Yellowstone National Park
|Grand Tetons National Park (Photodisc/Getty)|
Has your visit to the park whetted your appetite for more spectacular scenery and outdoor fun? Or for knowledge about Yellowstone? Visit Yellowstone's sister park Grand Teton or the national forests that surround it. Don't miss the five museums within a half-day's drive of Yellowstone's boundaries. They provide opportunities for additional knowledge and understanding of the national wonders and history of the area.
Yellowstone's "Sister" Park
Grand Teton National Park
Just south of Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Park boasts a gorgeous mountain backdrop, making it well worth a visit. It also has numerous hiking opportunities, its own set of campgrounds, exhibits, ranger-naturalist programs, and other activities.
Bridger Teton National Forest
The second largest in the lower 48, stretching southward for 135 miles from the Yellowstone border, Bridger Teton National Forest covers 3.4 million acres. That includes over 1.2 million acres in the Teton, Gros Ventre, and Bridger Wilderness. Because of its extensive wilderness areas, the Bridger-Teton has more outfitters than any other national forest in the country.
Gallatin National Forest
Located on the west and north boundaries of Yellowstone, Gallatin National Forest is a vast region with snowy peaks, alpine meadows, deep forest, and cascading streams in scenic canyons. Even though it records more than two million visitor days per year, a ranger can help you find solitude to contemplate your otherworldly surroundings.
Shoshone National Forest
Encompassing 2.4 million acres, Shoshone National Forest lies east of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Indeed, many visitors to Yellowstone pass through the Shoshone, which offers tempting alternatives to the more heavily trafficked parks. Wilderness areas are lightly used, and campgrounds are usually still available when Yellowstone's are full. Best yet, most of the forest is still pristine, with over half in five wildernesses.
Targhee National Forest
The Targhee National Forest borders both Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. With gorgeous scenery, an extensive trail network, lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and streams, it's no wonder Targhee attracts over 1.8 million visitor days per year.
Museums About Yellowstone
The story of Yellowstone continues at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming. The Center's Plains Indian Museum tells the story of early human sin in the area, and the collections of the Whitney Gallery of Western Art provide visitors with artists' interpretations of Yellowstone's landscape and unusual features. Call Buffalo Bill Historical Center at 307-587-4771.
The story of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem begins with dinosaurs and paleontology and geology exhibits at The Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana. The museum houses the area's only planetarium for visitors who are interested in taking "the long view" of Yellowstone and its place on the planet. Call Museum of the Rockies at 406-994-2251.
At the National Wildlife Art Museum in Jackson, Wyoming, park visitors can see Yellowstone wildlife depicted in bronze and on canvas. Call National Wildlife Art Museum at 307-733-5771.
In nearby Pinedale, the Museum of the Mountain Man examines the life of Jim Bridger, one of the first Euro-Americans to visit Yellowstone, and tells the story of early explorers, mountain men, and fur trappers. Call Museum of the Mountain Man at 307-367-4101.
National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center, located in Dubois, Wyoming, draws you into the world of the bighorn. Exhibits highlight habitat, predator-prey relationships, landing, and dominance behaviors. Call National Bighorn Sheep Interpretative Center at 307-455-3429.
Visits to museums outside and within park boundaries will enhance the Yellowstone experience and perhaps even provoke further reading and investigation.
Chambers of Commerce
Listed below are Chambers of Commerce for communities near Yellowstone National Park.
Big Sky, MT: 800-943-4111
Billings, MT: 406-245-4111
Bozeman, MT: 406-586-5421
Cooke City/Silver Gate, MT: 406-838-2272
Gardiner, MT: 406-848-7971
Livingston, MT: 406-222-0850
Red Lodge, MT: 406-446-1718
West Yellowstone, MT: 406-646-7701
Cody, WY: 307-587-2297
Dubois, WY: 307-455-2556
East Yellowstone-Wapiti Valley, WY: 307-587-9595
Jackson, WY: 307-733-3316
Idaho Falls, ID: 208-523-1010
Eastern Idaho Visitor Information Center, Idaho Falls, ID: 800-634-3246
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication