Montana Travel Destinations: Yellowstone Entrance Towns
Montana's got it's own share of beautiful Yellowstone Park lying within it's borders, and holds three of the park's entrances with exclusive access to Yellowstone's northern attractions.
For those who are looking for a charming Montana town to set up home base during a Yellowstone journey, these three locations are each uniquely beautiful, and offer a different experience than camping within the park itself.
Open all year round and Montana's entrance to Yellowstone's northern range, Gardiner is a charming town with a welcoming vibe and a classic western feel. The area around Gardiner houses to largest diversity of wildlife in the lower 48 states, offering the chance to view bears, bighorn sheep, bison, pronghorn, elk, and any number of other amazing critters in their natural habitats.
A full-service town made up of small, family and locally run businesses, Gardiner is a delightful travel destination in its own right as well as Montana's most popular gateways into Yellowstone thanks to the Roosevelt Arch located on the edge of the town.
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The most tourist-friendly entrance on the Montana side of of the park, West Yellowstone is not only a gorgeous little town with log-cabin style buildings and wildlife sculptures galore, but has the famous Yellowstone Historic Center located within the town, plentiful camping and RV parking locations, an IMAX theater, and the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center within easy reach.
West Yellowstone has tour buses available that specialize in the geyser-heavy areas located on the western part of the park. If Yellowstone's geysers and pools are what you're after, then you're in the right place!
If the history of the park and its development is what you're after, than West Yellowstone is the destination for you!
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Rugged and raw and heavy on the natural landscapes, Red Lodge lies on the edge of the Beartooth Pass, a canyon road that follows the edges of the wild and mighty Beartooth mountain range; this is arguably the most dramatic route to enter the park. For the hikers, backpackers, and nature-lovers out for thrilling sights, Red Lodge is a mountain town, heavy on the snow, and with a distinctly western-style look reminiscent of a small frontier town.
Cooke city and Silver gate are other towns lying close to the Northeast entrance, both lovely towns in their own rights, but if the sweeping alpine vistas are what you're after, then Red Lodge is the place to be!
Be careful to double check your visit times, because of the snowy passes on the Northeast side of Yellowstone, the Red Lodge entrance
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As amazing as the Park is, the surrounding area has off the beaten path adventures to offer! As with most of Montana, these little towns hold hidden gems and opportunities sure to add to your journey!
-By Emma Katherine Roberts