Fishing in southwest Montana

Yellowstone Holiday is located in the heart of Montana’s mountainous region and is conveniently located to several spectacular fly fishing rivers, which includes:

  • Madison River – This river is often cited as the number one fly fishing destination in all of North America. Boasting a dense trout population with fish exceeding 30 inches, this river is frequented by the world’s best anglers.
  • Yellowstone River – Also one of the world’s premiere fly fishing destinations, this river features more than 100 miles of pristine fishing – beginning in Yellowstone Park and continuing to Columbus. Most outfitters use drift boats to help maneuver over the river’s Class V whitewater rapids.
  • Gallatin River – Originating within the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park, this river is perfect for wading. In fact, the memorable movie “A River Runs Through It” was filmed in this area.
  • Boulder River – A true Montana gem, this river originates just north of Yellowstone Park in the Absoraka Beartooth Wilderness. These waters are home to aggressive rainbows and browns that frequently bite on dry flies. The movie “The Horse Whisperer” was filmed on location here.
  • East Gallatin River – Conveniently located outside of Bozeman, Montana, this river is the product of large trout.
  • Ruby River – Also located near Bozeman, this river is ideal for wading. When this river teams with fish, it offers some of the best fly fishing in the state.
  • Missouri River – This river is formed at the intersection of the Gallatin, Madison and Jefferson rivers, which join together at Three Forks to form the famous Missouri. Fish in this river range from 17 to upwards of 30 inches.
  • Stillwater River – A fast and rocky river, it is known as one of the best dry fly rivers in the state.
  • Smith River – Located in the central part of the state, this river boasts scenic views of wildlife, forests and limestone cliffs.
  • Bighorn River – This river situates in southern Montana and is especially popular with anglers in late May to early June. A dam controls the Bighorn so its waters are moderated. Bighorn boasts the highest trout density of any other river in North America.
  • Streams – Western Montana is doted by thousands of small streams and even some of the smallest steams and cricks can hold a healthy wild trout population.
  • Creeks – Some of the worlds most popular spring creeks are located here, including DePuy, Nelson, Armstrong, McCoy and Milesnick. These originate from underground springs, which fuels perfect temperatures for trout.
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Things NOT to do while in Yellowstone National Park

Every year the officials in Yellowstone National Park publish signs and pamphlets with warnings to visitors. Just like the detailed pictures show, more and more visitors take pictures of themselves doing the stupidest things. We’re not talking embarrassing actions, but actions that can bring about extreme harm and death.

When visiting Yellowstone, the following are the some things tourists simply should NOT do.

  •  Never, ever try to pet a bison. They’re dangerous animals that are known to charge, severely injure and kill people.
  •  Visitors should never approach or surround buffalo. When wild animals feel threatened, especially when they are being surrounded, it can often result in them panicking and feeling a fight or flight response. If someone gets in between a buffalo and his/her escape route, a buffalo will not hesitate to mow a person over, potentially inflicting deadly harm. Consider this, the best-case scenario is that someone makes it away alive. The worst is obviously the opposite.
  • Surrounding elk is also a bad idea. They will also charge people when they feel threatened. People often feel safe in their vehicles, but elk in autumn ruts are known to attack vehicles.
  • Yes, that grizzly bear is beautiful from afar but should a visitor get out and attempt a close-up picture? Absolutely not! While most grizzlies avoid human contact, if they feel threatened, they are known to maul and kill. If someone values his or her life, he/she will stay put and slowly back away. It’s not worth risking a picture only to be killed or maimed.
  • Leave tracking wolves to the professional experts. This is not a task for the average Joe.
  • Do not travel off any designated trails, as the hydrothermal areas are extremely dangerous and can cause severe skin burns, which ultimately causes scaring.
  • Having pets off leashes may seem like a good idea, but with all the abundant wildlife in the park, this is simply a temptation for wildlife to charge or injure a pet.

Located outside the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone Holiday Resort offers Hebgen Lake lodging and RV camping near West Yellowstone. With a convenient location to the outdoor natures of Yellowstone, visitors can easily explore Idaho, Wyoming and Montana.

