Western Adventure:GaLlatin River Road

June 7th, 2022

The sun peeked through the window as I woke up from a restful night sleep at The Whitewater Inn. Located in the heart of Montana’s Gallatin Canyon, at the base of world-renowned ski resort – The Whitewater Inn is owned by Big Sky Resort but offers family friendly and affordable options for travelers.

I really enjoyed the Whitewater, which includes a wonderful indoor pool (great for families), continental breakfast and fresh coffee. The location can’t be beat…the inn is a stone’s throw from the roaring waters of the Gallatin River.

After a cup of coffee, I headed out for adventure in one of my favorite spots in the world: The Gallatin Canyon.

This narrow canyon carved by volcanism and the mightly Gallatin River is located just south of Bozeman MT. Travelers can drive into the depths of the canyon as winding roads hug the rushing Gallatin River. Dramatic vistas emerge from every bend in the road – from the whitecapped whitewater rapids of the Gallain’s emerald green waters, to the jarring crags of Gallatin and Madison Ranges rising to meet the sky.

Words cannot describe the beauty of this stretch of land. For me The Gallatin Canyon is a refuge – a place that always calms my spirit and gives me peace to go ‘down by the river and pray.’

The Gallatin Canyon has been featured in several films including the fly-fishing scenes in the classice ‘A River Runs Through It.’

The Gallatin Canyon is a recreation lovers paradise…National Forest campgrounds and dozens of hiking trails line US 191 from Bozeman to West Yellowstone. You can easily get lost in the solace of the scenery and find hidden views only accessible on foot.

One of my favorite roadside trails is Lava Lake. I didn’t tackle it this trip…the six mile round trip hike leads to a volcanic lake at the top of the mountain. Afterwards you can eat in nearby Big Sky…

In the center of the Canyon is the Lone Mountain road to the international ski resort of Big Sky. Driving the twenty minute road to the summit of Big Sky and the base of Lone Peak is a MUST-DO. The scenery is fabulous and Big Sky is an upscale but laid back oasis with tons of good food and gift shop.

In the summer months, Big Sky’s Town Park hosts live music in the mountains.

Or, you can grab a scoop of Wilcoxson’s Huckleberry Ice Cream at the Hungry Moose Deli and Grocery and then walk off the calories via the Ousel Falls Trail.

My itinerary:

I decided to spend an hour exploring my favorite haunts in The Gallatin/Big Sky area, before continuing south through the canyon towards West Yellowstone (MT)

Roadside turnouts allow travelers to pause and enjoy the view.

Twenty minutes south of Big Sky, you’ll enter a portion of Yellowstone National Park. I love this section of the canyon…the water has calmed a bit and a unique colorful marshland of burnt yellows and orange grass paint a natural canvas of color and light.

As the narrow canyon gives way to a wide valley, guarded by snow capped mountains in the distance.

No trip to Yellowstone is complete without traveled Highway 191 through The Gallatin Canyon. It is paradise on earth – my oasis for recreation.

Links to fun adventures/resources in The Gallatin:

Recreation:

Hotels:

Whitewater Inn

Big Sky Resort

Rainbow Ranch

320 Guest Ranch

Lone Mountain Ranch

Next up on my adventure – I’m heading back into Yellowstone for the rest of the day…

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