5 Family-Friendly Activities to Tack onto Your Summer Rafting Trip

They say people come to Montana for the scenery and stay for the experience. Do both and enjoy some of these suggested adventures before or after your rafting trip with us! These local favorites are all located within easy driving distance and can be catered to fit your timeline, budget, and personal ambitions. Come view, enjoy, and revel in all that the Greater Yellowstone Area has to offer!


1. See a local rodeo, they are so much fun!

Man riding a horse in a rodeo, photo by ThreeForksRodeo
Come get some!

A Montana summer just isn’t complete without sitting in the grandstands on a hot evening and watching the dirt and cowboys fly! From steer wrestling to bull riding, find out why locals across the state love this time-honored family past-time. Fireworks are almost always lit off at the end!

    1. Livingston – Early July
    2. Gardiner – Mid June
    3. Three Forks – Mid July
    4. Bozeman – Mid August


2. Take a journey to these hot springs near Yellowstone Park

People swimming in the boiling river, Yellowstone's best hot spring and swim spot. Photo by Wesley Fryer
The Boiling River, a great place to swim and relax in North Yellowstone


  • Norris Hot Springs – they call this the Water of the Gods for a reason. Located in Norris, MT, just a short drive from either Three Forks or Bozeman, this geothermal pool is fully lined with room to soak, sit, and wade while enjoying a drink of your choice and watching live entertainment. Management drains the pool every night, so you can be sure the water your soaking in is fresh and warm. Norris is well known for its friendly and relaxed atmosphere, perfect for couples or families.
  • Bozeman Hot Springs – a few short miles from downtown Bozeman you can find these cement and ceramic pools with natural hot springs water flowing in and out. There are multiple pools at varied temperatures, indoors and outdoors as well as a sauna and steam room. You can often catch live music in the evenings while you soak and relax.
  • Chico Hot Springs – a local favorite one stop destination. Rent a room or a cabin, soak in the giant hot spring filled pool and enjoy a 5-star meal or some simple, delicious bar food.
  • Boiling River – just 2.5 miles inside the North entrance of Yellow Stone National Park, you can find the Boiling River. Once you snag a place to park, grab your towel and waterproof shoes and follow the trail along the Gardner River. The cold river water and the hot spring water combine for the perfect bathing temperature.


3. Drive through scenic Yellowstone Park

Old Faithful from above. Photo by Ryan J Barr
Old Faithful, a Yellowstone Must See!

After your soak in the Boiling River, explore the Lamar River Valley. Watch out for bison on your drive, but look carefully and if you’re lucky you may spot some wolves. Follow the loop around and be sure to visit the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Gaze across the giant canyon and keep your eyes peeled for bighorn sheep that expertly scale the high walls. On your way south, be sure to stop in and see the world famous Old Faithful Geyser.


4. Visit Lewis and Clark Caverns

cavernous features in lewis and clarke caverns. photo by vistmt
One of the Most Beautiful Caverns in the Northwest

Though Lewis and Clark didn’t actually discover or stay in these caverns, they certainly paved the way for the explorers who did. Full of mighty cathedral pillars, domed ceilings, and magnificent galleries, you’d think we were talking about a church in Italy! Come find out what makes these caves so remarkable with a guided tour from their experienced tour guides.

5. Hike to a mountain lake or explore Beehive Basin

Sunrise over the Gallatin Range, photo by Mike Cline
Sunrise over the Gallatin Range, photo by Mike Cline

  • Lava Lake – 6mi round trip – Short but strenuous, the views along the whole trail are worth it! With a large parking lot and a well-marked trail that follows a cool mountain stream, this hike is a favorite of the locals, and for good reason. Plan on a half to full day, depending on your abilities and how much time you want to spend at the lake.
  • Rat Lake – 1.3mi round trip – Perfect for those looking for an easy walk to a beautiful lake view
  • Beehive Basin – 7mi round trip – this moderate hike in the Big Sky area worth every mile for the breathtaking views.

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