Yellowstone National Park, the first national park in the world, is only a short distance from Big Sky, Montana. This park is alive with more than 10,000 geysers, hot spring and mud pots. The opportunities for wildlife viewing are endless.
Entering through West Yellowstone, first head to the Fountain Paint Pots. This unique location is a great place to see all types of thermal features. Then a trip through the Firehole Canyon in route to Old Faithful. Old Faithful is the world’s most famous geyser. Once you have seen her clear her throat, you can head into the Old Faithful Inn. This 100 year old historic inn is a remarkable log structure built with native logs.
After crossing the Continental Divide you will see Yellowstone Lake. This huge body of water is 20 miles long by 14 miles wide. Yellowstone Lake occupies the southeast section of the Yellowstone Caldera. Along the shore you will see thermal vents and hot springs giving evidence of the lakes volcanic activity. Watch for eagles soaring overhead looking for fish in the lake.
From Yellowstone Lake drive through Hayden Valley, one of the best wildlife viewing spots in the park. Watch for wolves, grizzly bears, bison, elk, and many others as you slowly drive through the valley. On the other side of Hayden Valley you will see the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. This canyon, filled with dramatic color and shape, is an amazing account of the parks geologic history. You will see incredible waterfalls spilling hundreds of feet over the lip of volcanic rock. In cold weather you can see puffs of steam coming from the canyon walls, once again revealing Yellowstone’s turbulent history.
Another great route to take is
entering through West Yellowstone to Mammoth Hot Springs. This is one of the most striking thermal features in Yellowstone. The stark white travertine terraces in the Mammoth area are often mistaken for snow. After a hike down the terraces, head for the Lamar Valley which is considered by many to be “the Serengeti of North America”. Along the way keep a close eye out for antelope, bison, coyotes, bears and the always popular gray wolf. The Lamar Valley is where the gray wolf was reintroduced in 1995, making Yellowstone the most intact eco system in the temperate world. This is arguably the best place in the world to see wolves in the wild.
Enjoy a picnic lunch before your next stop, Norris Geyser Basin. The Norris Geyser Basin is alive with colorful hot springs and geysers bursting with steam. Steamboat, the largest active geyser in the world, is included in the Norris Geyser Basin.
On the way back to Big Sky, watch for wildlife. You never know when you’ll get the chance to see a grizzly up close.
Our spectacular location in the upper Gallatin Canyon is the perfect jumping off spot for a lifetime of outdoor recreation. The Cinnamon Lodge can help you make the most of your Montana vacation. Our staff has loads of information and would love to help you out in any way. Right out the back door you'll find world class hiking, mountain biking, rafting, flyfishing, and horseback riding that can all be arranged through expert outfitters. For those who prefer to go it alone, the access from our Lodge is second to none. If you need any direction, advice or gear - ask us, we are a great local source!!