West Yellowstone Montana & Big Sky Vacations

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West Yellowstone Montana

Located at the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park, West Yellowstone is hub for park visitors, both in the summer and winter months.

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  • West Yellowstone Montana is less than an hour’s drive south of Big Sky.
  • Nestled at the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park, the town’s economy is focused on tourists.
  • There are many places to stay and a variety of good places to eat.

Why should I visit West Yellowstone, Montana?

West Yellowstone Montana lies at the western entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Offering easy access to the park, the town focuses on its visitors. Stroll down the main street for tons of dining options, ice cream parlors, and hotels. You'll also find interesting attractions like the IMAX Theater, the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, and the Yellowstone Historic Center.

Where is West Yellowstone?

Located in Southwestern Montana just 1.5 miles from Wyoming and eight miles from Idaho, West Yellowstone shares a common border with Yellowstone National Park and is the Park's only West gateway. As such, West Yellowstone considers itself to be the "Hub of Yellowstone Country" because of its fortuitous location to all the wonders of Yellowstone National Park. The distance between Big Sky Montana and West Yellowstone Montana is a short 50 miles north-south along US Highway 191.

What sort of services and amenities does West Yellowstone offer?

Tourism has been the main business of West Yellowstone since it was founded. The town's economy relies on tourists traveling to and from Yellowstone National Park, and not just during the summer months as it was initially. Beginning in 1971, when the first overnight accommodations opened for the winter in Yellowstone National Park, a two season economy became a reality.

With a year round population of approximately 912 (1,500 in the summer season), West Yellowstone has one year around medical clinic, schools, a public library and a parks and recreation department.

Geared to tourists, there are many places to stay and a variety of good places to eat. The main attraction lies right on the town’s western border, Yellowstone National Park.

What can I see and do in West Yellowstone?

Yellowstone Park
Stay in West Yellowstone and visit Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone National Park offers unique sights and unusual features that you cannot see anywhere else. Geysers, mud pots, wildlife, canyons, rivers, waterfalls, and more are found here.

The Grizzly and Wolf Discover Center
The Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center is a Wildlife Park and Educational Facility, providing all visitors to Yellowstone with the opportunity to find out all about grizzlies and gray wolves.

Imax Theater
Check out the huge 6 story screen at the Imax Theater. You can immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery of a real Yellowstone experience, while relaxing in air-conditioned comfort.

Snowmobiling
West Yellowstone tops every snowmobiler's dream. The trail system begins right in town, where snowmobilers share city streets with motorists. There is a choice of 180 miles of guided groomed trails inside the park or 400 miles outside.

Snowcoach
Travel in comfort through Yellowstone Park during the winter months via snowcoach.

Targhee National Forest
West Yellowstone is surrounded by 1.8 million acres of the Targhee National Forest. The Forest is a wonderful place to get out into nature. The landscape includes a wide diversity of climates, from semi-desert to timbered highlands, with numerous streams, rivers, waterfalls and lakes.

Red Rock Refuge
This Wildlife Refuge was established in 1935 in order to protect the trumpeter swan. The refuge is a National Natural Landmark, bordered on the south by the beautiful Centennial Mountains from which the winter snows replenish the lakes and marshes. It can be found less than 20 miles from West Yellowstone.

Yellowstone Historic Center
Well worth a visit, the Yellowstone Historic Center is located right in town and offers a comprehensive history of the park and the town. Pick up a walking tour brochure and check out all the historic places in town.

In the Spotlight

Other West Yellowstone Montana Resources

West Yellowstone Lodging

See our lodging guide for West Yellowstone, Montana.