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Iconic wildlife, scenic drives and trails don’t stop at Yellowstone National Park’s border
Visitors planning a trip to Yellowstone National Park this summer are encouraged to keep their travel plans. The North and South Loop have reopened, and access is available through the West Entrance, South Entrance, and East Entrance. As of July 2, 93% of roadways in the park are open.
“Our businesses and attractions are excited to continue to welcome visitors to Montana this summer,” said Scott Osterman, Director of the Montana Department of Commerce. “With over 147,000 miles of terrain, we urge travelers to consider exploring beyond Yellowstone.”
Although Yellowstone National Park is a destination known for its natural wonders, there’s so much more to experience outside of its borders. Discover ghost towns off the beaten path, drive through scenic landscapes, appease your appetite for outdoor adventures and experience the state’s signature small-town charm.
Just a little over an hour away from West Yellowstone is Ennis. Most famous as one of Montana’s best fly-fishing destinations, it’s often referred to as the trout capital of the world. Trout love the “Fifty Mile Riffle” of the Madison River that stretches from Quake Lake to Bear Trap Canyon, and as a result, so do fly-fishermen.
There’s no better way to breathe in fresh Montana air than biking your way through beautiful scenery and towns. From road biking routes to mountain biking trails, there are endless places to ride. Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, is the town of Butte. Whether you are a casual biker or an avid cyclist, there’s a reason mountain bike enthusiasts travel to Butte from all across the state. Plus, Butte itself is steeped in history. Called the “Richest Hill on Earth,” Butte was once a hotbed of culture and today has a beautiful, immersive and diverse history that’s easy to explore.
For those who prefer scenic rides in a vehicle rather than on singletrack, less than 40 minutes away from Butte is Wise River. Travel the Pioneer Mountain Scenic Byway in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest for scenic vistas, mountain meadows, and lodgepole pine forests. Or try your luck on one of the state’s blue-ribbon trout streams, the Big Hole River.
For a deeper dive into Montana history, visit Virginia City and Nevada City. A taste of the original Old West, these cities mark the site of the richest placer gold strike in the Rocky Mountains. Great for those who are young and young-at-heart, visitors can pan for gold, ride the rails, and more.
Trip inspiration, things to do, and itineraries can be found at VISITMT.COM. The Visit Montana call center also has staff on hand to help with trip planning and can be reached at 800-847-4868. The latest information from Yellowstone National Park is available here.