The rule of thumb for experiencing the best of Yellowstone in summer is to take advantage of cool mountain mornings and dusky evenings when the traffic is lighter and the wildlife is on the move. The heaviest traffic on Yellowstone’s interior roads and at its attractions is during mid-day, especially 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, and don't foget to take your camera for some great photo shots. If possible, start your Yellowstone day early in the morning. Watch for wildlife on the move near rivers and streams. Catch the morning mist rising from a river, or billowing steam from thermals exaggerated by cooler temperatures. During mid-day, get off the boardwalks and join the “2% Club” (the rare 2% of Yellowstone visitors that travel beyond the boardwalks). Relax with a picnic in the park at a small roadside picnic area. Or take a shorter hike to a hidden lake. Throughout the summer West Yellowstone offers a variety of activities and events. Outdoor enthusiasts can choose from fly fishing lessons and guided trips, kayak lessons and rentals, horseback riding and mountain trail rides, overnight pack trips, outdoor mountain cookouts, mountain bike trail riding, bird watching and hiking, or fly fishing and lake fishing. Just north of West Yellowstone is Hebgen Lake with miles and miles of shoreline offering camping, boating, canoeing and some of the best fishing around. Or take an afternoon and learn to kayak on this clear mountain lake surrounded by beautiful mountains. History buffs should make sure to include a stop at the Yellowstone Historic Center Museum or follow the West Yellowstone Historic Walking Tour. Enjoy a great family-friendly 4th of July starting with the Big Brothers Big Sisters yard sale in the City Park, Fireman Department BBQ, a small parade that anyone can participate in, and free music in the City Park. End the evening with a great fireworks display set against a backdrop of mountains. It’s a small town celebration at its best! Other events and attractions include:

  • The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center - an animal sanctuary with live grizzly bears, wolves and raptors, open every day of the year, offering daily naturalist lectures, movies and the "Keeper Kids" program
  • The Smokejumper Ranger program for kids - offered Monday-Saturday mornings during the summer for kids. This free program gives kids a chance to meet real smokejumpers, learn about their equipment, do exercises with a smokejumper, learn about fires and fire ecology
  • Yellowstone IMAX Theater open daily
  • Yellowstone Ranger Presentations - free slide shows by Yellowstone Rangers about various topics offered at several different locations in West Yellowstone each week
  • Wild West Yellowstone Rodeo - live family rodeo held every weekend (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) from June 15th through Labor Day
  • Free fly casting lessons Sunday evenings at 7:30 PM, starting on June 19th throughout the summer from Jacklin’s Fly Shop on Yellowstone Avenue
  • The Playmill Theatre - semi-professional theatre with two nightly performance and a Youth Summer Camp
  • Pinecone Playhouse - semi-professional theatre with weekend performances
  • Weekly ranger hikes and talks with either Yellowstone National Park or Gallatin National Forest rangers
  • Other summer events include: a mountain bike biathlon (June), Rod Run car show (August), 10-day Mountain Man Rendezvous (August), Pine Needle Stampede mini-marathon (August), Square Knot Square Dancing Jamboree (Labor Day Weekend)