Welcome to Gardiner, where adventure meets the beauty of the Wild West. Nestled at the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park, Gardiner offers an assortment of exciting activities for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and thrill-seekers. From exhilarating rafting expeditions to serene wildlife viewing and soaking in natural hot springs, there are fun things to do in Gardiner, Montana, for everybody.


Top 11 Things to Do in Gardiner

Gardiner, MT

The biggest question in and around Gardiner might just be whether you can choose which exciting activities to pursue—or whether you just need to extend your stay and experience them all!


1. Whitewater RaftingWhitewater Rafting

Dive into the heart of adventure with a thrilling whitewater rafting trip with Wild West Rafting. Our experienced guides will take you on an exhilarating journey down the mighty Yellowstone River, where you’ll navigate exciting rapids and soak in breathtaking views of the surrounding wilderness. 

Whether you’re a seasoned rafter or a first-timer, Wild West Rafting offers guided trips suitable for all skill levels. With experienced guides, top-notch equipment, and breathtaking scenery, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.

2. Yellowstone National Park

yellowstone national park - sign

Just a stone’s throw from Gardiner lies the iconic Yellowstone National Park, home to mesmerizing geysers, stunning waterfalls, and abundant wildlife. Spend your days hiking scenic trails, marveling at iconic geysers like Old Faithful, and gazing upon the mesmerizing colors of Grand Prismatic Spring. With over 2.2 million acres of pristine wilderness to explore, Yellowstone offers endless opportunities for adventure and discovery.

3. Fly Fishing

Woman Fly Fishing

Cast your line into the pristine waters of the Yellowstone River and try your luck catching native trout species. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice fisherman, Gardiner offers excellent fishing opportunities for anglers of all ages and skill levels. Wild West Rafting offers fly fishing excursions for the experience of a lifetime.

4. Horseback Riding

Horseback Riding Montana

Saddle up and explore Montana’s rugged terrain on horseback. Take a guided horseback ride through pristine wilderness areas, where your guide leads you and your horse along scenic mountain trails and lush meadows. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a first-time equestrian, horseback riding in Gardiner offers a unique perspective of the region’s natural beauty for an unforgettable experience.

5. Wildlife Viewing

Crowds of Tourists Gather to Watch Elk

Gardiner is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, with abundant opportunities to observe majestic creatures in their natural wildlife habitat. Look for iconic Yellowstone residents like bison, elk, grizzly bears, and wolves. Keep your eyes open as you explore the surrounding wilderness, or join a guided tour for expert insight into the unforgettable beauty of this magical place.

Pro Tip: For the best chances of spotting wildlife, explore the park during the early morning or late evening hours when animals are most active. Remember to maintain a safe distance and respect their space.

6. Hot Springs

Boiling River

After a day of outdoor adventures, soothe your muscles and relax in the rejuvenating waters of nearby hot springs. Experience the therapeutic benefits of natural mineral springs surrounded by Montana’s stunning landscapes. Whether you prefer rustic backcountry pools or luxurious resort facilities, Gardiner has a hot spring experience to suit every taste. It’s the perfect way to relax and recharge after a day of exploration.

7. Hiking

Woman hiking at Yellowstone

Lace up your boots and hit the trails to discover the scenic beauty of the Gardiner area. From strolls along the Yellowstone River to challenging hikes in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, there’s a trail for every skill level and interest.

Pro Tip: Remember to pack plenty of water, snacks, and bear spray, and always practice the Leave No Trace principles to help preserve our natural treasures.

8. Photography

Wildlife Photographer

Capture the stunning beauty of Gardiner and its surrounding scenery with your camera. With stunning landscapes, abundant wildlife, and vibrant sunsets, Gardiner is a photographer’s paradise. Photograph breathtaking images of Yellowstone’s iconic landmarks, including towering waterfalls, dramatic canyons, and picturesque valleys. 

Whether shooting with a professional camera or a smartphone, you’ll leave with unforgettable memories and stunning snapshots of your Montana adventure.

9. Historic Sites and Cultural Attractions

Yellowstone National Park Entrance, Arch

Dive into Gardiner’s rich history and heritage by exploring its historical sites and cultural attractions.

A few must-visit destinations include:

  • The Yellowstone Gateway Museum
  • The Roosevelt Arch
  • Albright Visitor Center
  • The Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center
  • Yellowstone Historic Center Museum
  • The Bunkhouse at the Northern Pacific Railroad Depot
  • Historic Roosevelt Lodge

10. Camping

Immerse yourself in the great outdoors and spend a night under the stars at one of Gardiner’s scenic campgrounds. Fall asleep to the soothing sounds of nature and wake up to the crisp mountain air, surrounded by towering pines and rugged mountains. Whether you prefer tent camping, RVing, or glamping, Gardiner offers various options to suit your preferences.

11. Dining and Shopping

Whether you’re craving a delicious meal, searching for the perfect souvenir, or simply exploring the vibrant culture of Gardiner, dining and shopping in this charming frontier town are sure to delight your senses and leave you with cherished memories of your time in the Wild West. Here are a few dining and shopping recommendations in Gardiner.



  • Gardiner Market: Need to stock up on supplies for your outdoor adventures? Here, you’ll find everything you need for camping, hiking, fishing, and adventuring, from groceries and snacks to outdoor gear and souvenirs. They also have one of the most extensive whiskey collections you can find!

Best Lodging in Gardiner

After a day of excitement and exploration, unwind in comfort at one of Gardiner’s premier lodging options. 

Yellowstone Gateway Inn

Nestled amidst towering pine trees, Yellowstone Gateway Inn offers cozy accommodations just minutes from the entrance to Yellowstone National Park. With rustic charm and modern amenities, it’s the perfect home base for your Gardiner adventure. 

Absaroka Lodge

Experience Western hospitality at its finest at Absaroka Lodge, featuring comfortable rooms and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Relax in the outdoor hot tub after a day of adventure, or gather around the fire pit for s’mores under the stars. 

Roosevelt Lodge

Right in the heart of Yellowstone, Roosevelt Lodge offers rustic cabins and comfortable lodge rooms surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. You can enjoy delicious dining options, guided tours, and nightly campfire programs during your stay. 

Park Hotel Yellowstone

Step back in time at the historic Park Hotel Yellowstone, where Old West charm meets modern comfort. Conveniently located near Gardiner’s shops and restaurants, it’s the ideal place to rest and recharge after a day of exploration. 

Riverside Cottages

For a truly immersive experience, book a stay at Riverside Cottages. Enjoy riverside accommodations just steps from the Yellowstone River. Wake up to the sound of rushing water and spend your days surrounded by nature’s beauty. 

Yellowstone River Motel

Situated along the banks of the Yellowstone River, this family-owned motel offers affordable accommodations with easy access to outdoor recreation and attractions. Enjoy fishing, rafting, and wildlife viewing right outside your doorstep.

Experience True Adventure in Gardiner, MT

Gardiner, Montana, is a treasure trove of adventure, history, and natural beauty, just waiting to be explored. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping rafting excursions with Wild West Rafting, serene wildlife viewing opportunities, or breathtaking hikes through Yellowstone, Gardiner has something to offer every traveler. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and prepare for an unforgettable Wild West adventure in Gardiner.