Between the Parks
Starting in Glacier National Park, take the historic U.S. 89 that connects some of the most spectacular national parks in the West. On this six-day trip, see sights such as thousands of snow geese at Freezeout Lake, the rock formation of First Peoples Buffalo Jump, Giant Springs State Park, and Paradise Valley south of Livingston.
The Route: Babb > U.S. 89 > Browning > Bynum > Great Falls > White Sulphur Springs > Livingston > Gardiner
Total Distance: approximately 360 miles
After exploring Glacier National Park, stop in Browning. Start your day with a cup of coffee at the Big Lodge Espresso. Discover the history of the Northern Plains Indians at the Museum of the Plains Indian. If you happen to be in the area during the second week of July, attend the North American Indian Days, a four-day celebration features dancing, games and more Blackfeet traditions.
The Rocky Mountain Front is a sight not to be missed. The drama of Rocky Mountains rising from the plains can be seen from U.S. 89. The front is known for a wealth of dinosaur fossils. Stop at the Two Medicine Dinosaur Center in Bynum for a half- or full-day digs.
From Freezeout, you have a short drive to Great Falls, a hub for Lewis and Clark fans. Stop at Giant Springs State Park, one of the largest fresh water spring, discovered by Lewis and Clark. A short hike from Giant Springs, you can see views of the Great Falls and the hydroelectric dam. After a day of exploration, be sure to stop at the Sip ‘n Dip to hang out with the mermaids for a drink.
Continue south the stretch of U.S. 89 known as the Kings Hill Scenic Byway. In the summer, stretch your legs with a hike to Memorial Falls. In the winter, get your thrills at Showdown Ski Resort. At the end of the day, stop at the Spa Hot Springs in White Sulphur Springs for a soak.
Take a scenic drive through the Shields Valley with views of the Bridger and Crazy Mountains. Be sure to stop in Livingston, a creative town on the Yellowstone River boasting 14 art galleries. Stop at Katabatic Brewing Company for a cold one. If you need a little sugar, grab a treat from the Livingston Bodega and Bakery.
There’s a reason the stretch of U.S. 89 south of Livingston is called Paradise Valley. Take in the scenery right from your car with stunning spring creeks and timber-lined mountains.
Stop at Chico Hot Springs in the town of Pray. This historic hot spring has a relaxing pool and a great restaurant. After a soak at Chico, stop at the Wildflour Bakery and Café in the town of Emigrant for a tasty treat. From there, keep taking U.S. 89. You’ll arrive at the Roosevelt Arch, the only entrance to Yellowstone National Park that is open to motor vehicle traffic all year.