Add to your itinerary between Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks
If you’re planning on driving from Glacier to Yellowstone Parks, add to your itinerary with some interesting stops along the way.
What’s the distance between Glacier Park and Yellowstone Park?
Montana is a BIG state! The drive from Glacier Park to Yellowstone (or vice versa) is a good six hours without stops. Glacier is close to Canada while Yellowstone is mostly in Wyoming so you’ll drive the whole length of the state to get from one to the other.
There’s obviously a lot to do in the parks themselves. But there are also many things to see and do as you drive through Montana.
Glacier Park has seven different entry gates. If you’re driving to Yellowstone, your best bet is to leave from the easternmost St. Mary Entrance or Two Medicine Entrance.
Your first stop near Glacier Park: Blackfeet Indian Reservation
The St. Mary Entrance and Two Medicine entrances are less than an hour from the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. There, you should check out the Museum of the Plains Indians in Browning, MT. The museum displays the cultural and historical heritage of the Northern Plains Tribal people. This includes information and artifacts from the Flathead, Chippewa, Cree, Northern Cheyenne, Crow, Blackfeet, Assiniboine, Shoshone, Nez Perce, Sioux, and Arapaho tribes.
Digging for dinosaurs in Montana at the Montana Dinosaur Center
As you drive south on Highway 89, stop in Bynum, MT for a dinosaur-sized treat! This tiny town of 25 people has a huge draw. This area is rich with dinosaur fossils! Plan to spend at least one full day here and join an ACTUAL dinosaur dig at The Montana Dinosaur Center. The Montana Dinosaur Center digs are open every day during the summer. You don’t need any experience and all ages are welcome. Reservations are required to secure a spot, but don’t miss out. This part of Montana is where the first baby dinosaurs in North America were discovered and they are still finding dinosaur fossils at every turn. If you don’t get your fill dinosaur hunting in one day, you can book for several days. You can stay at the nearby Stage Stop Inn in Choteau which is only a few minutes away.
Ancient history at the First Peoples Buffalo Jump
In Ulm, MT, stop at the First Peoples Buffalo Jump, a site where for hundreds of years, Indians stampeded buffalo over the mile-long cliff. The top of the jump provides panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains, the Missouri River valley, and the surrounding buttes and grasslands.
The Montana State Capital: Helena
Further along, make a stop in Helena, which is the capital of Montana. The Gothic-style Cathedral of St. Helena dominates the skyline. But here, it’s all about the outdoors. In and around Helena, you can go rock climbing on Mount Helena, paddleboarding on the Missouri, or boating through the Gates of the Mountains for a spectacular viewing of geology and wildlife.
There’s so much to do in Bozeman and Livingston
Make Bozeman, MT your next stop. It’s a thriving little city and home to Montana State University. The city has wide open streets and a welcoming vibe. Be sure to visit the incredible Museum of the Rockies for an immersive experience in the cultural and natural history of the Northern Rocky Mountain region. It’s a must-see for the dinosaur-lover with one of the largest collections of North American dinosaurs in the world, including a growth series of the horned Triceratops which ranges from juveniles to giants.
In nearby Livingston, you’ll find an old-fashioned western town, with its 19th century buildings set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. Bozeman and Livingston are only 26 miles apart but they are separated by the steep Bozeman Pass. On your way, stop for a beautiful hike at the Pine Creek Waterfall. It’s a nice short hike to the waterfall or a longer hike to a lake.
While in Livingston, take a trail ride or roping lesson at Erik’s Ranch and Retreats and head to Neptune’s Brewery or Katabatic Brewing Company in town.
Almost to Yellowstone!
From Livingston to the North entrance of Yellowstone Park is about an hour. Chico Hot Springs is just about halfway and a great, relaxing and fun stop for the whole family.
From here, you can enter Yellowstone Park through the North Entrance which puts you right at the iconic Mammoth Hot Springs.
For more ideas, visit the Montana Tourism Board website.