Where can I go on a scenic motorcycle ride?
With two national parks within a few hours, the Madison and Gallatin ranges in either direction, and spectacular canyons and rivers, the choices are endless for a Big Sky motorcycle ride. Late Spring through fall are the best seasons for a ride. Keep in mind the parks are extremely busy in the summer. Here are a few of our favorite scenic drives from Big Sky:
Madison Valley Loop
A fantastic day trip through Gallatin Canyon and Madison Valley.
- Northeast Yellowstone: From Big Sky US 191 barely skims the surface of Yellowstone National Park. A handful of trailheads leave from the road and enter the park.
- Hebgen and Quake Lakes: Cruise along the shores of Hebgen Lake and then enter the Madison Canyon along Quake Lake. Stop by the visitor center to learn about how the lake was formed.
- Madison Valley: Continue north on Hwy 287 toward Ennis and enjoy the sweeping Madison Valley and nearby Madison River.
- Ennis: Stroll through downtown Ennis and grab a bite to eat.
- Virginia City: Take a short side trip out to the historic ghost town of Virginia City.
- Norris Hot Springs: At Norris, head east on Norris Road and stop for a relaxing dip in Norris Hot Springs. They may even have live music.
- Gallatin Canyon: Enjoy the steep canyon walls and the rushing Gallatin River as you head back down to Big Sky from Four Corners.
Paradise Valley Loop
A great drive for seeing part of Yellowstone National Park and a soak in some hot springs.
- Gallatin Canyon: Drive south on US 191 to West Yellowstone through steep canyon walls and along the beautiful Gallatin River.
- West Yellowstone: Grab some breakfast and stop in at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center.
- Yellowstone National Park: The West Entrance (entrance fee) provides one of the most scenic entrances to Yellowstone. If you want to explore the park go ahead and drive the park loop road south to Old Faithful and around. If you'll visit the park again on another day, just head north towards Mammoth Hot Springs and out the North Entrance. Note: An alternative and incredibly scenic route includes heading east to Cooke City and beyond to Beartooth Pass and Chief Joseph Scenic Byway.
- Paradise Valley: The valley between Gardiner and Livingston is known as Paradise Valley and follows the scenic Yellowstone River.
- Chico Hot Springs: One of the highlights of this drive, take an hour or two to stop at Chico and relax in their hot pools.
- Bozeman: Before heading back to Big Sky, stop for dinner in Bozeman.