15 Best Things to Do in West Yellowstone

West Yellowstone
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West Yellowstone is the most famous entryway city to Yellowstone National Park, located in southwest Montana between the Wyoming and Idaho border.

The park's West Entrance is around a mile away, and the city borders it. The fact that Yellowstone is just 2.2 million acres away is reason enough to visit.

However, the attraction of West Yellowstone goes far beyond its closeness to the park.

The town is surrounded by thousands of square miles of national forest, plus the Greater Yellowstone area attracts adventurers all year.

Trails of various kinds lead from the town's border into the vastness of Montana's countryside.

In Montana, West Yellowstone is not a new vacation spot.

For years, the town has welcomed visitors, boosting the city's economy, including restaurants, theatres, and a huge movie screen.

So you can expect to see lots of happy people here all year long, either on the streets or at the town rodeo.

Still confused regarding which places to visit on your trip to West Yellowstone?

Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! In this article, we will be listing the top 15 best places to visit in West Yellowstone during your next trip.

Traverse The Yellowstone National Park

Bisons near Firehole river in Yellowstone National Park
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The hamlet of West Yellowstone is the nearest to Yellowstone National Park.

The West Entrance is located just under a mile from the city's center.

West Yellowstone is among the most famous basecamps for exploring the park due to its closeness.

Yellowstone National Park, the country's oldest national park, spans 2.2 million acres, having its own ecology.

Firehole Canyon and Madison Junction greet visitors entering via the West Entrance.

Firehole Canyon Drive offers magnificent vistas of lava flows as well as a pleasant spot to swim.

Get Even More Adventurous

Norris Geyser Basin
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Other major Yellowstone sites like the Upper Geyser Basin, Old Faithful, and Grand Prismatic are just a short distance south of Madison Junction.

In addition, the Norris Geyser Basin is bounded to the north by steamy landscapes such as Artists' Paintpots and Steamboat Geyser.

Several of Yellowstone's finest hiking routes may be found in these breathtaking settings.

Yellowstone offers a never-ending stream of adventures.

There is a diverse variety of activities to do in addition to the many sites to see. West Yellowstone guides are eager to assist you in planning a great trip.

Yellowstone Adventures and Yellowstone Alpen Guides, both located in West Yellowstone, provide guided sightseeing tours.

Rendezvous Trail System for Cross-Country Skiing

The Rendezvous Trail System is among West Yellowstone's greatest valuable open-air community assets.

The trailhead is located on the town's southern outskirts, making it easily accessible from nearly everywhere in town.

Over 35 kilometers of trails wind via the Custer Gallatin National Forest, starting just at Trailhead Archway.

To utilize the Rendezvous Trail System, you'll need a trail pass, which you may get for a day, a season, or a family.

The trail system is suitable for all experience levels, from seasoned professionals to first-timers.

From January and March, the routes are typically snowy at a base height of 6,800 feet.

West Yellowstone has several local gear stores that rent skis daily.

All through the winter, the Rendezvous Trails host a number of important events.

The season begins in November with the Yellowstone Ski Festival and concludes in March with the Yellowstone Rendezvous Race.

In addition, the trail network is renowned for hiking, jogging, and mountain cycling in the summertime.

Fly Fish At The Blue Ribbon Waterways

Fly fishing at Madison River
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West Yellowstone is the pinnacle of Montana trout fishing. Many blue-ribbon fishing spots are less than a quick trip, especially Yellowstone National Park's trout-filled streams.

The Madison River seems to be the nearest river to West Yellowstone amongst these numerous famous waterways that emerge from the park, such as the Gallatin River and the Yellowstone River.

Inside Yellowstone, the Madison River is formed by the junction of the Firehole and Gibbon  Rivers, which are both powerful fish roaches in their own right.

Madison leaves the park and runs beside the city borders.

The river eventually flows into Hebgen Lake, a renowned Stillwater fishing location in the area.

Exploring local fishing stores in West Yellowstone is 100% worth it since there are so many places to throw a line and varied conditions all through the season.

Jacklin's Fly Shop, for example, offers equipment, advice, and guided tours. Similar services are available at Madison River Outfitters and Arrick's Fly Shop.

Get Ready for a Snowmobile Ride

Snowmobile Ride in Yellowstone
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In the winter, West Yellowstone is a snowmobiling paradise.

Dozens of meters of maintained tracks traverse the public forests around the town, in addition to convenient entry to snowmobile-friendly paths in Yellowstone National Park.

In addition, the community's many stores and rental businesses guarantee that people of all skills may experience the winter rush.

During the winter, the West Entrance to Yellowstone is closed to vehicle traffic.

Snowmobiles, on the other hand, are welcome to wander at their leisure.

Riders may enjoy a magical tour of snow-covered Yellowstone sites such as Norris Geyser Basin and Old Faithful.

Yellowstone Vacations, for example, offers guided snowmobile excursions in these regions.

However, tourists do not need to wear snowshoes to enjoy the park's great paths.

Miles and miles of routes encircle West Yellowstone National Park, which is easy to access from the town.

The Big Sky Trail, the Two Mountain Top Trail, and the Madison Arm Loop are all popular routes.

“Fly” In The Air At Yellowstone Zipline Adventure Park

The Yellowstone Zipline Adventure Park is a great place for the whole group to have some high-flying enjoyment.

This famous tourist site is located near several of the area's finest hotels, only a few streets west of the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center.

Nearly 1,000 feet of zip lines, as well as an elevated ropes course, provide all-day fun inside the site.

During the summer, Yellowstone Zipline Adventure Park is available daily, with fewer hours during the cooler months.

From October to April, this recreational attraction is closed.

