A Road Trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana

Come along with me as I take a road trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

A Road Trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana

On a cool February morning, I landed in Bozeman, Montana ready for the “Big Skies” and “Open Roads” known worldwide as the gateway to Yellowstone National Park. I was ready to take a road trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana and itching to see the waterfalls, bison, and a few geysers that are legendary fixtures in this neck of the woods. The trip did not disappoint.

Come along with me as I take a road trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

Before I knew it, I was sitting on a hand-dug snow trough “sofa”, having a packed lunch and enjoying the scenery. My feet were stuck in red snowshoes overlooking a slope of a mountain with live bison as my view in Yellowstone National Park!

Come along with me as I take a road trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

Who knew one could have so much fun here?

Come along with me as I take a road trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

Come along with me as I take a road trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

A Road Trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana

We had driven into Gardiner, Montana that sits right on the edge of the North entrance to Yellowstone, where the iconic Roosevelt Arch was perched back in 1903. President Theodore Roosevelt was known as the grandfather of conservation and it was he who helped in securing these lands as a National Park for the United States and his signed signature upon the wall of the arch is still there today.

Come along with me as I take a road trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

“We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune.” – Theodore Roosevelt

The group I went to the park with had chosen an outfitter called “The Flying Pig”, whose guide would take us into Yellowstone Park to go snowshoeing for the day.

Come along with me as I take a road trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

Photo of BucketListJourney

Lucky for us, we had the guide Josiah, who was a walking encyclopedia of the park and a generous soul as well. He drove us around, pointed out hidden animals, and told us stories of the region past and present. As we approached the area for snowshoeing, he graciously helped each us get into our snowshoes and carried an ice chest full of our lunches and warm drinks to a viewing spot for us to have lunch.

Come along with me as I take a road trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

Once he sat everything down, he dug that “sofa” for us to sit and have a brown bag lunch with a view. It was quiet and still and basically kind of perfect! This was a fun experience to do in Yellowstone while you are there, so be sure and engage a guide when visiting the park.

A Road Trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana

But wait, let me back up to tell you about my entire trip to Montana …

Come along with me as I take a road trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

I arrived in Bozeman and wanted to see this gateway town before heading off to the main attraction, so I spent an extra day in this bustling “BozeAngles”, as I would soon find out it was nicknamed! Becoming more like Los Angeles with its bustling new economy moving in.

Come along with me as I take a road trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

A Road Trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana

What I experienced here though, I didn’t expect to find. I found genuine people, people who loved the lands of Montana as if all of it was their own. They spoke of “wide open spaces” and how “everyone has a story” here. Of how everyone will give you as much space as you need. It was refreshing, as I have been living in the city for close to 30 years and a little land and outdoor spaces sounded good to me about now. Who knows, I might need a little space?!

Come along with me as I take a road trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

A Road Trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana

So before you leave Bozeman, be sure and stay a while. I stayed at two different hotels (one on the way in and one on the way out) and they were equally amazing. The Element and The Lark were both near the main street area and both within walking distance to some unique restaurants serving delicious bison in hip and trendy places where you can eat. I even ate at The Western Cafe (The Best Last Cafe) for breakfast, which is located in a building built in the late 1800’s and has been there serving food since the early 1920s! The downtown area of Bozeman has plenty of shops and food. I found the town of Bozeman quaint and easy to get around. You can also take a bit of time to drive over to the Museum of the Rockies located on the Montana State University campus, where you will find the largest selection of dinosaur fossils in the WORLD! It is a don’t miss, especially if you have budding paleontologists in the family.

Come along with me as I take a road trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

Next on the agenda, we visited Livingston, a small historic railroad and ranching town, only about 15 miles from Bozeman.

Come along with me as I take a road trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

It is widely known as a place where the wind blows and whips through the Gallatin Valley, so if your hair gets tossed around, you know you have arrived!  I even stayed at the history old Railroad Murray Hotel, where it is rumored that Calamity Jane and Buffalo Bill stayed the night. Regardless if they did or not (ok, they did), be sure to check out the restaurant 2SB (Second Street Bistro) right beside the hotel.

