Activities

Top 7 Summer Adventure Sports in Yellowstone

Yellowstone Country is a paradise for adventure enthusiasts, offering abundant outdoor activities set against the backdrop of some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the United States. Whether you're a seasoned adventurer or a casual explorer, there's something for everyone in this stunning region and Yellowstone offers a variety of summer sports to satisfy your adrenaline cravings.

1. Hiking

Hiking in Yellowstone Country is a must for any outdoor enthusiast. The region boasts numerous trails that cater to all levels of hikers, offering breathtaking views of waterfalls, geysers, and wildlife.

Equipment:

  • Sturdy hiking boots
  • Backpack
  • Water bottle or hydration pack
  • Trekking poles (optional)
  • Snacks or energy bars
  • Map and compass or GPS
  • Sun protection (hat, sunscreen, sunglasses)
  • First aid kit
  • Weather-appropriate clothing

Best Locations:

Lamar Valley: Known for its abundant wildlife and scenic vistas.

Mount Washburn: Offers panoramic views of the park.

Fairy Falls: A beautiful trail leading to a stunning waterfall.

Yellowstone River Trail: A scenic trail that offers stunning views of the Yellowstone River.

2. Whitewater Rafting

For a heart-pounding adventure, whitewater rafting in Yellowstone Country is hard to beat. The rushing rivers provide the perfect setting for an exhilarating experience.

Equipment:

  • Life jacket (PFD)
  • Helmet
  • Wetsuit or drysuit (depending on water temperature)
  • Water shoes
  • Paddle
  • Dry bag for personal items

Best Locations:

Yellowstone River: Offers a range of rapids suitable for various skill levels.

Gardiner River: Known for its exciting whitewater sections.

Gallatin River: Known for its challenging rapids and beautiful scenery, the Gallatin River provides both scenic floats and adrenaline-pumping rapids.

3. Mountain Biking

Explore the rugged terrain of Yellowstone Country on a mountain bike. The area features numerous trails that wind through forests, meadows, and mountain passes.

Equipment:

  • Mountain bike suitable for the terrain
  • Helmet
  • Gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • Water bottle or hydration pack
  • Repair kit, multi-tool and spare tube
  • Weather-appropriate clothing

Best Locations:

Big Sky Resort: Offers a variety of trails for all skill levels.

Mammoth Hot Springs: Features trails with stunning geothermal views.

Gallatin National Forest: Extensive trail network with diverse terrain.

Beartooth Pass: Known for its challenging terrain and stunning views, this road is likely the most difficult ascent in Montana.

4. Rock Climbing

Test your climbing skills on the diverse rock formations found in Yellowstone Country. The area offers routes for both beginners and experienced climbers.

Equipment:

  • Climbing shoes
  • Climbing harness
  • Helmet
  • Chalk bag
  • Ropes and carabiners
  • Belay device
  • Quickdraws and protection gear

Best Locations:

Gallatin Canyon: Renowned for its diverse climbing routes.

Sheepeater Cliff: Ideal for bouldering and top-roping.

Allenspur: A popular spot with a variety of routes and panoramic views of Paradise Valley.

5. Wildlife Watching

Embark on a wildlife safari to witness the incredible biodiversity of Yellowstone Country. From bison and elk to bears and wolves, the region is teeming with wildlife.

Equipment:

  • Binoculars
  • Camera with a telephoto lens
  • Field guide to local wildlife
  • Notebook and pen for observations
  • Sun protection (hat, sunscreen, sunglasses)
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Weather-appropriate clothing

Best Locations:

Lamar Valley: Often called the "Serengeti of North America" for its abundant wildlife.

Hayden Valley: Another hotspot for wildlife enthusiasts.

Tower-Roosevelt Area: Great for spotting bears and other large mammals.

Mammoth Hot Springs: Known for its resident elk population.

6. Fly Fishing

Yellowstone Country is a fly fisher's dream come true. With its pristine rivers and streams, the region is home to some of the best fishing spots in the world.

Equipment:

  • Fly rod and reel
  • Flies
  • Waders
  • Fishing vest
  • Polarized sunglasses

Best Locations:

Madison River: Renowned for its trout fishing.

Yellowstone River: Offers excellent fishing opportunities.

Slough Creek: A favorite among anglers for its serene setting and abundant fish.

7. Horseback Riding

Experience the beauty of Yellowstone Country on horseback. This traditional mode of travel allows you to explore areas that are otherwise inaccessible.

Equipment:

Riding boots

Helmet

Comfortable riding clothes

Water bottle

Best Locations:

Lamar Valley: Known for its abundant wildlife and scenic vistas.

Gallatin National Forest: Offers numerous trails through diverse landscapes.

East Yellowstone: Provides extensive opportunities for horseback riding through the dude ranches and lodges lining North Fork Highway in Cody, Wyoming. 

Yellowstone Country is a haven for adventure sports enthusiasts. With its stunning landscapes and diverse activities, it's the perfect destination for a summer filled with excitement and exploration. Whether you're hiking to a waterfall, rafting down a river, or fishing in a serene stream, Yellowstone offers unforgettable experiences for everyone. So pack your gear and get ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime in Yellowstone Country!

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