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Yellowstone National Park is a premiere destination, explored by millions of visitors annually.  The park requires a fee for a seven-day entrance pass, which is subject to change.

2019 Park Entrance Fees

Seven-day Passes:
Good for entry into Yellowstone National Park for seven days from the date of purchase.

Private, non-commercial vehicle: $35
Motorcycle: $30
Individual (by foot, bicycle, ski, etc.): $20/person
Yellowstone National Park Annual Pass: $70.00
Annual pass providing free entrance into Yellowstone National Park for one year (valid through the month of purchase).  No advanced reservations are required for entering the park.

Reservations are HIGHLY recommended for overnight accommodations, however.  An excellent nearby Yellowstone RV park is Yellowstone Holiday Resort, which is located on the shores of Hebgen Lake. This lake is an ideal destination for anglers that enjoy fishing for rainbow trout or brown trout. As a convenient base point, visitors staying in Yellowstone Holiday Resort can easily spend time exploring nearby Yellowstone National Park, via the West Yellowstone entrance.

The following activities are among the most popular Yellowstone National Park sights:

  • Old Faithful – This is the most popular attraction in Yellowstone. This geyser averages 130 to 180 feet per eruption and has a faithful schedule of putting on a show nearly every one-and-a-half hours.
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone – This colorful canyon is one of the most popular areas for hiking. At nearly 20 miles long, this deep canyon is approximately 1,000 feet deep. Featuring spectacular colors, the cliffs of this massive canyon make it a breathtaking natural wonder.
  • Mammoth Hot Springs – Located near the North Entrance, Mammoth Hot Springs are ever changing. Made from boiling calcium carbonate deposits, this geothermic region is constantly changing. Boardwalks make it easy for visitors to walk amongst the unique travertine terraces.
  • Yellowstone Lake – This beautiful lake is more than 7,000 feet above sea level and is the largest high-altitude freshwater lake in North America. The area is popular with anglers and boaters.
  • Grand Prismatic Spring – An artistic wonder to behold, Grand Prismatic Spring is more than 160 feet deep and ranges 250 to 300 feet wide. This sight features spectacular rainbow-color hues of red, yellow, orange and vivid aquamarine blue.
  • Hayden Valley – A top destination for wildlife viewing, visitors can see elk, bison, grizzly bears, coyotes and a wide variety of avian species. Two popular trails include the Hayden Valley Trail and the Mary Mountain Trail.
  • Mount Washburn – At more than 10,000 feet, the top of this mountain features a stunning observation deck. On clear days, visitors can see from the park’s southern edge to beyond the southerly Teton Mountains.
  • Lower Geyser Basin – Comprising 12 square miles, this area features the Fountain Paint Pots, Great Fountain Geyser and Queen’s Laundry.
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2019 Yellowstone – Spring Opening Dates

2019 Spring Opening Dates
Conditions permitting, roads will open to regular (public) vehicles at 8:00 am on the following dates:

April 19: West Entrance to Madison Junction, Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful, Norris to Canyon Village.

May 3: East Entrance to Lake Village (Sylvan Pass), Canyon Village to Lake Village.

May 10: South Entrance to West Thumb, Lake Village to West Thumb, West Thumb to Old Faithful (Craig Pass), Tower Junction to Tower Fall.

May 24: Tower Fall to Canyon Village (Dunraven Pass)

May 24: Beartooth Highway

2019 Construction
Canyon Village Area
2019 season: some destinations unavailable as part of the Canyon Overlooks and Trails Restoration Project.

Fishing Bridge to Indian Pond (East Entrance Road)2019 season: expect 30-minute delays along the East Entrance Road between Fishing Bridge and Indian Pond (excluding holidays*).

Norris to Mammoth
2019 season: expect 30-minute delays between Roaring Mountain and Apollinaris Spring (excluding holidays*).

*Holidays include Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day.

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More adventures await outside Yellowstone National Park

West Yellowstone, Montana, isn’t just the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park. This adventure-packed destination is full of western-style charm and entertainment.

