast Draw shooting range.  Open mid-May to September 30th

2865 Targhee Pass Hwy (aka Hwy 20), West Yellowstone, MT 59758

Horseback Riding - Parade Rest Ranch

Ride through towering pines and mountain meadows filled with wildflowers and spectacular views, visit mountain lakes and watch for wildlife that frequent the area. Morning, afternoon, evening and cookout rides are available and guided by personable, experienced wranglers.

1279 Grayling Road, West Yellowstone, MT 59758

Horseback Riding - Eagle Ridge Ranch

You can spend the whole day here!  Not only do they offer morning, afternoon and evening horseback rides, but swimming, fishing, paddle boats, canoes and other water activities are also available for free.  Additional offerings for a day at the ranch include a picnic area, archery range, skeet shooting and a Cowboy Cookout in the evenings.   (32 miles / 40 minutes from the town of West Yellowstone)

3438 Old Shotgun Road, Island Park, ID 83429  

Horseback Riding - Dry Ridge Outfitters

Enjoy a picturesque ride in Harriman State Park - an 11,000 acre working ranch, wildlife refuge and park near the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River.  Choose from 1 hour, 2 hour and half day rides or have an adventure on a History Wagon Ride, Dutch Oven Dinner and Wagon Ride, or witness the elk rut during September and October on a Fall Elk Ride.  Open Memorial Day through October.  (37 miles / 41 minutes from the town of West Yellowstone)

Harriman State Park, Island Park, ID 83429

Boat Rentals on Hebgen Lake - Kirkwood Marina

Have a family-friendly day on Hebgen Lake, just north of West Yellowstone on Hwy 287.  Rent kayaks, paddle boards, pedal boats, pontoons, party barges, fishing boats and ski boats.  Water ski, pull tube, wake board, wake skate and life jacket rentals are also available.

11500 Hebgen Lake Road, West Yellowstone, MT 59758

Snake River Float Trip - River Adventures

Relax on a leisurely float down the peaceful Snake River.  Rent kayaks, rafts, canoes, paddle boards or float tubes and have a lazy day adventure. (23 miles / 23 minutes from the town of West Yellowstone)

4292 North Hwy 20, Island Park Idaho 83429
Tel: 208-558-7272

Water Fun Equipment & Mountain Bike Rental - Experience Island Park

You pick the destination, and Experience Island Park will deliver the equipment to any location in Island Park… kayaks, float tubes, paddle boards, mountain bikes and fishing gear. 

Any location in Island Park, ID

Whitewater Rafting & More - Geyser Whitewater Expeditions

Whether you’re looking for a gentle cruise or wild whitewater ride, Geyser Whitewater Expeditions has that and more!  Rafting, zipline adventures, horseback riding and whitewater kayaking are available and sure to satisfy a wide variety of interests and adventurers.  Rafting & Zipline packages and Saddle & Paddle packages are also available.

Zipline adventures are located at Yellowstone Aerial Adventures in West Yellowstone, MT (see above).

Water fun and horseback riding are located on Hwy 191, Big Sky, MT 59730 (47 miles / 48 minutes north of the town of West Yellowstone)


Whitewater Rafting & More - Montana Whitewater

A taste of Montana adventures to suit a variety of skill levels and interests.  Half day scenic or whitewater rafting trips, full day and overnight rafting trips, zipline tours, rafting & horseback riding packages, fly fishing classes, fishing & rafting packages and guided fly fishing trips.  A little something for everyone!

They have 4 locations in the area, with the Gallatin Office being the one closest to West Yellowstone (64 miles / 1.25 hrs)

Located on Hwy 191 at mile marker 64, between Big Sky and Bozeman (north of West Yellowstone).


Fly Fishing - Jacklin's Fly Shop

Whether you want to learn how to fly fish or are looking for an experienced guide to take you to all the best fishing spots, Jacklin’s Fly Shop has you covered.  Jacklin’s has been in West Yellowstone for pretty much ever, and offers guided, full and half day Walk/Wade Trips and full day Float Trips.  Both kinds of full day trips include lunch, drinks, rods, reels, waders and boots.  All you have to supply is your license, flies and gratuity.  They also offer a full service fly shop, equipment rental and free casting lessons on Sundays with Bob Jacklin himself.  Private fly casting lessons with Bob are also available.

105 Yellowstone Avenue, West Yellowstone, MT 59758

Fly Fishing - Blue Ribbon Flies

Blue Ribbon Flies offers expertly guided float, wade/walk and Hebgen Lake trips as well as fly fishing equipment, information on hatches, fly patterns and fly tying materials.  They’ve been around for over 30 years and are open year round.

305 Canyon Street, West Yellowstone, MT 59758

Fly Fishing - Big Sky Anglers

Big Sky Anglers offers guided fly fishing trips throughout this part of Montana, Yellowstone National Park plus Henry’s Lake and Henry’s Fork of the Snake River in Island Park Idaho. They also offer a full service fly shop.

39 Madison Avenue, West Yellowstone, MT 59758