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Finding a great vacation destination is not always easy. That’s given! But today I have a good one for you. Check out our things to do in Paradise Valley, Montana, guide and see just how thrilled you’ll be.
Unspoiled adventures await visitors who plan to spend time exploring the majestic American West. This corner of the world is home to some of the most scenic and stunning places, like Paradise Valley in Montana – a major valley of the famous Yellow River.
While wandering this part of Big Sky Country, you can explore the world-famous Yellowstone Park and many other tourist attractions. Add unrivaled fly fishing access, hiking, canoeing, whitewater rafting, and mountaineering to your list of things to do in Paradise Valley, Montana, and the fun is complete. Lots of adventures are possible to have as a family or with friends.
Also, this lovely area is full of intact wilderness and gives people a glimpse of Yellowstone National Park’s features. But always carry bear spray whenever you venture out into the wild.
Now, let’s cut to the chase and see what incredible things you can do in Paradise Valley, Montana.
- Things to Do in Paradise Valley, Montana
- 1. Tour Yellowstone National Park
- 2. Marvel at the Magnificent Old Faithful
- 3. Float Down the Mighty Yellowstone River
- 4. Explore Pine Creek Falls and Pine Creek Lake
- 5. Marvel at Large Rapids at Yankee Jim Canyon
- 6. Relax at the Chico Hot Springs
- 7. Learn the Area’s History at the Yellowstone Gateway Museum
- 8. Blue Ribbon Trout Fishing
- 9. Visiting Livingston, Montana
- 10. Enjoy Playing Chico Hot Springs Disc Golf
- 11. Explore the Absaroka Mountains
- 12. Climb the Gallatin Mountain Range
- Best Hotels in Paradise Valley, Montana
- 1. Yellowstone Valley Lodge
- 2. Sage Lodge
- 3. Paradise Valley Cabin by Chico and Yellowstone
- 4. Emigrant Cabin
- 5. Montana Yellowstone River Retreat
- Most significant landmark – Yellowstone National Park
- Best park – Yellowstone National Park
- Best free activity – Blue Ribbon Trout Fishing
- The best activity for kids – Yellowstone Gateway Museum
- The best activity for adults – Whitewater Rafting at Yankee Jim Canyon
- Best food – Montana’s Rib & Chop House
- Best nightlife – Escapology Butte
- Best place to stay – Sage Lodge
Things to Do in Paradise Valley, Montana
1. Tour Yellowstone National Park
Address: United States
Yellowstone National Park has a reputation worldwide as a fascinating place to visit – we’ve written a TON about this place. Therefore, adding it to your Paradise Valley, Montana, tourist attractions list is worth adding. Even better news, this amazing park welcomes all visitors, including kids, with a sense of adventure.
Any family-friendly tour of Yellowstone Park awakens the need for adventure as you explore this majestic place. Most folks opt to see Yellowstone National Park on foot by walking the many different trails on wildlife tours. But, you can also try horseback riding or driving around this park to see different animal species.
Yellowstone country is home to wild bison, bighorn sheep, elk, brown bears, and even bald eagles. Also, there are different spots where you can enjoy watching wolves roaming free in the wild. Yellowstone also has an easy-to-access visitor center with many interesting exhibitions for kids and adults.
The best way to have a great time at Yellowstone as a visitor is to book a guided tour. This national park has different exciting tours, such as the West Yellowstone Park Guided Tour, Lamar Valley Safari Hiking Tour, and the Private Full-Day Yellowstone National Park Tour. Any of these tours is an excellent chance to enjoy the beauty of the vast Yellowstone area.
See Related: Best Things to Do in Gardiner, Montana
2. Marvel at the Magnificent Old Faithful
Address: Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, USA
If you are unsure what to see in Paradise Valley, Montana, the magnificent Old Faithful is among the best sights. It’s among the top Paradise Valley, Montana, tourist attractions that attract multitudes of visitors yearly.
Generally, Old Faithful is a geyser whose eruption offers a sight to behold both for solo travelers and those traveling as a family. The site’s beauty and majesty led to the creation of Yellowstone National Park in 1872. And it has since attracted millions of visitors from across the world.
However, while Old Faithful is a huge attraction, it’s not the only geyser in Yellowstone. The park has about 500 of them.
