GATEWAY TO YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
Vacation like a local…..
As anglers, we have come to know this area around West Yellowstone as the very heart of the finest angling in the country. We have yet to find a place anywhere that has more quality trout water within a 100 mile radius. This area has a long tradition and legacy of fly fishing, with legends such as Bud Lilly, Charlie Brooks, Lee and Joan Wulff, Bob Jacklin, and Dave Whitlock who have all come here to know, appreciate, and write about this amazing diversity of waters. It is our aim to provide visiting anglers and the Yellowstone tourist alike a special spot to stay that is well thought out for their enjoyment of this area that we’ve come to know and love. We hope you’ll enjoy your stay with us!
Resting in one of the vertices of the Golden Triangle, this area has a vast array of blue ribbon fly fishing your fingertips.
A short walk towards downtown takes you to Madison Crossing Restaurant and Lounge, where a nice ambience and very good menu awaits you.
Madison Crossing Restaurant and Lounge
121 Madison Ave.
West Yellowstone, MT
- Pub Food / Burgers – Buffalo Bar and The Slippery Otter Pub
- Mexican – We are fortunate to have TWO authentic Mexican taco busses here in town. Las Palmitas and Taqueria Malverde. It’s best to try both and get into friendly arguments over which one you like the best!
- Pizza – Wild West
- BBQ – Firehole BBQ and Beartooth BBQ are both great.
- Soup – On a cold day, The Book Peddler has the best homemade soups in town.
- Coffee – Free Heel & Wheel, our local bike and ski shop, also has amazing coffee drinks!
Go down Madison Avenue, toward Idaho, and you’ll find the Running Bear Pancake House. This place is a local lunch favorite. You can’t beat the REAL turkey sandwich! It tastes just like the ones your Mom makes the day after Thanksgiving. Don’t forget the extra mayo and pickles! When you’re there, make sure you say hello to Kelly!
Running Bear Pancake House
538 Madison Ave.
West Yellowstone, MT
Sometimes we just feel the need for a taste of the Southwest! If you are feeling that need, head to the Malverde Taco Bus that is tucked in between Firehole BBQ and the Cenex gas station on Highway 20 and Canyon. On the nights bands are playing at the park, it’s nice to grab a burrito and head across the street with your lawn chair and enjoy music, burritos, and friends, new and old.
Feel like a little drive to find dinner? Take 191 out of town and turn onto Highway 287, and you will heading to the Grizzly Bar & Grill in Cameron. This is also a local favorite and it takes you right by Hebgen Lake and Quake Lake. If you want to take a different route home and venture around Henry’s Lake, just ask and we’ll give you directions and an agenda for an entire evening of fun! The Au Gratin potatoes are out of this world!
Take in some of our favorite outdoor beauty: Lionhead, Red Canyon and Coffin Lake. All of these are just a short drive from West Yellowstone to the trail head. Depending on the season, huckleberry picking is always a great choice! Check in with us and we’ll let you know how the berry season looks and where we’re finding them! We’ll be excited to find out if any of them make it back with you!
Rent a bike at Freeheel and Wheel and take a bike ride down the Rendezvous Trail! In the winter, this is a cross-country ski trail but in the other seasons, it makes for a great bike ride! Stop by Ernie’s Deli and pick up some sandwiches for lunch! Don’t forget the Bear Spray!
“Make the lakes loop!” This outing could turn into an all-day adventure or a two hour event. Check out the beauty of Hebgen Lake and visit the Happy Hour Bar for a feeling of sitting on the bow of a boat, enjoying their great margaritas! Venture around to Quake Lake. This lake was formed when an earthquake hit the area on an August evening in 1959. Read the history of the lake at the pull offs and don’t forget the visitors center. Look for bald eagles, ospreys, white pelicans, and cormorants in and around the dead trees still standing in the lake. Drive by Henry’s Lake and proceed home on Highway 20.
As the seasons and weather changes, so do our native tastes! Please ask and we’ll be excited to share our local favs with you.
The Seasons of Yellowstone
June through Mid September
Take a day trip to Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, or Mammoth Hot Springs in America’s oldest National Park. Test your hiking abilities as you attempt to rise above the treeline on Mount Washburn. Gaze over the valleys at the Fire tower or rent a kayak and paddle around one of the deepest lakes in America. Find yourself floating in a drift boat on one of the pristine rivers in the area. Big Sky Angler guides can assess your skill level and put you on the best water for your abilities. Experience the thrill of reeling in a trout in a world-renowned fishing destination.
Late September through Late October
In the fall, overall tourist numbers begin to decrease but animal activity is on the rise as nighttime temperatures dip lower each day. Fall fishing opportunities abound both in and outside of Yellowstone. This is a great time of year to visit Yellowstone country, come to awaken yourself in the brisk mornings and listen to the elk bugle. Enjoy the changing colors of the Aspen and Alders. It feels like all the living things are taking a big deep breath, relaxing after the bulk of summertime tourist traffic has waned.
Early November through Late November
Mornings are below freezing and daytime temperatures hover in the 30s, the snow that falls during this time might just end up being the last snow to melt in the spring. Yellowstone Park closes its gates on the first Sunday in November. West Yellowstone is as quiet as can be as we ramp up for Yellowstone’s winter season which starts mid month with Fall Camp and Ski Fest, some of the first US Nordic Ski events of the season. Our extensive Nordic trail system is usually one of the first in the nation to have groomed trails and adequate snow coverage, and attracts skiers and teams from across the country.
Mid December through Mid March
The variety of activities in the winter is vast. Just a short jaunt from your cabin, enter Yellowstone National Park on your cross-country skis or book a guide to lead you on a snowshoeing expedition into the back country. For a more relaxed winter tour of the Park, travel by snow coach! These over the snow vehicles allow you to view the magnificence of winter from a heated van on HUGE tires. If more individualized tours are your thing, a guide would be happy to lead you on an invigorating adventure through the park on a snowmobile The Park is your oyster in the winter!
Late March through Late April
Imagine biking, walking, jogging, or rollerblading in the nation’s first National Park before the roads are open to motorized public vehicles! This adventure begins sometime in late March or early April, depending on weather. Adventurers are able to travel close to 50 miles of park roads from West Yellowstone to Mammoth Hot Springs. Being close to nature without the distraction of motorized vehicle is an entirely different way to experience Yellowstone. Enjoy a rare journey with an easy bicycle ride into 7 Mile Bridge. Watch the trumpeter swans build their nests. The contrasting colors of their white feathers against the dark blue water will make you appreciate the beauty of these birds. April also holds some terrific angling opportunities for the early season angler, including some of the first mayfly hatches of the year. The Madison River, Gallatin River, and Henry’s Fork are open year round in both Montana and Idaho.
Late April through Late May
Every season provides you with a different look at Yellowstone National Park, and late Spring is no exception. With less visitors there’s lighter traffic, which allows you to meander through the park at your own pace. Experience nature beginning a new life cycle and wildlife being born as the park awakens after winter. Plant life, such as phlox and buttercups, is emerging through the snow. The rivers flow intensely from the winter thaw. You can hear the bison calves call for their mothers and the birds singing loudly as they build their nests. It is as if all things are celebrating life with the excitement of the upcoming summer in Yellowstone. As many rivers in the surrounding area are intensifying with spring runoff, West Yellowstone-based anglers fish a combination of the Madison River and the nearby Henry’s Fork. Yellowstone Park opens to fishing on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.