Outdoor opportunities abound in this gateway to Yellowstone National Park, with fishing, hiking and wildlife encounters all on your doorstep.
West Yellowstone is a town in Montana surrounded by national parks and many miles from a big city. See grizzly bears and wolves in their natural environment and explore the geysers, hot pools and hiking trails of neighboring Yellowstone Park. Get to West Yellowstone by car from Salt Lake City in Utah, about 325 miles (523 kilometers) south. Ride a snow mobile to get around the town and surrounding wilderness in winter. Attractions such as an IMAX theater and the Yellowstone Historic Center keep you entertained indoors.
Nestled beside the world-famous Yellowstone National Park, West Yellowstone has served as a gateway for those looking to explore its natural riches since 1908. Despite having a permanent population of just 1,200 the town receives more than 3.5 million visitors per year and is well set up to help tourists make the most of their time in the area.
Head out into the park and waterfalls, geysers and rejuvenating hot pools that are all within easy reach of the town. Try and catch a trout in the nearby Madison and Gallatin rivers or rent a boat and enjoy a day on the water on Hebgen Lake. Enjoy a scenic drive out to the Earthquake Lake, which was formed in 1959 by a 7.5-magnitude earthquake.
As you’d expect for a town that sits 7,000 feet (2,134 meters) above sea level, the winters can be harsh. This doesn’t have to stop you from getting into the outdoors. Wrap up warm and jump onto a snowmobile or take a tour of the area in a sled pulled by dogs. Cross-country skiing is also a popular activity.
Visit the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery center, where you can see grizzly bears and raptors in their natural environment. Learn about the town’s history in the Yellowstone Historic Center, which holds old coaches and trains from the area and a display on the 1959 earthquake. Enjoy the area’s stunning scenery from the comfort of a seat in the IMAX cinema, or catch a show at the Bears Den Cinema. There are also outdoor theater and musical performances in the town center during the summer.