Currently, Old Faithful erupts about 20 times in 24 hours. The height of each eruption varies from 100 to 180 feet, and the height of the previous eruption determines this. An eruption can last anywhere from 1.5 to 5 minutes, allowing you to enjoy this fantastic natural phenomenon.
Luckily, there are guided tours to this family-friendly attraction that you can book. For instance, book the Yellowstone Old Faithful, Waterfalls, and Wildlife Day Tour to enjoy the fun.
See Related: Best Things to Do in Bozeman, Montana
3. Float Down the Mighty Yellowstone River
Are you a big fan of water and love exploring new rivers? Well, ensure you add this to your list as you contemplate what to do in Paradise Valley, Montana.
The Mighty Yellowstone River, a tributary of the Missouri River, is the perfect place to float on a boat. This undammed river stretches on for 692 miles from Wyoming to North Dakota. Make this a solo adventure or something to do with friends or family.
Here, there are different attractions, including some dramatic waterfalls. But while it’s all fun and games, remember this is a river and requires proper preparations. If you’re new to the area, booking a guided tour is better.
Some sections of the river are calm and the best place for floating. However, when you get near the Jim Canyon, some rapids require navigating experience. All in all, enjoy a fun time floating on the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park.
4. Explore Pine Creek Falls and Pine Creek Lake
Address: Pine Creek Rd, Livingston, MT 59047, USA
When traveling on Hwy 541, check out for a sign indicating the location of the Pine Creek community. Take the East River Road; this will start your adventure to explore Pine Creek Falls and Pine Creek Lake.
Both of these attraction sites are on National Forest land. And there’s the Creek Campground, where you can set up a tent and spend a few days exploring the area. It is a family-friendly camp with drinking water and necessary facilities.
The Pine Creek Trail is well-marked, and there’s a parking area where you can leave your vehicle. Also, the beginning of the trail is wide and easy, but it narrows as you continue with a gradual climb. Continue walking through the forest, and you come across a bridge crossing Pine Creek.
If you go further, you will come across a beautiful fall known as the Pine Creek Falls. The place has rocks where you can sit and take in the beauty of this natural phenomenon. And when you move further onwards along the Pine Creek trail, you’ll come across the 32-acre Pine Creek Lake!
See Related: Best Restaurants in Gardiner, Montana
5. Marvel at Large Rapids at Yankee Jim Canyon
Address: Yankee Jim Canyon Montana 59027, USA
This is one of the must-see Montana attractions. This canyon is located in Custer Gallatin National Forest, 13 miles north of Yellowstone National Park. Here is where adventure-seekers come to enjoy some serious white water rafting action!
So, as you plan what to do in Paradise Valley, Montana, how about visiting the largest rapids in the area? At this canyon, folks who enjoy white water rafting can have an epic time on the Yellowstone River.
The water’s rate starts to increase at the start of the canyon at the Yankee Canyon Revenge. But, ensure you have ample experience before taking on this difficult process.
After that, you’ll see the Big Rock Rapid, a classic pool and drop. And next to that is the Boxcar rapid, a stretch of fast water.
A guided tour can come in handy as you plan to explore the rapids here. You can try the Rafting Yankee Jim Canyon on the Yellowstone River tour or the Yellowstone River Whitewater Rafting & Lunch tour from Gardiner.
See Related: Best Whitewater Rafting in the World
6. Relax at the Chico Hot Springs
Address: 163 Chico Rd, Pray, MT 59065, United States
Adults and kids can spend time at the relaxing Chico Hot Springs in the heart of Paradise Valley. They are natural springs located 30 miles north of Yellowstone National Park and are ideal for family and group travelers.
In the 1900s, visitors touring the area began exploring these springs as a great vacation place. And currently, resorts around this place receive thousands of visitors who want to enjoy these amazing waters.
There’s no shortage of things to do in this vast valley, as you can hike, catch fly fish, ride a horse, and enjoy the view of majestic mountains. Also, you can enjoy a full-day spa, a natural hot springs pool, and many more activities. The hot springs are part of the National Historic Register.
