Between West Yellowstone and Bozeman, Montana
Mountains, Forest, Wildlife, Gallatin River
89 miles point to point
The road is open year round but can quickly become very treacherous during winter storms.
Several spots offer camping in the canyon
In Big Sky
The Gallatin Canyon drive is a beautiful drive that takes you between West Yellowstone and Bozeman, Montana. The highway passes through Yellowstone National Park for several miles of its length.
As you start your drive from West Yellowstone the river is calm with huge open valleys. Keep your eyes out for wildlife. We spotted several Bald Eagles in this area.
The further up the canyon you get the more forested it gets.
The river begins to show a lot of its world famous whitewater. This is a great area for a guided raft trip.
We passed a large group of Bighorn Sheep Rams that paused for some fun photos!
A little more than half way through the canyon you will see the signs for Big Sky. I highly recommend a short side trip to the top and if you have time you should hike to Ousel Falls which is a wonderful little waterfall covered in a separate trek located here. Big Sky has many restaurants, a grocery store, a hospital, lodging, and a large ski resort centered around 11,166 foot Lone Mountain. Its a gorgeous peak that reminds me of the Hobbit for obvious reasons. You can see the tram tower at the top that you can take a scenic ride to the top in the summer.
There are many options from here. There are many fun things to do if you stay in Bozeman. You can continue on to Gardiner and enter a different part of Yellowstone there. You can also turn around and return to West Yellowstone. If you wanted to it is possible to make a very long day and do a loop from West Yellowstone through the park and over the Beartooth Highway and then from Red Lodge to Bozeman with a return through Gallatin Canyon.
I have spent a lot of time in this area. We have had a family cabin in nearby Island Park my entire life and my mom is from Bozeman, and I have family with timeshares in Big Sky. I go a lot and don’t ever get sick of the area. Its gorgeous and relaxing every time.