Guided horseback rides and Add-on white water rafting excursions are available with current zipline packages.

Customized packages are available to pair with other Yellowstone experiences.

Drop By And Explore The Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center

Gizzly bear in Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center
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The Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center is a non-profit wildlife park located in West Yellowstone, near the national park's boundary.

Grizzly bears and wolves who are unable to live in the wild are housed in this AZA-accredited center.

The animals are kept in huge outdoor enclosures that are open to the public.

This arrangement offers a unique chance to view grizzlies and wolves in a safe setting.

The Naturalist Cabin founded in the center is a wonderful location to look at the Discovery Center's three distinct wolf packs.

This warm indoor building has floor-to-ceiling glass that looks out over the wolf area.

In addition, a new river otter display has been added to the Discovery Center.

As they swim around huge tanks stocked with Yellowstone cutthroat trout, these hairy animals are entertaining to watch.

All entrance tickets are valid for two days at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, which is open 365 days annually.

During the year, the center puts on various performances, such as a Birds of Prey display with some of the center's native raptors.

Throughout the summer, a 30-minute "Keeper Kids" session is provided twice daily for children aged 5 to 12.

Watch The Mesmerizing Sunset at Hebgen Lake

Sunset at Hebgen Lake
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Outside of the park, West Yellowstone is surrounded by spectacular natural settings.

Hebgen Lake is a great illustration of the vast surrounding landscapes.

This huge lake on the Madison River, located just under 20 minutes northwest, is a popular summer leisure destination.

Boat ramps, campsites, and hiking paths are maintained by the US Forest Service along the lakefront.

The reservoir is among the finest Stillwater fishing locations in the area.

Therefore fishing is amongst the most popular pastimes. Even if you don't catch anything, Hebgen Lake is a great place to watch the sunset fill the sky with vibrant hues.

For many years, Hebgen has been regarded as Montana's finest lake.

When a historic earthquake struck the Madison River Canyon underneath the Hebgen Dam in 1959, it was a major tourist attraction.

The debris that resulted stopped the river and soon formed Earthquake Lake.

This stretch of water still present to date is now renowned as Quake Lake and is a major tourist attraction.

Watch A Show at the Yellowstone Rodeo in the Wild West!

A western trip isn't complete without seeing a rodeo. West Yellowstone’s most renowned rodeo can be found approximately four miles west in a huge outdoor arena.

You can enjoy a rodeo show from Wednesdays to Saturdays throughout May and August.

Roping, bull riding, and bareback riding competitions are all included at each evening rodeo.

The rodeo is based on western customs, and every event draws large audiences and sells out events.

In addition, Creekside Trail Rides offers a unique Rodeo Ride Package that allows customers to come to the rodeo while riding horses.

Get Enlightened With History at the Museum of the Yellowstone

Museum of the Yellowstone
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The Museum of the Yellowstone covers the unique culture of the state park and nearby areas, providing some context to every visit.

In addition, the many modes of transit used to move around the park throughout the decades are also on exhibit.

Other displays include the 1959 Earthquake and 1988 Fires that occurred in Yellowstone.

The museum also provides guided tours of the Union Pacific Railroad Historic District, just across the street.

All of these details, as well as others, may be seen in the museum, which adds to the already magnificent environment.

Visit Giant Screen Theatre

The nearby Yellowstone Giant Screen Theatre is a fantastic add-on experience to the gallery.

This six-story-high movie screen is unique in the area.

The theater's trademark presentation is a park-themed instructional film featuring stunning scenic views.

Other documentaries and current Hollywood blockbusters are also shown at the venue.

Go Mountain Biking At The Lionhead

West Yellowstone is surrounded by hundreds of square miles of national forest, so there are plenty of mountain biking routes to explore.

Even during summer, the Rendezvous Trail System, famous for its skiing trails, melts out to become a popular mountain bike trail route.

The Custer Gallatin National Forest's Lionhead region is another favorite riding location.

The Lionhead region, located south of the Madison River and Hebgen Lake, is renowned for its high-altitude routes.

The region has become a hotspot for mountain riding because of a mix of user privileges and devoted maintenance.

Almost all routes involve some rising, but the upward efforts are rewarded with spectacular views.

Freeheel and Wheel, West Yellowstone's finest bike rental businesses, rent mountain bikes on an hourly or daily basis.

The bike shop's helpful employees may also guide you in the way of some good trails.

For those who want to hit the road, Freeheel and Wheel also offer various road bikes.

Enjoy Delicious Meals in West Yellowstone

Restaurants in Downtown West Yellowstone
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The local economy of West Yellowstone is based on the vast amount of visitors that come each year.

This economic engine has resulted in an overabundance of high-quality eateries sprouting up in the roads of the tiny town.

So when you come, make sure to try some of the local shops that provide a wide range of flavors.

Enjoy A Delicious Coffee

Go-Go Espresso Cafe is a great place to start the day with a cup of coffee.

Ernie's Bakery and Deli, a few streets west, has a full brunch menu.

For quick lunch and breakfast meals, The Buffalo Bar is a neighborhood favorite.

Dinner choices are also plentiful, with pizza restaurants such as Petes Rocky Mountain Pizza at the number one spot.

Playmill Theatre, West Yellowstone, Montana

The Playmill Theatre in West Yellowstone, Montana, is a location where you can enjoy live performances while learning about traditional values and having a good time.

From the moment visitors are welcomed at the entrance and brought to their seats until the end of the performance, the theatrical cast offers an engaging and intimate experience.

The Playmill Theatre ensemble pleases and attracts spectators with the main play and various performances, in addition to a song-filled opening.

The theatre, which first officially opened in the Yellowstone region in 1964, offers excellent family fun even today.