Cute little town at the edge of Yellow Stone Park
The thing about Gardiner Montana is that it will let you stay just outside Yellow stone National park and allow you to save some money while visiting the park. There are also a number of outfitters that will take you fishing or white water rafting in the area. Just the cute western town look was pretty nice, the surrounding mountains provide a nice view also.
Chico Hot Springs
VTmember PA2AKgirl told me about this wonderful place when I told her I was headed to Yellowstone.
Just about a half hour north of Gardiner, Chico Hotsprings is a lovely hotel, resturant and spa hidden away in the hills. We visited on a Saturday and were foolish enough not to have made spa reservations. (what were we thinking!!!???) Since we couldn't have a spa treatment, we decided to buy the $6 pass for use of the hotspring fed pool and to wander around the grounds. The pool is lovely. No clorine just water from the springs. There is a smaller section of the pool that is considerably warmer. It's quite shallow in this section you can sit on the bottom and your head will still be above water. The larger section is slighly cooler, but much deeper. You can get drinks from the bar through a little window by the pool, towels are also available in the bar, if you don't have your own. We spent a lovely afternoon paddling around. It was nice to take a break from exploring.
The grounds also have a greenhouse and garden. Look for the passionflowers, they are gorgeous! One of the gardeners told us that they use them to decorate the desserts at the resturant. There are also horse stables, a coffe bar, a gift shop and a very highly rated resturant.
When we were there, preparations were being made for an afternoon wedding. What a lovely spot!
Great Basecamp for Exploring Yellowstone
Gardiner is the perfect place to use as your "basecamp" for exploring Yellowstone. We spent five nights in Gardiner in late June. The weather was perfect. Sunny and warm, but not too hot during the day, cool at night. Watched a thunderstorm one evening. What a lightshow as it passed over Electic Peak!
"Our Exploration Plan"
Breakfast was usually in town. Good food at Town Cafe. The Best Western has a great breakfast buffet. For lunch, we stopped at the Food Farm (the local fullservice grocery) and loaded up on picnic items. Then, off we'd go to explore Yellowstone for the day. Plenty of picnic areas in the park. Dinner at local places. See my restaurant reviews.
"The Flying Pig"
Did a two-hour whitewater rafting trip down the Yellowstone River. Used the Flying Pig Raft Co. Our guide, Achmed, was awesome. Kids had an absolute blast. Were able to get out of the raft and float along at one point. The CD of your trip is expensive ($40 for ten shots), but worth it!