Popular attractions in West Yellowstone include:

West Yellowstone IMAX Theater – This theater has been playing a traditional introduction to Yellowstone’s vast history for decades. They also feature rotating films, including those highlighting scenic areas worldwide. The theater offers a six-story screen and surround sound stereo, making it a must-visit destination for adults and children alike.

Yellowstone Historic Center – Located on the historic 1909 Union Pacific Railroad depot, this museum highlights the area’s history from historic through modern times. Their exhibits include railroad artifacts and information about the devastating 1988 wildfires that swept across the park. Other exhibits also include trains, buses, stagecoaches, historic photos, films and wildlife specimens.  Take the historic “Walking Tour”, an informative self-guided tour, relieving the early days of West Yellowstone.

Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center – Open every day, this discovery center highlights information about local grizzly and wolf species. As a non-profit facility, this wildlife educational center is home to animals that were no longer permitted to remain in the wild. This includes orphaned animals or those that were deemed a nuisance to the public. These animals have been rescued, instead of meeting their alternative fate, which would have been death. Families and children enjoy this interactive adventure into learning about native animal species.  A new otter exhibit is opening this summer!

Yellowstone Aerial Zipline Adventures – The zipline Adventure Park features over 1000′ of ziplining thrills on 4 different, family oriented ziplines.  It also boasts a giant rope course, with 49 challenge elements, from spiderwebs to rope bridges, log bridges, and more.  It is an experience that will both challenge and thrill adventurers of all ages.

Earthquake Lake Visitors Center – Overlooking Earthquake Lake, the center features interpretive programs about the tragic 1959 earthquake, which is one of the largest earthquakes recorded in North America.  The result of this earthquake was that a mountain slid into Madison River Canyon, ultimately creating a natural dam and Quake Lake.

Fishing at Hebgen Lake – This lake is a premiere destination for Montana fly-fishing. The lake boasts giant rainbow, cutthroat and brown trout, which average 15- to 20-inches! An additional popular fly-fishing area is nearby Quake Lake. With a small boat ramp, these areas accommodate kayaks, canoes, paddleboats and small sailboats.

National Forest Trails – The Custer Gallatin National Forest borders Yellowstone National Park to the west and north, encompassing thousands of miles of hiking, biking and riding trails.  Please visit their website,, for maps and information.

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Yellowstone Holiday Cabin Adventure

With so many things to do and see in Yellowstone, you want to find a place to stay that is central to all the great attractions.  Yellowstone Holiday will accommodate your needs.  There are 16 rustic cabins available with gorgeous mountain views, and all within walking distance of Hebgen Lake.

The Elk Haven Cabins provide room for up-to 7 people and are priced at $175/night.  These cabins have a full bathroom (shower) and kitchenette.  Cooking utensils are not provided, though, so be sure to bring your own.  There are no linens provided with these cabins, however, they do have linen packages available for rent.  If you purchase the linen package, a one time fee of $125, all the bedding, pillows and towels for up to 7 people will be supplied in your cabin.  You can make the beds as needed.  You are also welcome to bring your own linens.  There is no housekeeping service with cabin rentals.

The Bear Necessities Cabins are available at a price of $95/night.  These cabins will house up to 4 people, but do not have a bathroom or kitchenette.  They are basic, “bear necessities” camping.  Bathrooms and showers are available nearby.  Linen packages, a one time fee of $80, are also available for the Bear Necessities Cabins.  This package includes bedding and bath towels for 4 people.

For additional information on these cabins, or to make a reservation, please visit:

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Yellowstone National Park: The Best Family Field Trip of a Lifetime

Yellowstone National Park provides families with the opportunity to spend time together, explore nature and learn about geology. Instead of children just learning about geology and volcanoes from textbooks, parents can take them to the world’s foremost volcanic hotspot.

Beneath Yellowstone lies a super volcano. Yellowstone is the creation of three different eruptions, which occurred 2.1 million, 1.3 million and 640,000 years ago. The hot steam underneath this super volcano creates upwelling plumes within the mantle. The heat then melts the rocks and magma pools very close to the earth’s surface. This creates what we know as Yellowstone’s volcanic hotspots.

Scientists have recently estimated that the next eruption will not occur for another 1 to 2 million years. In fact, the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory website has a website for constant monitoring.