Come along with me as I take a road trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

This is where I experienced one of the highlights of my trip, as I was able to meet Eduardo Garcia, the biotic chef. The stories he told and the life he has lived made me sit and think deeply about my own path in life. He was one of the humblest and gracious people I have ever met. Which by the way, he was just meeting us there for dinner and is not the chef at 2SB.

A Road Trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana

Soon, though, we were on that open highway to the Yellowstone National Park, where we met up with Josiah of The Flying Pig for the day.  He drove us through some of the most beautiful countryside I have ever seen and cautiously slowed down for us to get the photo shots we wanted of elk, bison, red fox and wolves.  We had what the Montanan’s call a “Bluebird” day at the Park, where the sun was shining and it was warm, yet there was snow on the ground.  It was simply stunning.

Come along with me as I take a road trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was to see the bison just slowly crossing the road.  Where else can one go where the bison have the right of way on a road?

Come along with me as I take a road trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

After the snowshoeing, we drove to Cooke City, which is actually a town right next to the National Park at the Northeast entrance. It is a small town that has a population of about 100. It was established back in 1882 as a gold mining town and located on a Crow Indian Reservation. Today, however, it is a sleepy place where the bison, bears, moose and even dogs have the right of way!

Come along with me as I take a road trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

On our way out of the park, we were able to see Mammoth Hot Springs, which is a great place to stop and take photos, as the views are incredible and there is a boardwalk to line the pathway to the geysers and waterfalls. We ended up staying an extra 2 hours in the park, so get ready to have so much fun that you forget what time it is!

Come along with me as I take a road trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

A Road Trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana

Leaving Yellowstone, we headed out to Chico Hot Springs Spa and Resort as a place to lay our head for the night and enjoy an extremely Montana moment.  This is where the families of Montana come to enjoy their state. They come by the droves and stay in this quaint and long-standing institution of a hotel, where they have a main area lodge and many cabins built throughout the area.  We even took a ride to out to the ghost town of Old Chico while we were there.

Come along with me as I take a road trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

Plus we went dog sledding.

Come along with me as I take a road trip to Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

Photo by BucketListJourney

Once settled into our rooms, we had spa treatments scheduled and afterward spent a few hours soaking in the hot springs.

If you would like to do take the same trip I took, here are some places to stay, eat, and things to do:

Where to Stay:

Elements in Bozeman, Montana

The Lark in Bozeman, Montana

Murray Hotel in Livingston, Montana

Chico Hot Springs Resort and Day Spa in Chico, Montana

Where to eat:

The Western Cafe on Main Street in Bozeman, Montana

Montana Ale Works, in Bozeman, Montana

Plonk! in Bozeman, Montana

Ted’s Grill in Bozeman, Montana

2SB (Second Street Bistro) in Livingston, Montana

Katabatic Brewing Company in Livingston, Montana

Things to do:

Fly Fishing (go in July)

Snowshoeing (go in the Winter)

Dog Sledding (go in the Winter), I went with Absaroka Dogsled Treks

Disclosure: My trip to Yellowstone National Park was sponsored by Yellowstone Country Montana.

 

2017-05-16T18:20:40+00:00

43 Comments

  1. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle March 7, 2017 at 8:18 am

    I love Yellowstone. It’s one of the most beautiful places in the states.

  2. Jen Rattie March 7, 2017 at 8:28 am

    I’ve always wanted to see Yellowstone. We’ve been talking about taking a trip, but we haven’t made it happen yet.

    • Cacinda Maloney March 7, 2017 at 5:11 pm

      Me too, we talked about it for years, it is a nice trip!

  3. Vera Sweeney March 7, 2017 at 8:35 am

    We’ve been planning a trip to Yellowstone for several years. Something always comes up, but we’re not giving up!

  4. Rach Ferrucci March 7, 2017 at 9:58 am

    OMG this looks like so much fun! This is on my list and I will make it there someday!!! I want to go dog sledding and see all the animals.

