North America Vacations
Montana | Life is Good Adventure | Family
For us, Montana is home. For adventurers, it's paradise ...
Activity LevelActivity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
Join Austin Adventures and Life is Good on this action-packed adventure through Big Sky Country and Yellowstone National Park. With our headquarters based in Yellowstone country, it’s no wonder that Austin Adventures is considered the leader in best-in-class travel to the world’s first national park. Raft the Yellowstone River, hike amidst the Spanish Peaks and ride horseback with a couple of bona fide cowboys on one of our custom, all-inclusive Montana vacation packages. Wildlife and wildflowers come to life as our local guides introduce you to the hidden gems of the wild, wild west. All the while, enjoy western hospitality and regional cuisine from guest ranches and iconic park properties complemented by Austin’s signature touch of inspired, thoughtful service. Giddy up!
Leave your worries behind and let the locals deliver the best Yellowstone experience! With over forty years of insider knowledge, we can provide the ultimate Yellowstone and Big Sky Country vacation. Whether it’s skipping the crowds by hiking into Old Faithful the back way, or touring the Paradise Valley on horseback with 4th Generation Montana ranchers, Austin Adventures and Life is Good will take you to places few others ever get to see. See Yellowstone’s incredible wildlife including bison, elk, bear, or wolves. Hike through evergreen forests and among wildflowers, as well as through the steaming thermal areas surrounded by the world’s highest concentration of geysers. At night, enjoy western hospitality at some of the hardest-to-get accommodations in the park, as well as luxurious guest ranches.
- Hike Gallatin Valley’s secluded back country to a glacially-formed mountaintop basin
- Explore the geyser-peppered caldera of Yellowstone and the evergreen forests of Paradise Valley
- Raft Class II-III rapids through postcard-perfect canyons and ranchlands
- Ride horseback with a fourth-generation Montana cowboy
- Relax and recharge with a soak in a soothing natural hot spring followed by Big Sky Country’s tastiest cuisine
- Zip line across the Gallatin River on an exhilarating trip that you won’t soon forget
A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
Geologic diversity: the river-carved canyons of the Gallatin, Yellowstone's volcanic caldera and the pristine results of glacially-formed Paradise Valley are sights for sore eyes.
Cowboy stories and songs: 'oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam' just sounds better in the great outdoors, whether you're sittin' tall in the saddle or gettin' cozy beside a roaring fire.
Yellowstone's 308-foot Lower Falls: stumbling upon the tumbling Falls at the end of a backcountry hike is one heckuva refreshing surprise.
Bozeman, Montana BZN
Bozeman, Montana BZN
Grotto Falls / Gallatin Canyon
Pick-up in Bozeman. Take a short hike through timber and meadows along Hyalite Creek to Grotto Falls. Enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch upon return from your adventure. Shuttle up Gallatin Canyon to our zip base and gear up for a zip line tour across the Gallatin River. Tonight’s dinner is at the 320 Steakhouse and Saloon.
About The 320 Guest Ranch
In the west, life has certainly gotten easier than it was in the early days, even at a Montana guest ranch. But some of the things that mattered most back then are still important today; like delicious, hearty meals, and the 320’s friendly, laid-back attitude. Experience a 110 year old homestead – reshaped into a Montana guest ranch. Relive the early western atmosphere and down-home hospitality – all in one big beautiful, historic property. The 320 Ranch offers exceptional cowboy comfort just south of Big Sky Ski Resort, where the pristine Gallatin River winds through sage and towering pines, and mountains rise up against crystal blue skies
Beehive Basin / Big Sky
Embark on an all-day hike amid the Spanish Peaks to Beehive Basin with sweeping views of the Madison and Gallatin Ranges, including Big Sky’s Lone Mountain (an alternate hike may be arranged on early season departures, depending on trail conditions). Lunch trailside by the shore of an alpine lake. Continue your trek through wildflower meadows, glacial streams and the distinctive crags of Beehive Peak. Enjoy a night on your own with a shuttle to Big Sky by your guides or choose to stay back at the ranch.
Yellowstone National Park / Grand Prismatic / Old Faithful / Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Shuttle to Yellowstone for a hike alongside Midway Geyser Basin to an unforgettable overlook of Grand Prismatic Hot Spring. A short drive away is Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin, home to the largest collection of geysers in the world. Take some time to explore this area with your knowledgeable guide before a delicious picnic lunch. Transfer to Canyon over the Continental Divide, along the shoreline of Lake Yellowstone and through bison-dotted Hayden Valley. Embark on a backcountry hike along the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, ending at a viewpoint of the incredible 308-foot Lower Falls. This evening, enjoy dinner at Canyon Lodge.
About Canyon Lodge and Cabins
Featuring two lodges and recently renovated cabins, Canyon Lodge and Cabins is situated on the eastern side of the park next to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. The rustic accommodations allow for the opportunity to step back from technology and embrace lodging in the country’s oldest national park. Located on site you’ll find a full service restaurant, elegant bedrooms with private bathrooms, a delightful lobby with two fireplaces, and a lounge and gift store that warmly beckon guests to linger and chat.