Parents and children can learn abundant information by visiting Yellowstone National Park, including understanding seismic activity, exploring more than 10,000 hydrothermal features, 300 geysers, viewing the largest concentration of active geysers in the world, walking among active travertine terraces in Mammoth Hot Springs and seeing the sites of petrified trees formed by volcanic eruptions. The park’s highlights also include hot springs, steam vents, mudpots and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River.

Seeing geologic wonders in person versus reading about them in student handbooks make huge differences in children’s lives. Parents and children are able to connect on both a personal and educational levels, and the fun of seeing wildlife in their natural habitats makes Yellowstone an interactive experience.

As an added bonus, Yellowstone Holiday is located outside the West Entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Staying outside the park provides families with more bonding time and an escape from the everyday traffic within the boundaries of the park.

Yellowstone Holiday accommodates Yellowstone RV camping and offers Hebgen Lake lodging. As a full-service campground, they also have Hebgen lake marina, which features boat rentals. Hebgen Lake is renowned worldwide for fantastic trout fishing. Fishing is a superb family activity, as it teaches patience and sportsmanship.

Yellowstone Holiday is also centrally located to nature hikes, Quake Lake and other nearby historic areas. Yellowstone National Park is a fun family-friendly summer adventure, whether it is driving across country or flying into a nearby airport. This vacation is sure to not disappoint!


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What to do in West Yellowstone

The town of West Yellowstone is located just outside the West Entrance to Yellowstone National Park. A mere 15 minutes from Yellowstone Holiday, a West Yellowstone RV park and Hebgen Lake lodging resort, this area is surrounded by beautiful Montana.

West Yellowstone hails as an outdoor paradise, which is why anglers flock to the area to test their fly-fishing skills in both Hebgen Lake and Quake Lake. Hebgen Lake is nearly 15 miles long and four miles wide. It is a manmade lake retained by an earth-fill dam. The 1959 earthquake damaged the dam and the landslide created a barrier, which ultimately formed Quake Lake. Quake Lake measures 53 meters deep and the Madison Canyon Earthquake Area and Visitors Center features interpretive programs that explain the events surrounding the earthquake. Hebgen Lake is only 20 minutes west of West Yellowstone. This area has a healthy fish population, including rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout.

West Yellowstone also attracts bicyclists. They hold annual events, such as the West to Old Faithful Cycle Tour, which draws participants nationwide. West Yellowstone and Yellowstone National Park also offer access to hundreds of miles of trails, hiking, running and mountain biking. Tourists that are opposed to biking or hiking often take advantage of the areas many nearby byways and scenic driving tours, including the Madison Earthquake Area, Gallatin River, the Centennial Valley and north along Highway 191. During the late spring and early summer, bird watching is a popular activity. These routes are also great for viewing deer, moose, elk and big horn sheep.

West Yellowstone also boasts entertaining family activities. These include the IMAX Theater, which shows the fascinating video of Yellowstone and Native American life. The Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center features superb educational experiences for visitors and tourists that want to learn more about raptors, grizzly bears and wolves in their natural habitats. During the summer, the Discovery Center hosts concerts in the park, live theater and rodeos.

The Yellowstone Historic Center is located at the Union Pacific Depot. This highlights the history of early transportation and visitation through Yellowstone National Park. West Yellowstone also offers a self-guided historic walking tour. Green bear paws are printed on the sidewalks to mark the tour. The local Chamber of Commerce has a map that marks all 21 sites.

The town is also perfect for an evening of walking the streets, browsing the local shops and purchasing outdoors gear. The area also features several different restaurants that have local fare on the menu, including bison, elk and trout.


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Best Areas to Visit within Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park has four major areas or sections. It is easier to stay outside the park, avoiding traffic and enjoying Yellowstone Holiday accommodations on Hebgen Lake. They also offer a premiere RV park in Yellowstone, outside the West Entrance.

The Madison district is popular for spotting wildlife and flyfishing. This area is also home to Old Faithful, hot springs, geysers, steam vents, paint pots and fumaroles.

