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Montana Rocky Mountains

Visit Yellowstone: The Ultimate RV Adventure Vacation

by Greg Thomas   |  May 30th, 2017 0

Traveling to Montana is an RV enthusiast’s dream vacation no matter which corner of the state you visit. However, if you want to experience what arguably may be the best portion of Big Sky country with your RV, the 77-mile path between Bozeman and the northern gateway to Yellowstone National Park at Gardiner is the place to be. This RV Adventure offers some of the best fishing, wildlife viewing and camping in Big Sky Country as well as fun towns and attractions to visit along the way. And with Yellowstone as your final destination, it all adds up to an ultimate road trip that you and your family will remember for years to come.

Hiking into the Yellowstone River in the park gets you away from the angling pressure and onto fish that are eager to eat dry flies. Pack some sunscreen, a can of bear spray and a few dry flies, and you’re good to go.  Photo by Jim Klug

Hiking into the Yellowstone River in the Park gets you away from the angling pressure and onto fish that are eager to eat dry flies. Pack some sunscreen, a can of bear spray and a few dry flies, and you’re good to go.
Photo by Jim Klug

Before you set out on your Yellowstone adventure, you’ll want to check and update your GEICO insurance for your car or truck, and your camper or trailer (and your boat if you’re pulling one) by visiting geico.com. And remember, in Montana and Yellowstone, you could experience weather that’s representative of all four seasons . . . in a single day! So, come prepared. Fortunately, summer weather usually provides comfortable high temperatures in the 80-degree Fahrenheit range with perfect, cool evenings in the 60s. So, load up your RV and get ready to hit the road to adventure in Montana’s scenic Yellowstone country.

Bozeman

Bozeman is where your Yellowstone Country adventure begins and if you arrive from the south or west and the air conditioning just isn’t doing the trick, consider floating/tubing the lower Madison River. If you don’t have the gear, meaning a kayak, stand-up paddleboard, raft or tube, don’t fear—Madison River Tubing rents all of those items, plus PFDs, coolers and even waterproof Bluetooth speakers so you can listen to your favorite tunes while taking in the sun (tube $20/day including 25-mile shuttle to and from the river; SUP $27/day; inflatable kayak $35/day).

State parks, Bureau of Land Management lands, and Forest Service sites are all fair game when RVing and camping in Montana. This beautiful spot rests next to Harrison Lake just west of Bozeman.  Photo by Jim Klug

State parks, Bureau of Land Management lands, and Forest Service sites are all fair game when RVing and camping in Montana. This beautiful spot rests next to Harrison Lake just west of Bozeman.
Photo by Jim Klug

Conveniently, you can camp right next to the river at Red Mountain Campground, which is located just 25 miles west of Bozeman and right on the Madison. You can cast a line on the Madison during evening caddisfly hatches or drive a little farther west to Norris Hot Springs, aka Water of The Gods, and soak in a fir-plank lined mineral pool that maintains a 120-degree Fahrenheit water temperature. Team up your soak with live music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Onsite trailer camping is also available.

In the morning, you can drive 30 minutes east on Highway 84 to Bozeman. You can’t drive through this town without stopping and walking both sides of what some people call the most vibrant main street in America. By doing so you can enjoy coffee shops, art galleries, fly shops, independent book stores, the classic Ellen Theatre, and a variety of appealing bars and restaurants—plenty of options to burn a full day or more if you choose to. If you want to dine with locals try The Western Cafe where breakfast is served all day. For dinner, you can hit Open Range for a 16-ounce hand-cut ribeye and a side of caramelized whiskey onions.

Before leaving Bozeman—especially if you’re adventuring with kids—Museum of The Rockies is a must-see. MOR’s dinosaur complex houses the largest collection of T.rex specimens in the world and the museum’s planetarium offers a deep peek into the universe.

Also, this: if you are an avid mountain biker (meaning intermediate or expert) you may want to take Bridger Canyon Road (Montana 86) north of Bozeman for 14 miles. This takes you to the Stone Creek trailhead and the 24-mile single-track Bangtail Divide trail. The trail was designed specifically for mountain bikes and if you slow down long enough to look, you’ll have great views of the Bridger, Gallatin, Absaroka and Crazy mountain ranges. Don’t take your eyes off this trail for too long—dozens of switchbacks invite minor disasters. If you don’t have a few mountain bikes on the back of your RV, you can rent mountain bikes in Bozeman at Owenhouse Cycling for about $50 a day.

Dinosaur fans won’t want to miss The Museum of The Rockies in Bozeman, which houses the largest collection of T.rex specimens the world.  Photo Courtesy Museum of The Rockies

Dinosaur fans won’t want to miss The Museum of The Rockies in Bozeman, which houses the largest collection of T.rex specimens the world.
Photo Courtesy Museum of The Rockies


RV Essentials for Yellowstone Country

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