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West Yellowstone Zip Lines, Kayaks on Hebgen Lake, & Scenic Drives in Montana

Mixing these familiar adventure activities into our Yellowstone Country Montana itinerary helped the kids stay engaged.

Philadelphia Family Guide to Exploring Yellowstone Country Montana with Kids

This 7-day itinerary we mapped out with Yellowstone Country Montana helped us unplug and explore the region within AND beyond the park, through the diverse landscape for daily adventures and plenty of small town charm. If you’re considering a trip to the region they would be happy to send you a free travel packet by mail.

Download our 7-day itinerary, don’t miss our VIDEO, and explore Yellowstone Country Montana: DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7

Day 4: Philly Family Explores Yellowstone Country Montana

When I awoke and peeked outside, it was SNOWING! We were not sure how our planned activities for the day were going to be possible, so we started the day with a walk to breakfast at Embers, the restaurant on site at Under Canvas. Within a half hour the sky cleared and the sun warmed the entire valley. By the time we arrived at Zipline Adventure Park, we shed our coats. This was a great course for our family, having been to similar courses around Philly and in New Hampshire. The staff really went above and beyond when it was clear that my son was not interested in climbing through the obstacles and challenges with me so far off the ground. He was instead taken to a kids zip area and a staff member kept him company with encouragement and cheers. This allowed the rest of us to climb to the very top of the course and zip across the landscape with ease. 

Bookmarked for next time we visit: At some point we saw signs for and drove past Montana Whitewater Rafting and Ziplining Tours, which has a Gallatin Canyon location (between Bozeman and Big Sky) and a Gardiner location (at the North Entrance to Yellowstone National Park). These tours will be great when my son is a little more confident with the big zips, it is more scenic and wild, with towering limestone cliffs, pine forest and a rushing river to cross on a zip!


It was warm enough for ziplines, but we weren’t sure about paddling around on Hebgen Lake, as we had planned: it had become mostly cloudy. We drove to the lake, and the sun emerged as we arrived. We rented two double kayaks at Kirkwood Marina and it was a PERFECT day on the water. 

Feeling impulsive, we took the long way home by driving northwest around the other side of Hebgen Lake and we were rewarded with two stops. Overcome by the scenery, we drove along Route 287 until we spotted signs and a friendly path, which led to a short hike at Refuge Point, where people gathered to take refuge from rising water after the 1959 Yellowstone Earthquake. Following the road, we discovered The Earthquake Lake Visitor Center and panoramic views of the mountain that fell and the lake that was formed. There are few places in the world so geologically active, and here is a stunning visual reminder that the ground beneath our feet is not so permanent.


By the time we got back to Under Canvas for dinner, we were HUNGRY! We dined at Embers, the food was GREAT, and thanks to the huge windows we saw a fox (who we were told has a litter of six pups) catch her dinner while we ate ours! We walked back to our tent and then to the community fire pit for smores and games. Eventually we made our way back to our tent and I had to just sit and reflect as the sun set over the mountains. It was so beautiful. This experience really helped me feel connected to the land and it refueled me. 


More Under Canvas Glamping Amenities: 

  • King-sized bed and cots with sleeping bags for the kids
  • We had a flushing toilet and propane heated shower in our deluxe tent… and they really worked!
  • Power blocks provided in tents to plug in your phone.
  • Unlimited smores and hot apple cider or tea every night at sunset.

Founder & CEO, Family Focus Media | Creator for Main Line Parent, Philadelphia Family, & Bucks County Parent | Connect with me on Instagram @sarahbondfocus or email sarah@familyfocus.org.