1. Spectacular in Any Season
No matter the season, West Yellowstone is full of adventurous possibilities. During the winter, when the temperatures drop, and the locals grab their winter gloves, it is the perfect time to get outside and explore more. (Read more about 9 Reasons Why You Should Embrace West Yellowstone in Winter.) At the edge of town is an extensive trail system known by locals as — Rendezvous. Opportunities for skiing and snowshoeing are endless on this well-maintained trail. And if you want to participate in activities that require a little more horsepower, you should experience snowmobiling here too. (It should be noted that the park is closed to regular traffic during the winter months, but it can still be enjoyed through guided snowcoach tours.) Known as a premier snowmobiling destination, West Yellowstone is home to 400 miles of groomed trails that make it a world-class winter playground.
In the warmer months, West Yellowstone is transformed by big blue skies, sunny days, and green panoramas. Soothing your need for exploration is effortless to do when you are surrounded by such unspoiled nature. Bring your camera and go hiking. Here, you can capture the breathtaking beauty of postcard-perfect scenery or safely observe wildlife, with your long lens of course. Or, get out on the water and wet a line with a handcrafted fly from a local guide. Whatever weather the day brings, West Yellowstone is full of recreation that will energize your soul.
2. Within Reach!
Perfectly situated to get to Old Faithful, West Yellowstone is the west entrance of Yellowstone National Park and is the ideal basecamp for action-packed day trips into the park. You’ll want to be sure and sightsee all the favorites such as Old Faithful, (yes, it’s absolutely worth it), the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone — formed about 630,000 years ago, or marvel at the intense hues of the Grand Prismatic Spring — one of the most picturesque thermals in the park. It’s all within reach of West Yellowstone. And when you’re done experiencing the park, continue the adventure by heading back into West for delicious gastro delights and unique shopping.
3. Wild, Wild West
Nothing is more powerful than hearing a bull elk bugling during elk rutting season — its throaty, yet surprisingly high-pitched, call can be heard echoing across the valleys for miles. It’s uniquely unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. Though elk are not the only animals to be seen in the surrounding area. Keep a look out for bison, wolves, and foxes. Living in and visiting West Yellowstone, Montana, means respecting the wildlife that calls this area home. And to see these magnificent creatures in person is a vision you’ll replay in your mind over and over long after it’s happened. The best time for wildlife watching is during the springtime when grizzlies and black bears emerge from their long winter hibernations and when the bison begin calving in mid-April.
4. Where Everyone Knows Your Name
If West Yellowstone were a sitcom, it would be the one about the group of friends who always hang out because everyone is super friendly and they’re always having great adventures together. Simply said, when visiting West Yellowstone, you’re welcomed with no pretension. It is a fun, thriving place full of activities, where the year-round calendar of events teems with happenings. Whether you’re looking to relax and recharge or you’re hoping to find something curated and special at the local shops, West welcomes visitors like friends who are invited to make themselves at home.
5. Yee … haw!
Embracing adventure doesn’t always mean ziplining, (but you can do that here too). The spirit of the west is alive and thriving in West Yellowstone. It is a big part of the community’s identity. You might even say that western adventure and West Yellowstone are synonymous with one another. Strolling around town, you’ll easily spot the cowboy hats among the crowd — especially from June to August, when the Wild West Yellowstone Rodeo delivers adrenaline-charged evenings of bull riding, team roping, and bareback riding competitions. And in the fall, you can step back into the 1800s and experience how mountain men lived, worked, and traded at the West Yellowstone Mountain Man Rendezvous.