Enjoy dozens of recreational activities and tons of fun things to do with kids when you travel to Yellowstone National Park and West Yellowstone for your next family vacation. View the picturesque waterfalls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. Watch world-renowned Old Faithful Geyser erupt like clockwork. Go boating or fishing in Yellowstone Lake. Learn about these and other stunning natural attractions in the Yellowstone Top 10 Attractions List below.
Don’t miss the many things to do while in West Yellowstone. Scroll down to see local attractions and activities.
Take a guided interpretive tour of Yellowstone Park to get an overview of park wildlife and geothermal features, history and current issues. This is a great way to enhance your knowledge of Yellowstone and prioritize your activities for the rest of your visit to Yellowstone.
Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River is 4,000 feet wide in some spots and it can be as deep as 1,200 feet. When you visit this breathtaking canyon, you’ll have great views of two wondrous waterfalls. The Lower Falls cascades more than 300 feet into the canyon while the Upper Falls tumbles over 100 feet down. For more information, visit www.nps.gov.
Old Faithful Geyser
Old Faithful is the most famous geyser in the world, and for good reason! As its name would suggest, it’s usually just a short wait to watch this amazing wonder of nature erupt! Old Faithful’s average eruption interval is just 90 minutes (+/- 10 minutes). Its maximum height is between 106 and 185 feet. For more information, visit www.nps.gov.
Fountain Paint Pot Area
Located north of Old Faithful, the Fountain Paint Pot area in Yellowstone National Park is home to all four types of thermal features. Stroll along a short boardwalk to witness everything from geysers and hot springs to mud pots and fumaroles. For more information, visit www.nps.gov.
Mammoth Hot Springs
In addition to the springs, Mammoth Hot Springs is a great place to witness wildlife and amazing sights. A beautiful overlook awaits those who travel the one-mile Lower Terrace Trail. The Roosevelt Arch is just a few miles away. For more information, visit www.nps.gov.
Norris Geyser Basin
Reaching temperatures of over 400 degrees Fahrenheit, Norris Geyser Basin, is thought to be the hottest geyser basin in Yellowstone. It’s also where the world’s largest geyser is located. Steamboat Geyser has been known to send water as high as 380 feet into the air. For more information, visit www.nps.gov.
Yellowstone Lake is the largest lake in Yellowstone National Park. Popular activities include boating, with powerboats, canoes, kayaks and sailboats leading the way, and fishing for cutthroat trout. For more information, visit www.nps.gov.
The largest mammals in Yellowstone National Park, bison herds can be found grazing in the meadows, foothills, and even the high-elevation, forested plateaus. Bison males weigh as much as 1,800 pounds while females tip the scales at about 1,000 pounds. For more information, visit www.nps.gov.
Yellowstone National Park boasts the largest concentration of wildlife in all of the United States (except Hawaii and Alaska). There are more than 60 types of mammals, including bears, wolves, moose, elk, badgers, otters, and foxes. More than 500 grizzly bears and over 370 gray wolves live in Yellowstone. For more information, visit www.nps.gov.
The Yellowstone River spans approximately 692 miles across the western United States. It is considered to be one of the great trout streams of the world, classed as a blue ribbon stream and it is the longest undammed river in the lower states.
West Yellowstone Area Destinations
Travel 85 miles northwest of West Yellowstone, Montana to Virginia City and you’ll travel back in time to the late 1800s. Walk the same streets as the outlaw Plumber Gang and ride the Alder Gulch Short Line Railroad.
About 60 miles southwest of West Yellowstone just outside Ashton, Idaho is Mesa Falls Scenic Byway. Bring your lunch as this is one sweet picnic spot.
Earthquake Lake is 25 miles away with a visitor’s center and views of the effects the 7.3 earthquake and landslide had on the area.
Hebgen Lake and Dam is located in southwest Montana, about 15 miles away from our hotels. Hebgen Lake and its surrounding areas offer many recreational activities, including fishing, boating, and hiking.
West Yellowstone, Montana Area Attractions
While in West Yellowstone, you can enjoy theatrical productions at the Playmill Theatre, learn about the resident bears and wolves at Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, and expand your knowledge of Yellowstone Park at the Yellowstone Historic Center Museum, and Yellowstone IMAX Theatre. A wide variety of activities are planned throughout the year from Kids N Snow in the winter to local rodeos in the summer. Other summer events include the Mountain Man Rendezvous, Fourth of July celebration and Rod Run.
West Yellowstone Attractions
- Yellowstone Historic Center – created to preserve, protect and display the rich travel history of Yellowstone National Park
- Playmill Theatre – live theatrical productions
- Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center- A bear and wolf preserve.
- Yellowstone IMAX Theatre-the largest IMAX theatre in the western United States.
- Quake Lake- Site of the 1959 earthquake devastation. About 25 miles north of West Yellowstone
- Big Springs-Witness the birth of the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River (bring your bread crumbs to feed the fish, no fishing allowed). Outside Island Park, ID, 29 miles southwest of West Yellowstone.
- Mesa Falls Scenic Byway – A peaceful scenic byway (great picnic sport). Outside Ashton, ID, 50 miles southwest of West Yellowstone.
- Virginia City, Montana – Stroll down the same streets as the outlaw Plumber Gang of the late 1800s. Enjoy the sights and sounds of a living Old West. Ride the Alder Gulch Short Line Railroad. 85 miles northwest of West Yellowstone.
- Nevada City, MT- A completely restored ghost town. Bring your quarters for the music arcade. About 90 miles northwest of West Yellowstone.
- Bird Watching – The West Yellowstone area provides habitat for more than one hundred bird species, especially during nesting and migration.
Also enjoy area activities such as
- Fly Fishing
- Float Trips
- Mountain biking
- Horseback Riding
- Kids N Snow program
- Cross Country Skiing
- Ice Fishing