As for places to stay, the Sage Lodge offers visitors amazing facilities, including full accommodation. The lodge has a landmark dining room to enjoy amazing cuisines, including fresh seafood and steak. Also, check out the full-service day spa, where you can spend time refreshing your spirit.
See Related: Best Hot Springs in Montana
7. Learn the Area’s History at the Yellowstone Gateway Museum
Address: 118 W Chinook St, Livingston, MT 59047, United States
Just a short drive to Livingston Montane, spend time learning about the history of this area at this great museum. It’s currently situated at the old Northside School set up back in 1907 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The museum has many art galleries and exhibitions that the whole family can enjoy. Learn about the native culture, which is a huge part of Montana. In addition, there’s information about the pioneers, expeditions, transport industry, and military.
Kids and adults can marvel at the outdoor exhibitions featuring historic vehicles, among other attractions. But, always check first the dates to know when the museum displays such exhibitions.
The museum is also home to military history and is the perfect place to learn about Native American history. There’s an old one-room classroom common in yesteryears and lots of ancient machinery on display.
See Related: Things to Do Near Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone
8. Blue Ribbon Trout Fishing
Do you want to spend time trout fishing while visiting Montana? Well, Paradise Valley is the perfect place for blue ribbon trout fishing. It’s also the perfect time to catch glimpses of the majestic Gallatin mountains and Absaroka ranges.
This valley’s Blue Ribbon Trout Streams are home to rainbow and brown trout. There’s also the mountain whitefish and the Yellowstone cutthroat trout.
Wondering what a Blue Ribbon fishery is? Well, it’s a designation the government makes to help identify extremely high-quality recreational fisheries. These fisheries help maintain a beautiful fishing culture, offering economic value to the locals and allowing fishing enthusiasts to do what they love.
Therefore, find calm waters to catch fish, close to public access sites. Trout fishing is among the free things to do in Paradise Valley, Montana. However, fishing methods can vary as you move to different river points.
9. Visiting Livingston, Montana
Address: Livingston, Montana 59047, USA
While spending time in Paradise Valley, you can take a quick trip to nearby Livingston, Montana. This historic train town is towards the north entrance of Yellowstone. Many folks in the area know Livingston as the original gateway into Yellowstone country.
A day trip to this amazing location with family and friends helps you learn more about Montana. Four mountain ranges surround this lovely town and offers much for indoor and outdoor adventure-seekers.
Livingston is home to the Yellowstone Gateway Museum and a historic town with much to reveal. The western-style old city has many brick buildings and western fronts. Also, there are lots of fun activities like fishing, canoeing, and kayaking that you can do here.
Outdoor lovers can also spend time camping at the Mayor’s landing. It’s set on the Yellowstone River banks and offers visitors overnight camping facilities. Be sure to also pass by Sacajawea Park, which has play structures for kids.
See Related: Best Things to Do in Billings, Montana
10. Enjoy Playing Chico Hot Springs Disc Golf
Address: 33 Dance Hall Hill Rd, Pray, MT 59065, United States
Are you a fan of disc golf? Among the most fun things in Paradise Valley is playing disc golf.
These hot springs are home to a fantastic 18-hole disc golf course on a private ranch. On the course, you come across veteran baskets and numerous fly tee pads.
Disc golfing enables players to enjoy dynamic sporting uphill and downhill. As you play, know that this disc golfing course has short and long holes and blinds. All are welcome, including beginners who’ve never heard of disc golfing and experts who love the game.
However, you must get a day pass to the springs if you want to play. The pass is available for purchase at the front desk or in the shops at the resort (the gift shop has discs for rent).
This day pass also enables you to swim in the hot waters of the springs!
11. Explore the Absaroka Mountains
Address: Absaroka Range, Wyoming 82433, USA
Outdoor activities make it possible to create some of the most amazing memories when visiting a new place. So, check out the Absaroka Mountain Ranges, part of the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness, a prime Paradise Valley tourist attraction.
Plan for a day hike to take in these marvelous peaks that rise majestically from the earth to dominate the area. It’s possible to hike an avalanche peak, a rocky summit, and enjoy breathtaking views of Yellowstone Lake. Since this is bear country, always pack bear spray for your hikes around the Absaroka Range!
