Caribou Gear Tarp

MT Family Road Trip Ideas

earlybird

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Aug 9, 2012
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239
My wife and I are thinking about loading up the kids (ages 7 &4 )and taking a road trip to get away for a few days. We live eastern MT and are planning to head west. for around 4 days. Does anyone have any ideas of places to stay or things to see/do that the kids would enjoy. ( Billings is our regular trip so ruling that out for now ) Thanks for the ideas.
 

sneakypete

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May 19, 2014
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Fort Benton is a cool place to stop, you'll see Square Butte on the way!
 

Hem

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May 20, 2009
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Location
Three Forks, Mt
Virginia City, Nevada City, Bannock State Park, all fun for kids. Better not pass up Lewis and Clark State Park and a tour through the caverns hint: fun for all ages.Chico Hot Springs also a must..scenic fun,good food,hot water/warm water,...a little beer maybe.Can be busy. there.Save Yellowstone for when the summer knuckleheads are gone.
 

AH_14

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Oct 3, 2012
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105
Location
Belgrade, MT
Lewis and Clark Caverns is great.... it is really long, and definitely has some walking...Just know it will be a good hike for the kids-(it is really good though)--snacks, and drinks bring up the mountain.

Beartooth Pass and Yellowstone are fun but busy.
Boiling River is a lot of fun (great hot spring)

As HEM suggested, I would stay a day/night in Chico for sure....One of my families favorite places any time of year.

Maybe catch a pro baseball game in downtown Billings...Love going to the ballpark and their facility is great for a Montana park.
 

FAIR CHASE

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Jul 13, 2010
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937
Location
Montana
Red Lodge & drive over the Beartooth Pass to Cooke City and Yellowstone.

........... up to Gardiner then Livingston. Head west on the interstate (skip Bozeman) and drive to Lewis and Clark Caverns then spend the night swimming at Fairmont Hot Springs. Obviously a bit more to see but for a quick this is my recommendation during the summer.

But since you live in MT, visit Yellowstone in the fall/winter for the best experience.
 

greatwhitebuffalo

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Aug 9, 2013
Messages
415
Location
Wyoming
Glacier NP is cool. But, I guess you might need to brace yourself for the crowds. The Beartooth drive would be nice. I stop at the historical markers on the way, but I'm not sure if that would be to boring for most folks.

But, my #1 pick for kids 7 & 4 would probably be the museums in Bozeman.
 

Randy11

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Jan 12, 2009
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If you want something with a little more elbow room, not much beats camping off the ruby river/gravelly range road this time of year.
 

Nameless Range

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Jun 6, 2013
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Location
Western Montana
If you want something with a little more elbow room, not much beats camping off the ruby river/gravelly range road this time of year.

Couldn't agree more. IMO the finest road in MT is the Gravelly Range Road. You can start just south of Ennis and ride all the way down to the Centennial Valley if you so choose.

Where else can you see antelope at 9000 feet?

roadcrest.jpg

The road cuts just to the east of the Gravelly Range Highpoint - Black Butte. The climb to the top is a fun and quick scramble, and will offer you commanding views of just about every mountain range in Southwest MT and a few in Idaho.

blackbutte.jpg

It's hot out but my favorite hot springs in Western MT is Elkhorn Hot Springs at Polaris. Affordable and fun.

Depending on the weekend you and your family are heading west, there may be some fun festivals/rodeos/fairs happening too.
 

earlybird

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Aug 9, 2012
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239
IT looks like I need to go for about 10 days and do ALL the cool stuff you guys are throwing at me.
 

Randy11

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Jan 12, 2009
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6,109
Pshaw. Gravellies aren't worth seeing. Infested with woofs and grizz. Keep driving, all the elk are around Townsend.

My wife and I were up there over the Fourth of July this year. We had just gotten done setting up the tent when this guy wobbled out 4-500 yards away. We slept in the truck.

2015-07-04%2021.05.13_zps9l60euie.jpg
 

Ben Long

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Aug 8, 2011
Messages
1,167
Location
Kalispell, MT
When my son was that age he really enjoyed Virginia City and Lewis & Clark Caverns. The east side of Glacier Park/Going to the Sun Road are smokey and the west side is busy, but I enjoyed a good float down the MIddle Fork of the Flathead on Sunday and it wasn't too crowded.
 

NKQualtieri

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Jun 4, 2015
Messages
250
Location
Bozeman, MT
Virginia City is awesome. And you could go play in the res at Ennis.

If you were thinking about Bozeman, camping at Hyalite reservoir and renting a stand up paddleboard is a ton of fun, we do that with my friends' kiddos all the time & they're only like $30 or $35 a day at RoundHouse Sports. Plus a lot of kid-friendly hikes around there--Grotto Falls, Palisade Falls, History Rock. You could come in to Bozeman and do Museum of the Rockies, they're the perfect age for that. Norris Hot Springs is also a great little jaunt and you could camp out by the Madison to do that. You can also float the Madison in rental tubes that you can double up in with the kids.

So many great ideas on this list. I'm saving my glacier trip for the fall this yr with the fires/crowds. If you do Beartooth, know that the northern part of Yellowstone (Lamar Valley to Mammoth) is really never that crowded and that's where you'll see the most animals, hands down. The bison are currently rutting--they're nuts right now. There are still a ton of babies everywhere. And if you get up early or go at dusk you can see a ton of bears up high on the Beartooth highway and in Lamar. I saw five the last time I swung that loop.
 

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