Ride the longest free-flowing river in the lower 48 states, the Yellowstone River, and slam through the waves of the Gardiner Town Stretch while helping to navigate your raft through notorious rapids; Man Eater, Pickets Wave, Creighton's Hole, and Sleeping Giant. Whether you're after class IV rapids on the Yellowstone River or a quiet day canoing on the Madison River, several rafting companies are in the area: Montana Whitewater, 800/799-4465; Geyser Whitewater, 800/914-9031; Flying Pig Raft Company, 866/807-0744; and Wild West Rafting, 800/862-0557.
BOATING AND FISHING
Both are popular activities on Yellowstone Lake. At Bridge Bay Marina, located a few miles south of the Lake Yellowstone Hotel and Lake Lodge, Xanterra Parks offers charter guide boats and outboard rental boats. Rowboats are also available for rent. Tours of the lake make for a relaxing and informative experience as well. Native cutthroat trout are the most ecologically important fish of the park and the most prized, and highly regarded by visiting anglers. 307/545-4825 or travelyellowstone.com.
Rent a bike at Old Faithful Snow Lodge in the heart of Yellowstone’s geyser country. Remember it is subject to the same traffic rules as automobiles. Bicycling is permitted on established public roads, parking areas, and designated routes. Bikes are prohibited on backcountry trails and boardwalks. 307/545-4825 or travelyellowstone.com.
Several gravel roads are open to BOTH bicycle and automotive traffic. The Old Gardiner Road and Blacktail Plateau Drive allow two-way bike traffic and one-way auto traffic. These roads are best suited for mountain bikes. Please do not block entrance gates when parking at these locations.
HORSEBACK RIDING AND LLAMA PACKING
Xanterra Parks & Resorts offers horse rides of one and two hours in length which are available at Mammoth, Tower-Roosevelt, and Canyon. Advance reservations are recommended. In addition, they also offer horseback or wagon rides which take visitors to a cookout site for a steak dinner. Advance reservations required; 307/344-7311 or travelyellowstone.com.
GET SCHOOLED IN THE WILDERNESS
Yellowstone Association Institute. This nonprofit runs hundreds of field seminars and other programs in the park throughout the year. The three-day Yellowstone for Families program ― based at Grant Village or Mammoth Hot Springs―is designed for kids. From $594, $365 ages 8-12, lodging, activities, and some meals included. 307/344-5566 or yellowstoneassociation.org.
For trail maps and more information, visit the Yellowstone National Park Service website.