Though it’s important to see Old Faithful and snap photos of the park’s many wonders, summertime offers the opportunity to get off the beaten path and see Yellowstone’s beauty from new perspectives and travel into lesser-known corners of its wilderness. Adventures await along the rivers, through the forests and valleys, and even in the air for those who crave a more in-depth experience. For more information, please visit the Gardiner and Cooke City outfitters’ pages. Additional links can also be found below.
Guided horseback tours in Yellowstone National Park are available starting from Mammoth and Tower-Roosevelt. Experience the park the way many early explorers did, astride a well-trained, equine companion. You can even enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride out to a cowboy cook-out. Privately-owned horses may be brought into the park, though there are restrictions on where they can travel.
Whitewater Rafting and Scenic River Floats
The Yellowstone River flows through some of the most scenic land in the country. Why not hop on a raft and see it from the action-seat? Glide down the river on a scenic float, where guides will point out local wildlife, stunning mountain peaks, and the original rail line that brough people into Yellowstone. If you feel brave, you can also get a little more active along the category IV and V rapids in Yankee Jim Canyon.
It's easy to appreciate the beauty of the sites in Yellowstone, but it's also pretty common to wonder, "how could such a thing have come to be?" Join up with one of the many ranger-led programs available throughout the park and learn the secrets behind Yellowstone's marvels. From understanding how the Terraces in Mammoth came to have so many beautiful layers, to learning how the National Park came to be founded, or even following a ranger on easy-paced hikes, the opportunities are abundant. Special Junior Ranger programs are available for younger visitors.
It should come as no surprise to any who have visited Yellowstone that the park’s natural beauty has been inspiring artists for over a hundred years. Step into the many art galleries that can be found in Gardiner and Cooke City. You’ll find the works of some of the park’s earliest visitors, such as Thomas Moran, to works created by artists currently living and working in and around the park.