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1st week in July in Big Sky-suggestions

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Virginia Beach
posts: 18
1st week in July in Big Sky-suggestions

My wife, 12 yo son and I will be making our first trip to this area, staying 6 nights in Big Sky. I won this trip through my work, so no other choices on the location. We are excited about seeing Yellowstone, but understand it is a long drive. We are thinking at least 2, perhaps 3 full days in Yellowstone. In the Big Sky area we are looking at Whitewater Rafting (perhaps with Geyser - they also have a combo zip line and rafting), bicycling, and perhaps fly fishing instruction. We enjoy hiking and would consider a guided hike, as well as anything in Yellowstone that might take us off the most beaten paths.

Ennis MT
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Ennis
posts: 2,484
reviews: 27
1. Re: 1st week in July in Big Sky-suggestions

You might want to post this on the YNP/WY forum - you'll likely get more responses there.

I would also suggest reading through the YNP website - lots of info and suggestions for "Things To Do", including separate tabs for Hiking/Fishing etc. There is also an interactive map of the park, showing the main "Figure 8" road, as well as the adjacent loop roads. The TQ's on the YNP forum page have lots of helpful planning info too.

You already know that you'll be doing a lot of driving to get back and forth to YNP. Besides the need to return to your lodging before dark, as you'll be sharing the road with the wildlife, be aware that there will be construction delays on Hwy 191. Have you considered renting a room or cabin in the park for a night? That would give you more time to explore, and reduce some of the stress.

Whatever you decide to do, enjoy your trip!

western WA
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Outdoors / Adventure Travel, Family Travel
posts: 8,642
reviews: 14
2. Re: 1st week in July in Big Sky-suggestions

Consider renting for one night in Canyon or Roosevelt, or even Cooke City. Otherwise you'll have a hard time seeing the furthest reaches.

Big Sky, Montana
posts: 12
reviews: 11
3. Re: 1st week in July in Big Sky-suggestions

Can't help too much with YNP activities. But if you are here on July 4, I'd suggest staying local. There are many local hikes which don't require a long drive or a guide. The visitor center on Hwy 191 can provide a map. The Community Park will have activities and there is a free concert at 7:00 pm at the Town Center. Check out bsccmt.org.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
posts: 1,866
reviews: 1
4. Re: 1st week in July in Big Sky-suggestions

For flyfishing, I would suggest contacting the shops in West Yellowstone such as Blue Ribbon Flies, Bob Jacklin, Bud Lilly's or others.

For Yellowstone you are handicaped by being far from the entrances. About an hour to the west entrance and about 2.5 hours from the north entrance. Meaning lots of commuting time.

Big Sky, MT
posts: 147
reviews: 30
5. Re: 1st week in July in Big Sky-suggestions

I think your plan is a good one. At this stage in the game, you will be unlikely to find lodging in the park anyway. Bear in mind, some of the most popular Yellowstone gateway towns are at least an hour from the entrance (Jackson, Cody and Red Lodge). The road to the entrance is actually in the park anyway, so it's not like your traveling through suburbia.

Big Sky has a really fun July 4th celebration. There's a free concert followed by a great fireworks show (hearing the explosions reverberate off the mountains is really cool). Also, the Beach Boys will be playing in Big Sky on the 3rd (that one's not free, however). You're going to have a great time.

You will have a better fly fishing experience going through the shops in Big Sky (Wild Trout, Gallatin Riverguides and East Slope Anglers). West Yellowstone is much more crowded and it will feel more like a cattle call. They will take you fishing on the same rivers anyway, so I'd vote for the more personalized service.

There are several companies that do guided tours into YNP, and many will come to Big Sky and pick you up. Inquire with the Big Sky Resort concierge for details.

Virginia Beach
posts: 18
6. Re: 1st week in July in Big Sky-suggestions

Thanks for the tips. I was lucky enough to find a low cost little cabin for one night in Lake Village so we can do 2 days in Yellowstone without driving back to Big Sky. Have reserved rafting, biking, and fly fishing in Big Sky

western WA
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Outdoors / Adventure Travel, Family Travel
posts: 8,642
reviews: 14
7. Re: 1st week in July in Big Sky-suggestions

Sounds like fun!

virginia
posts: 1
reviews: 92
8. Re: 1st week in July in Big Sky-suggestions

Congratulations on winning a trip to a wonderful place! West Yellowstone is an easy one hour drive from big sky, and although most of the town of west Yellowstone is kitschy-touristy shops, I highly recommend the grizzly and wolf center that is there. We have had a good experience with the Geyser rafting and zip line. A meal at the Corral is good tasty food in a place that is relaxed and with a lot of character. The 320 guest ranch has great barbecue meals with live music on Mondays and on Wednesdays, I believe they do a wagon ride to a riverside dinner with live music.

western WA
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Outdoors / Adventure Travel, Family Travel
posts: 8,642
reviews: 14
9. Re: 1st week in July in Big Sky-suggestions

I've been on a long horseback ride at the 320 Ranch. Everyone had fun. I wouldn't mind staying there sometime!

Virginia Beach
posts: 18
10. Re: 1st week in July in Big Sky-suggestions

Anyone recommend a place for lunch in Bozeman or on the way to Big Sky from the airport? Any other good stops on the trip from the airport?