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Tips & Advice

Planning Your Route Through Montana, Wyoming, and Yellowstone National Park


by Val Ma Well Traveled Insider Well Traveled Insider
1 year ago

During August of 2020, I went on a trip through Montana, Wyoming, and Yellowstone National Park and loved the route I took, so I wanted to share my experience with Well Traveled Club! I spent about a week on my trip, but you can tailor your time in each destination based on your interests. Admittedly, I am not the biggest fan of hiking but I love being in nature and visiting cute towns, so my favorite parts of this trip were actually in the surrounding towns of Yellowstone Park. Whether you’re going to Yellowstone as an advanced hiker or just to enjoy nature, I definitely recommend this route!  


First, I flew into the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) which is located north of Yellowstone. We stopped for a quick lunch in the town of Bozeman and then drove an hour south to our first stay at the Dreamcatcher Tipi Hotel.

Photo by Valerie Ma

My stay at Dreamcatcher is the reason I am writing this travel journal. It’s so beautiful and serene, and the hospitality was also amazing. The tipis were decorated beautifully, and the bathrooms were clean and private (tipis don’t have personal bathrooms per tipi, but there are separate bathrooms so you don’t have to worry about privacy). Staying at Dreamcatcher was such a unique experience — at night you could hear elk surrounding your tipi. It really felt like you were living in the wilderness but in a cozy glamping tipi (best of both worlds in my opinion). Do yourself a favor here and lay down by the bonfire at night to take in the view of the stars. Dreamcatcher also has the best view of the Devil’s Slide (mountain view that looks like bacon).  

I recommend staying for two nights, minimum. The closest town is Gardiner, Montana where we were able to find local restaurants and take a calming rafting trip down the river with beautiful views of nature. 



Photo by Valerie Ma

After our two nights at Dreamcatcher, we entered Yellowstone National Park through the North entrance. Most people fly into Jackson, Wyoming and enter Yellowstone through the South entrance, which results in tons of traffic and a long wait to get into the park. Flying into Montana and entering through the North gate is a great alternative — we only waited about two minutes and we were in! 

We booked a five hour horseback riding tour which met at a spot about ten minutes beyond the North gate 
(unfortunately, I do not recall the name of the specific tour, but this is a great time to schedule an activity before checking into our hotel in the park). Horseback riding was a wonderful way to see nature that you might otherwise miss out on without a hike.  

Yellowstone is shaped like an "8" which easily allows you to divide and conquer to the top spots throughout the park. My favorite spots in Yellowstone were the Grand Prismatic Springs and the views of the canyons at sunset. These were located near Artist Point, Seven Mile Hole Trail, and Canyon Lodge & Cabins (center/west part of the “8”).  


Photo by Valerie Ma

After Yellowstone, we exited the park through the South gate (and passed hundreds of cars waiting to enter Yellowstone via the South gate) and drove to our stay at Spring Creek Ranch. Spring Creek Ranch is located on a mountain right outside of the town which allowed us the best of both worlds: view of the mountains and a quick drive to the town. My favorite part was the pool and hot tub area. The view of the mountains from the hot tub is a 10/10 experience.  

Out of the towns we visited during this trip, Jackson was my favorite. The restaurant scene was great, the art galleries were beautiful, and the people were friendly. As an avid shopper, the shopping pleasantly surprised me; I felt like I could have stayed and shopped for three more days. If you’re a jewelry lover, definitely spend some time looking in all the shops for jewelry  — I have never seen so much unique jewelry in one town! As for nature, Teton Village, Grand Teton National Park, and Jenny Lake are nearby as well.

After our three nights in Jackson, we flew out of the Jackson Hole Airport (JAC), which is only a fifteen minute drive out of town.  

Since most Yellowstone visitors fly into Jackson, Wyoming, they miss out on the serenity and beauty of the area north of Yellowstone in Montana. Flying into Montana and flying out of Wyoming ensures no time is wasted. You drive in the same direction the entire trip, always finding new spots. Entering through the North gate instead of the South gate of Yellowstone is my biggest travel tip for this destination. Plus, it also allows for an experience at the beautiful Dreamcatcher Tipi Hotel! Though I'm still not the biggest fan of hiking, glamping under the stars amongst wildlife and strolling around cute towns were wonderful experiences I’ll never forget! 

Happy Traveling!


Val Ma

I currently live in the Upper East Side NYC, and I love exploring new places around the world and in my home city. I also live for style/fashion + feel most comfortable in color. My go-to travel spot is the countryside of England & London, but I also love to see new places especially spots by the ocean. My recent travel spots include: Paris, Belgium (De Panne beach, Brussels), Croatia (Hvar, Bol, Dubrovnik, Split & The Yacht Week), Curaçao, Ireland (Dublin + Galway), England (London + countryside), Scotland (Edinburgh), Savannah, Montana/Wyoming (Bozeman, Yellowstone, Jackson Hole), Greece (Santorini + Mykonos), Tenerife, and Barcelona. My next up trip is Montenegro and Southern England. Message me for any recs (or if you have any recs for me!).

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