  5. Foodie Finds Home March 7, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Man, this is awesome! I’ve been wanting to get to Montana FOREVER and this makes me want to go even more. Very cool post. Bozeman is definitely on the top of the list of must-do’s.

  6. Pam Wattenbarger March 7, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Sounds like such a cool trip. I went to Yellowstone once but that was ages ago and we were really just passing through.

  7. Monica March 7, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Beautiful photos! I hope to see this part of the world with my kids someday.

  8. Liz Mays March 7, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Oh what a journey! It’s cool that you were able to talk to the locals to get even more of a Montana experience. I need to visit!

  9. Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly March 7, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    I haven’t been to Montana. Looks like I will have to make Yellowstone one of my stops, GREAT photos! 🙂

    • Cacinda Maloney March 7, 2017 at 7:05 pm

      You must go! Thanks for the photo comment!

  10. Zinayla Uleof March 8, 2017 at 12:02 am

    Loved your post! Cool Photos!!

  11. Annemarie LeBlanc March 8, 2017 at 2:42 am

    A good friend was there just recently. I will have to ask her if she’s been to those places. I have not been to Yellowstone National Park yet, but my husband did, when he was in his early 20s. He says it was awesome just being there.

    • Cacinda Maloney March 8, 2017 at 6:24 pm

      It is awesome to go there in the winter!

  12. Toni | BoulderLocavore.com March 8, 2017 at 7:42 am

    What a beautiful trip! We too did a road trip to Yellowstone a few summers ago and loved it. Going in the winter would be very peaceful I’d think.

  13. Janell Poulette March 8, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Wow, i had no idea Montana was so beautiful! I would love to visit Yellowstone National Park one day, your pics are breathtaking!

  14. Amanda Love March 8, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    It definitely looks like you made the most out of your trip! The place is amazing as expected! I hope I can take my daughter here some time soon.

  15. Louise Bishop March 9, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    I am SO jealous! I have always wanted to visit here. It looks just as pretty as I knew it would be.

    • Cacinda Maloney March 9, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      Just do it! You will be happy you did!

  16. makeba March 10, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Yellowstone National Park is definitely on my bucket list of places to visit one day! I love all of the details and photos of your experience — looks like such a great time!

    • Cacinda Maloney March 10, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      Keep it on the #BucketList, but move it up!

  17. Our Family World March 10, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Perfect place for summer, I mean if you don’t like the heat. Love the ice skating!

    • Cacinda Maloney March 10, 2017 at 7:05 pm

      Montana is a perfect place for summer, I agree!

  18. Donnie Sexton March 12, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    So happy to share the road with you while exploring this corner of Montana!

    • Cacinda Maloney March 12, 2017 at 7:12 pm

      We had a great time! You are an amazing guide!

  19. Toni | 2 Aussie Travellers April 1, 2017 at 1:52 am

    The National Parks are our main reason for planning a trip in the US. I’ve seen so many beautiful photo’s of Yellowstone but I’d not considered a winter visit before. Seeing the bison against the snow is so special but is hiking in the snow shoes very difficult?

  20. Janet April 1, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    I’m planning a 2 month road trip across the US at the moment. Trying to get to as many of the National Parks as possible. I must say this looks incredible but sadly don’t think I’ll make it to Montana. 🙁

  21. Claire April 1, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    That must be impressive to drive by those bisons! They look so powerful.
    I have visited only little of the US so far. But Yellowstone is high on my list.

  22. Karen April 3, 2017 at 1:55 am

    I’ve been to Yosemite, but visiting Yellowstone is on my bucket list. I really enjoyed your tips about Bozeman and I had no idea it was such a great city. Also, snowshoeing looks like such fun! I’m currently doing research for a big US road trip (to see more of the national parks), so thanks for the amazing tips. I can’t wait to see the Bison for myself!

  23. Marianne April 3, 2017 at 4:19 am

    I”ve seen a lot of photos on Instagram lately of Yellowstone that has made me really want to go there as the scenery looks stunning! Now I’ve read your post and read about the snowshoeing and dog sledding I definitely need to go there!

    • Cacinda Maloney April 11, 2017 at 7:04 am

      It is definitely a fun place to visit!

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