The Lake district includes Yellowstone Lake, fumaroles and hot springs. It is also an area popular for bear sightings.

The Canyon district has high elevations, which makes for excellent grazing meadows. Hayden Valley is home to abundant bison herds during August, which makes this an excellent attraction. The Canyon district is well known for deep canyons, waterfalls, stunning vistas, a high elevation mountain pass and wildlife, which includes elk and bears. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is nearly 20 miles long and runs from the Upper Falls to the Tower Falls area. The depth is between 800 to 1,200 feet and the width is approximately 1,500 to 4,000 feet. The canyon is a modern addition to the park and is no more than 10,000 to 14,000 years old.

The Norris district encompasses the Norris Geyser basin, a dynamic geothermal area that provides beautiful meadow scenery and views of the Gibbon River. The Norris Geyser Basin is the oldest and hottest thermal area in the park. It measures 459 degrees a mere 1,087 feet below the earth’s surface. The waters here are generally acidic, which is uncommon for geysers. The two most popular geysers are Steamboat Geyser and Echinus Geyser.

Mammoth district is the upper area of Yellowstone and includes the popular Norris Geyser Basin. This is a stunning geothermal basin and contains open meadow scenes, which are popular in the fall for the grazing elk herds. This area also features the ever-famous travertine terraces and is home to the Yellowstone Park headquarters, including the park’s historic buildings. The travertine formations can grow up to 12 inches per year and rapidly shift. The flow and location of springs can change daily, which means that each visit to Yellowstone National Park brings new sights to this area.

The Tower/Roosevelt district is well known for waterfalls, river scenery and wildlife. It also features past geologic evidence of volcanic eruptions. It is one of the best areas to see spring and winter wildlife.

Yellowstone National Park features several distinct areas, which make the park unique from any other area on earth.

For visitors planning their stay, Yellowstone Holiday is located outside the West Entrance to Yellowstone. They offer Yellowstone RV camping, Hebgen Lake lodging and exceptional activities, including Hebgen Lake boat rentals and fishing.


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Stop Taking Bison Selfies

Smartphones have revolutionized our lives, helping us easily capture photos, delete subpar quality photos, take movies and edit photos. However, the personnel working at Yellowstone National Park is rapidly learning that visitors want to take bison selfies.

A report recently issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined five bison incidents from the summer of 2015. The results indicated that people need to keep their distance from bison and stop trying to take bison selfies. Bison are wild animals and their instincts are to attack people that invade their spaces.

All of the bison attacks occurred when people failed to maintain the park’s required 75-foot distance rule. These incidents all occurred around geyser basins, trails or developed areas where people readily had access to bison, but did not abide by the park’s rules. Three of the people were within six feet of the bison, taking photos. In fact, during two of the three photo-related injuries, people had turned their backs to the bison, which is extremely dangerous. One person was taking a cell phone selfie, which greatly agitated the bison.

Yellowstone National Park is home to more than 5,000 wild bison. Adult male bison can weigh approximately 2,000 pounds and have recorded speeds that are faster than an Olympic sprinter. As with all wild animals, bison can be dangerous and unpredictable, especially when spooked.

The National Park Service distributed flyers, posts signs about the danger of bison and park rangers clearly explain the hazards of approaching wild animals. Park regulations are very clear about maintaining a distance of 300 feet from wolves and bears and 75 feet from other wildlife. However, an increasing number of visitors, including foreign tourists and first-time visitors, are either not heeding these warnings or intentionally ignoring them.

While Smartphones are perfect for casual photographers, they also lack zoom capacity, which is contributing to more people closely approaching wildlife.

Last year, approximately 4 million people visited Yellowstone National Park. As 2016 celebrates another year, Yellowstone is trying to thoroughly educate tourists about close encounters with wildlife, including safety-related issues.

Yellowstone Holiday is located outside of the West Entrance to Yellowstone National Park. It provides excellent accommodations, including a Yellowstone RV campground, Hebgen Lake lodging and Yellowstone campgrounds.

This year, Yellowstone National Park is expected to have the same number, if not more, visitors than last year. Tourists should book their trip with Yellowstone Holiday early to ensure comfortable accommodations.


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