Exploring Yellowstone by car is just fine, but it’s even more enjoyable from the saddle of a horse, front of a raft, or the end of a fly rod! Better yet, combine all activities into the perfect three day vacation. Add in some hot springs, a cowboy cookout, and perhaps a famous huckleberry shake for a truly memorable adventure in northern Yellowstone. Before you pass through the famous Roosevelt Arch into Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Montana, swing by the Flying Pig Adventure Company and gear up for the perfect three days in northern Yellowstone.
This article was created in partnership with Flying Pig Adventure Company, Montana. All photos provided by Flying Pig Adventure Company.
Get acquainted with northern Yellowstone from the saddle of a horse. Flying Pig Adventure Company offers rides for all skill and comfort levels, from novice riders to expert horsemen. Meandering through Yellowstone National Park on horseback is a special experience and really encourages riders to slow down and take in the surrounding beauty. Kids and adults alike will love being a Montana cowboy or cowgirl for the day!
After the ride, gather for a true Cowboy Cookout under a mountain pavilion and soak in the gorgeous views over the valley and Yellowstone National Park below. As the sun dips in the distance, dinner aroma wafts from the grill. This extravagant dinner spread provided by the Johnson Family (since the 1930’s!) includes tasty grilled meats and delicious homemade sides. The intimate dinner is a wonderful experience to share with family and new friends. Finally, gather around the campfire and share trail tales of the day over a few s’mores.
Your second day of adventure is all about water! First, choose a scenic whitewater rafting trip that fits your adventure agenda. Float eight to eighteen miles on the Yellowstone River, encountering exciting rapids and maybe even spotting wildlife such as bald eagles, osprey, elk and bison! Adventure junkies should sign up for river trips through the end of July as the rapids are much larger. After July, the water is a bit more tame, offering more relaxing rides down the Yellowstone River. Both styles of rafting are wonderful, you just have to decide which style best fits you!
Regroup after your rafting adventure and make way to a nearby hot spring. The best hot springs in the area include the natural Boiling River, Yellowstone Hot Springs (the newest hot spring in the area), and the historic Chico Hot Springs. Soak in the natural mineral waters and recount the day on the river!
Finish the evening with a local bison burger at The Corral, the best burger joint in town–where traditional shakes, malts, fresh cut fries and local meat is the name of the game.
Fuel up in the morning with espresso and fresh baked goodies at the Wonderland Cafe–a Gardiner favorite!
Perhaps the best way to explore Yellowstone off-the-road, is with a fly rod in hand. Fly fishing guides cater to all skill levels at Flying Pig Adventure Company. New to the sport of fly fishing? Guides can help you read water and understand crucial techniques as you walk and wade into Yellowstone National Park. Oh, you’re a pro?! Guides can take you to the honey holes where your arms will be sore from pulling in fish all day.
Kick back with a famous huckleberry shake after a day of fishing, and grab a some pizza at Yellowstone Pizza Company. Their upper deck is the ideal place to watch the sun fade in the distance.