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scenic view of the Yellowstone River

Yellowstone Country

Find the best of Yellowstone National Park and surrounding communities: Livingston, Gardiner and Red Lodge.

Total Distance

360 Miles

Recommended Length

5 Days

Experiences

Water Sports Water Sports
Guides and Tours Guides and Tours
Road Trip Road Trip
National Park National Park
Hot Springs Hot Springs

Trip Details

Outdoor adventure and spectacular scenery abound on this five-day scenic loop through southern Montana and into Yellowstone National Park. Hike on a wilderness plateau. Raft the stillwater River. Horseback ride in Paradise Valley. Along the way, make a stop to soak in a hot springs-fed pool. 

The Route: Livingston > I-90 to Columbus > MT-78 to Red Lodge > U.S. 212 to Yellowstone National Park entrance > Exit Montana to Wyoming > U.S. 212 > Grand Loop Road > U.S. 89 to Gardiner > Exit Wyoming to Montana > U.S. 89 > MT-540 through Paradise Valley > U.S. 89 to Livingston

Total Distance: approximately 360 miles

Gateway Airport: Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, Bozeman

Day 1

On The Fly

Begin in Livingston with a pilgrimage to Dan Bailey's, the all-things-angler shop founded in 1938 by the father of Montana fly-fishing. Buy hand-tied flies, hire a local fishing guide, or get tips on where the trout are biting that day. Spend the night in Livingston. 

Day 2

Ride or Raft

Trade your car for a horse and hit the trail. Paintbrush Adventures in Absarokee leads rides into Montana's highest mountains. Bear Paw Outfitters in Paradise Valley offers trips to places like Yellowstone and Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. Or, take a pulse-pounding rafting trip down the Stillwater River with Absaroka River Adventures. Relax in quaint Red Lodge

DAY 3

Peak Performance

Soak in the scenery on the Beartooth Highway (U.S. 212), an All-American Road connecting Red Lodge to the northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park. The highway (late May to mid-October) leads past 20 peaks of more than 12,000 feet and over the 10,900-plusfoot Beartooth Plateau. After that white-knuckle drive, spend the night in Cooke City

Day 4

Wide-Eyed Wonders

Prepare to be amazed as you follow the Grand Loop Road south through Yellowstone National Park. Highlights include the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone; the bubbling Mud Volcano area; and the Mammoth Hot Springs, a hotbed of geothermal formations. Spend the night in Gardiner

DAY 5

Road Less Traveled

Turn onto scenic U.S. 89 in Livingston to take the Paradise Valley Scenic Drive. Paralleling the Upper Yellowstone river between the Absaroka and Gallatin mountain ranges, the drive passes through pasturelands of the lower valley, and delivers pure Montana mountain and river vistas. Take a relaxing soak and spend the night at Chico Hot Springs Resort in Pray

MORE INSPIRATION

Find where the locals go in Montana.