Mammoth Hot Springs / Yellowstone River
Shuttle to the northern part of the park to the Mammoth Hot Springs area, where we’ll trek alongside orange, yellow and white travertine terraces void of the boardwalk crowds. A short drive brings us to Gardiner where we enjoy lunch at the historic Roosevelt Arch. Load into rafts for a beautiful and splashy ride down the Yellowstone River. Drive through Paradise Valley to Chico Hot Springs Resort and Day Spa. Dinner tonight at a nearby local spot.
About Chico Hot Springs Resort & Day Spa
The perfect location for your Montana getaway. This historic resort is located in the heart of Paradise Valley, just north of Yellowstone National Park – and nestled in the foothills of the breathtaking Absaroka Mountain Range. Chico offers an extraordinary variety of accommodations, exceptional dining, outdoor adventures, live entertainment, ultimate relaxation, all with a warm smile and welcoming spirit from their friendly staff. This rustic-chic inn and day spa boasts mineral hot spring-fed pools, extensive gardens, & soothing spa services. In June of 1999, Chico Hot Springs was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Absaroka Mountains / Paradise Valley
Shuttle to the Flying Diamond Ranch and mount up for a leisurely morning horseback ride high into the Absaroka Mountains. Our picnic lunch spot boasts spectacular mountain views. A short afternoon hike to a backcountry waterfall will set the stage for a perfect evening. Back at Chico, soak in a natural hot spring before feasting on a candlelit farewell dinner while the kids are entertained with a pizza party at the Poolside Grill.
Chico Hot Springs/ Bozeman
Take a morning hike to a nearby trout pond or enjoy a last morning soak in the hot spring-fed pool. Return to Bozeman airport and area hotels. We hope you’ll join us again soon!
**Trip itineraries are subject to change without notice due to road, weather and other factors outside of our control, for the safety and enjoyment of our guests, as deemed necessary and appropriate by Austin Adventures.
Arrival & Departure
Please plan on arriving at least one day prior to your trip departure. Day one of your itinerary starts at 8:00 or 8:15 am, depending on your hotel. Your trip ends with a drop-off at either the Bozeman airport (12:00 pm) or your Bozeman hotel (12:30 pm).
- Hiking: 2 to 6 miles per hike, easy to difficult terrain.
- Horseback Riding: Easygoing walking pace, no experience necessary.
- Whitewater Rafting: Class I-III rapids, no experience necessary.
- Ziplining: Gear and instruction provided. No experience necessary.
Austin Adventures guides are experienced facilitators and regional experts. They will take the time to
explain the details of each activity, answer any questions, and demonstrate the use of all equipment.
Each activity has been carefully planned to include options for all levels. Most importantly, Austin
Adventures guides will help you select the distance that’s right for you.
Traverse the property at the 320 Guest Ranch in search of a cleanly imprinted grizzly
track in the dried mud. Learn the difference between Yellowstone’s four geothermal features:
geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles. Take a guess at why Yellowstone’s bubbling hot
springs come in a wide array of bright colors. Taste your way through an assortment of wild game
options, perhaps the elk tenderloin, antelope sausage, or duck breast will be to your liking! Spot all
kinds of wildlife ranging from the cute, furry Uinta Ground Squirrel to the massive, shaggy American
Bison. Observe the effects of wildfire in a lodgepole pine ecosystem, past and present. Listen to a
rancher’s side of the story as you hear Martin or Jack Davis, fourth generation cowboys, explain how
Yellowstone’s reintroduced wolves have affected their cattle population. Find out why Chico Hot
Springs Resort is a favorite celebrity haunt. Discover for yourself this place they call Big Sky
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments and receptions – except one dinner on your own – are included as indicated by itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.
After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.
Included in the Trip Price
- Double occupancy rooms with private baths.
- All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners – except one dinner on own your own – refreshments and receptions.
- Fully trained, first-aid certified professional guides and knowledgeable local partners.
- Any other necessary equipment – safe and well maintained.
- Vehicle support and land transportation during the trip.
- Austin Adventures T-shirt, water bottle, luggage tags and luggage service.
- Pre-departure and packing information.
- Incidental expenses such as taxes, dining and housekeeping gratuities, local partner and expert gratuities and national park entrance and permit fees.
Not Included in the Trip Price
- Gratuities to Austin Adventures guides.
- Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities.
- One dinner on your own.
- Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
- Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
- All types of personal insurance.
- Personal expenses.
- Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.1 Easy (1)
- Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.2 Moderately Easy (2)
"Life is Good" Expert
As Vice President of Operations at Austin Adventures, Kasey Austin can tell you the logistical ins and outs of every single trip. More than that, though, Kasey has lived and breathed most of the company’s featured destinations and will eagerly share her contagious passion for the transformational power of active travel. Kasey grew up in the adventure travel business; she knows the positive, lifelong impact of family travel, a quality that earned her the distinction of being named top family travel guide by Outside Magazine in 2014.