Itinerary: One week in Big Sky, Yellowstone and Grand Teton
In June, my family and I spent a week in Big Sky, Montana. We explored Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks and went ziplining and whitewater rafting. Interested in planning a trip of your own? Here’s a seven-day itinerary.
Day one: Arrive and get settled
Fly into Big Sky or Bozeman, pick up your rental car and check into your home for the week. We stayed at this house, which we rented from VRBO. Today, you can:
- Stretch your legs with the 1.6 mile out-and-back hike to Ousel Falls.
- Pick up groceries for the week at Roxy’s Market, which has lots of gluten-free options. You’ll want breakfast, food for picnic lunches, Ziploc bags, snacks and plenty of beverages to stay hydrated. Grab sunscreen and bug spray if you didn’t pack it.
- Buy bear spray for the parks.
- Check the events calendar so you know your options for the week. We enjoyed the “Music in the Mountains” free summer concert series.
- Get dinner at Lotus Pad. Gluten-free items are clearly labeled on the menu. Ask if they can use a clean wok. Then stop for huckleberry ice cream at the Hungry Moose Market. Huckleberry-flavored items are all over Montana. The flavor is similar to blueberry.
Call it an early night. You’ll be up bright and early tomorrow.
Day two: Grand Teton National Park
Get an early start and spend the day exploring Grand Teton. This will be your longest driving day: It takes about four hours to reach the park. See the full itinerary here.
- Hike from Jenny Lake to Inspiration Point
- String Lake Trail
- Enjoy the scenic turnouts
- Dinner at Lotus Organic in Jackson
Day three: Zip and dip
You can sleep in a little today since you’ll be staying in the Big Sky area for two fun activities: ziplining and whitewater rafting. We booked a package with Montana Whitewater. It included a two-hour zipline tour, followed by a break for lunch (I’d pack your own) and a three-hour rafting trip down the Gallatin River. It was my first time whitewater rafting, and I was terrified but ended up loving it. We did class three, which was perfect for us.
Head back to your house to clean up and relax. Cook dinner there or head to Lone Peak Brewery. Try to stay up a little later tonight so that you can step outside to enjoy the stars. They’re beautiful.
Day four: Yellowstone National Park
Spend today exploring Yellowstone National Park. It takes about an hour to reach the West Yellowstone entrance. See the full itinerary here.
- Old Faithful
- West Thumb Geyser Basin
- Yellowstone Lake
- Storm Point Trail
- Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
- Uncle Tom’s Trail
- Artist Point
- Dinner at Lone Peak Brewery in Big Sky
Day five: Yellowstone National Park
Today’s your second full day to enjoy Yellowstone. See the full itinerary here.
- Norris Geyser Basin
- Lamar Valley
- Lamar River Trail
- Mammoth Hot Springs
- Dinner at Andiamo Italian Grille in Big Sky
Day six: Choose your own adventure
- Try the area’s outdoor activities:
- Visit Big Sky Resort, ride the chairlift up Lone Peak Mountain or go on the Lone Peak Expedition
- Go shopping in Big Sky
- Enjoy a spa day
- Relax with a book or your hot tub
- Take a day trip to Bozeman (about an hour away)
- Visit the ghost towns in Virginia City and Nevada City (about two hours away)
- Spend more time in Yellowstone or Grand Teton
You can see more gluten-free restaurant options on Find Me Gluten Free.
Day seven: Say goodbye
It’s time to say goodbye to Big Sky. Pack your bags, return your rental car and fly home.
(Disclaimer: I’m not a dietitian. I’m describing my experiences in hopes of helping with your trip planning, but you’ll need to decide what feels comfortable and safe for you.)