With bears about, it’s better to hike as a group and take an easy pace since this can be a great change in altitude for some folks. And if hiking alone, notify folks at Paradise Valley of when you’re leaving and when you expect to return. In addition, there are spots for overnight camping, but it’s better to head back to town when the sun sets, especially in winter.
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12. Climb the Gallatin Mountain Range
Address: Gallatin Range, Montana 59030, USA
If you observe sharp peaks rising from the ground around Paradise Valley, this is the Gallatin Mountain Range. You can see craggy ridges and expansive alpine forests from the sharp peaks. Hunters love this area since it’s home to lots of elk.
On the eastern flank of the Gallatin Mountain Range, you can see scenic views of the Yellowstone River flowing north. Enjoy time on the Gallatin Crest Trail (Devil’s Backbone). This is among the best mountain-top trails in Montana.
Hiking and mountaineering are among the most popular activities on the Gallatin Mountain Range. Accessing the range from the north is better since west approaches can take longer.
Remember to carry all your hiking or mountain climbing gear for a better experience. Hiring a guide at Paradise Valley who is familiar with this challenging terrain is possible.
Best Hotels in Paradise Valley, Montana
Sage Lodge is a great place to stay in the heart of the Village. It is just a few steps from the ski lifts and ski rental shops. This property offers you ski storage, bike rental, massage services and more to make your stay here easy and enjoyable. Enjoy the comfort of this cozy log home as you relax after a long day on the slopes or during lunch break
Yellowstone Valley Lodge is located in the heart of Paradise Valley, Montana. Nestled among the Absaroka Mountain Range and just minutes from Yellowstone National Park's west entrance, this ranch-style lodge offers modern comfort with a western flavor. Enjoy the spectacular scenery on horseback or hike nearby trails. With stunning views of the mountains and Old Faithful, this lodge is an ideal base for a family vacation.
This family friendly Riverside Lodge offers a quiet location and great views of the Yellowstone River. The property is decorated with wildlife artifacts, mounted wildlife heads and photographs of the local region. The Montana Yellowstone River Retreat has a covered barbecue area and seating, perfect for relaxing with guests or enjoying a meal together.
As you plan your trip to Paradise Valley, Montana, it’s important to check out available accommodations. Some of the best places to stay in the area are:
1. Yellowstone Valley Lodge
Address: 3840 US-89, Livingston, MT 59047, USA
While visiting the Paradise Valley region, one of the best places to stay is Yellowstone Valley Lodge. Here you can find some lovely cabins with modern features and free WiFi.
This property is a ranch, and you can enjoy some delicious continental-style breakfast. There’s also a restaurant at Yellowstone Valley Lodge and good parking – not to mention beautiful scenery.
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2. Sage Lodge
Address: 55 Sage Lodge Dr, Pray, MT 59065, United States
Pray in Paradise Valley is home to Sage Lodge. Here guests can enjoy free WiFi, a fitness center, a restaurant, and a bar.
There are several units at Sage Lodge, all of which have a lounge, bed area, private bathroom, and TV. And in the bathroom, clean bathrobes are waiting for you. Be sure to ask about the hot tub at the lodge and a terrace with a shared lounge.
3. Paradise Valley Cabin by Chico and Yellowstone
Address: Livingston, 59047, United States
Another spectacular place offering accommodation here is Paradise Valley Cabin by Chico and Yellowstone.
This property has one bedroom and one bathroom option. There’s a kitchen area with a refrigerator, microwave, and washing machine. Also, there’s a hairdryer in the bathroom, free toiletries, linens, and towels.
4. Emigrant Cabin
Stay at the Emigrant Cabin in Emigrant, that part of 10 acres of amazing land in this area. The cabin has fantastic river views from the home.
The Emigrant Cabin has two bedrooms and amenities like a microwave, washing machine, and fridge. There’s also one bathroom, and you get linens and towels for free.
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5. Montana Yellowstone River Retreat
In Montana Yellowstone River Retreat, private parking and free WiFi access are available. The lodge has one-bedroom accommodation options with air conditioning, a dining area, a kitchen, and a TV.
In addition, it provides guests with linen and towels during their stay. So, after an exhausting hike, fishing, or sightseeing adventure, you can fully relax and prepare for the next day.
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he’d heard.
Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he’s learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.
He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.