Travel With Kids: West Yellowstone

"We could move HERE for a year," Tim glanced over at me as we drove into the glory of the state of Montana. I knew he was completely serious. He would like the mountain life - a log home, a sparkling creek, a porch swing, snowy winters, little ones running in the wild flowers, long days of hard work followed by cozy nights under a quilt.

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We were under the spell of Yellowstone for four nights. Tim's cousin drove up from New Mexico with his wife and five kids. We all parked at the Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park in West Yellowstone, Montana (a cozy town with plentiful amenities, just seconds away from the west entrance of the national park).

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Our entourage of four adults and seven kids drove through the rugged beauty of the park - stopping to admire the might of Old Faithful, the speed of a Grizzly Bear, the magnificence of waterfalls, and the extraordinary colors of nature. It all invokes a certain quiet reverence.

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One afternoon, we visited the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center, an animal sanctuary located one block from the park entrance. Afterward, all seven little ones had a blast at the on-site playground.

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Then, we wandered around West Yellowstone's downtown and ate at a pizza joint with sidewalk dining. Later that night, the adults "traded off" going to the Yellowstone IMAX show, a wonderful recap of the park's history. Also, the theatre sells 50cent soft-serve cones!

Will we move to Montana? It's possible (but then again, anything's possible at this point). Will we come back to West Yellowstone? For sure.

Have you ever been to West Yellowstone, MT? What did you like/not like about it?

* Special thanks to the West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce for our campground spot and passes to area attractions.

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14 comments on “Travel With Kids: West Yellowstone”

  1. Beautiful! I love that area. My husband and I visited Yellowstone and the Grand Teton area around 2000, well before kids. It's sooo different from where we live in southern Florida!

  2. It is so beautiful out there! Hopefully one day we will get to visit. It looks like you had fun and how nice to be able to visit with some family!

  3. My favorite part about West was going to the theater shows at the Playmill theater! (I think that was the name of it!)
    I'm so glad you guys liked Yellowstone! I'm trying to figure out which waterfall you and Tim are pictured in front of!

  4. My parents took us to Yellowstone when we were kids. They took us all over the US while we were growing up, and I feel very fortunate to have traveled that way as a kid. (I imagine your kids will feel the same.) It wasn't until I grew up that I realized not everyone travels all over and has seen the beauty of our country. We loved Yellowstone and were absolutely in awe of Old Faithful. My husband and I went backpacking in Montana years ago. It was in the Beartooth Mountain Range. Absolutely beautiful. Afterward we visited some friends of my husband's (he had lived in Montana for awhile before college) and went to Glacier National Park and oh wow! That was one of my favorite places. I would go back in a heartbeat.

  5. We camped in Yellowstone in June of 1996. We loved it however, it was very early in the season, the fish (I don't remember what kind) were spawning (?) late and the grizzly bears were everywhere getting the fish. We were asked numerous (too many to count) times during the day and night to get in our vehicle and wait until it was safe to get out because of the bears. Sadly, we cut our camping trip short and found another campground in Idaho.
    We also stayed in the lodge in September of 2001. Excellent holiday!!

  6. I love Yellowstone! My husband worked there for a summer in college; we went for a weekend when we were dating (I would say that's when I knew I was in love); and we honeymooned there. Our goal is to work there together one day. (Maybe with kids, maybe when we're retired....) It's one of our favorite places! If you have time, Ken Burns' PBS series on the National Parks is an amazing documentary of the parks system. (They're long episodes - it took us almost a year to watch and we don't even have kids!)

  7. I am so lucky to live in Montana. The Greater Yellowstone area is amazing. The ony problem with West is they have a really long winter. The best the of West are the people like there Mayor, Pierre Martineau and I love the spring bike rides into Yellowstone National Park when the roads are still closed. Keep your eyes open for huckleberries usally found on south facing slopes. Have a great visit.

  8. Oh, I am so glad you are enjoying "my" state. ;)

    If you get a chance head north to the Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park. The Cherries have just ripened and the lake is just right! Maybe we'll run into each other. :)

  9. I LOVE Montana. It carries blessed memories for me... and a beauty that is rare and unique. I love, love, love it. And there are some DEAR people there whom I love.

  10. I have never been to Yellowstone but we recently got back from visiting Glacier National Park (a bit north of yellowstone also in Montanna) and we absolutely loved it! God made it extremely beautiful. I want to go there again!

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