When you're traveling with family, you want to have plenty of fun without spending too much. As autumn weather invites crisp morning air and clear, sunny days in Montana, it pays to enjoy time outside. But you never know what to expect from fall in Big Sky Country, so it's good to have a cozy-by-the-fire backup plan, too. Here are a few fun things to do for fall around Montana.
When weather threatens, retreat inside to enjoy the wild world of dinosaurs at the Museum of the Rockies. Experience the paleontology and human history of the area, and learn a thing or two in the process at this Smithsonian Affiliate. Plan ahead and make a reservation to explore the past.
When the sun is shining—typical in Bozeman, no matter the season—all ages can enjoy a stroll or pedal along the Main Street to the Mountains Trails. You don't have to go far to enjoy big views from sunset spots like Peets Hill. Or you can go all out and connect to the Bridger Mountains for a more challenging hike just outside of town.
Nonresidents pay just $8 for the day to visit any Montana state parks, or you can opt for the $35 7-day pass or an annual pass too. See how many you can check off, visiting gems near Bigfork like Wayfarer's, West Shore, and Lone Pine, all known for their lake views or the Flathead Valley.
Even from your car, you can enjoy the colors of autumn near Bigfork. You might not think of northwestern Montana when you envision a profusion of fall foliage. Still, the western larch's needles, a deciduous conifer, put on a spectacular color show beginning in October. From Bigfork, drive down into the Swan Valley to see the dramatic golden hillsides.
Fall still makes for some good fishing in the Paradise Valley, and you don't need to spend a bundle to enjoy the sport. If you don't have your own gear, get with a local outfitter to rent some rods and get out to the river. Fish from the riverbank, or check out Sacajawea Lagoon in town for some beginning casting spots.
A drive out to Natural Bridges makes a fun outing for all. You can enjoy a short walk on a paved trail to see these remarkable geologic features without worrying about little legs having a hard time on rough terrain.
This is an easy one since the fall in Yellowstone is a perfect time to see wildlife, even from the comfort of your car. Visitation is usually lower after the summer rush, but roads remain open to vehicles into November, weather dependent. You'll want to come prepared for changing weather conditions. Head out to explore the park's wild side in autumn.
Chico Hot Springs and Yellowstone Hot Springs aren't far from Gardiner, and a little time in the natural mineral water can do a lot to ease your cares. Enjoy an evening staring up at the stars around steaming water, and take a few breaths to just relax.
Whether you are coming for an adventure, or just passing through, we have eight properties in Gardiner, Bozeman, and Bigfork to help you feel at home while you are on the road. Click here to book now.