Last summer, my family and I were able to visit the great state of Montana and enjoy it in all of its splendor. The entire state is unapologetically beautiful, big sky country, God’s country, whatever you want to call it – it’s magical. Being from Texas, a lot of people thought our choice to visit Montana was somewhat unusual but we have a family connection there. My husband’s family has owned a cabin in the Southwestern part of the state for decades so we get to stay there from time to time. This summer we stayed in the Big Hole Valley for the first few days of our trip and visited nearby parks where we rock hounded and fished to our heart’s content. We met some colorful locals who gave us the low down on some great restaurants, shopping and how to make the most of our trip.
We then made our way to the West Yellowstone area where I surprised my husband with a professional family photo shoot by local photographer Mariah Allen who is an absolute genius. She had us meet up in Bozeman, then we drove to the Gallatin Gateway area just 20 minutes south and hiked up to a beautiful waterfall where she began her magic. As we made our way down we drove past the beautiful lake and decided to take a few more shots there, which ended up being the ones we really liked! I love that it was the last minute stop that brought out our favorite photos.
It was now time to make our way to Yellowstone National Park and hit some of the top sights there. Towards the end of that first day we finally made our way to Old Faithful at dusk surrounded by hundreds of eager spectators. There are no words to describe the excitement you feel when the geyser’s presentation begins but I will say that when it does it feels like there’s no one else there but you. Day 2 at Yellowstone took us to see some of the falls and the colorful but dangerous thermal pools that were absolutely gorgeous to see in person. Visiting Hot Mammoth Springs was spectacular and seeing the calcium formations that were deposited thousands of years ago was simply awesome.
Overall it was a phenomenal trip and I highly recommend going to Montana and Wyoming to families no matter how young their children are. There is something for everyone and so much to see and do! The nights can be a bit chilly even in the summer but the days are glorious giving you plenty of sunshine to hit the state and national parks. Take my advice – life is short, get out there! What’s your favorite national park? Comment below!