Both guides had a fantastic demeanor and were well suited to lead the kids in activities.”jeff p.
A Note About Family Travel: At Zephyr Adventures, a ‘family’ can be so many different things, including multi-generational travel! Grandparents, get out and explore with your grand kids. We welcome aunts and uncles too. Single parents, take your kids on an adventure and also enjoy the company of other adults. Consider going multi-generational—our tours are crafted to offer something for everyone regardless of your interests or activity level, so having different ages and abilities all on the same tour is not just okay, it is what we do.
Discover one of the cutest small towns in one of the biggest states in the country! Our Montana Family Vacation is chock full of family fun, based from a family-friendly hotel in Red Lodge, Montana, Travel Montana’s world headquarters.
We start our week with horseback riding, suitable for ages 6+, where we’ll head up onto the plateau above town where we’ll get wide-open views of the Beartooth mountains and rolling wheat fields. We’ll take a fun but safe rafting trip down the Stillwater or Yellowstone River. We’ll have age-appropriate hikes, including a trail to an alpine lake on top of the Beartooth Pass, one of America’s scenic highways. You’ll stop to enjoy the beauty of Montana, looking for animal tracks and skipping rocks into lakes. On top of fun outdoor pursuits, you’ll experience an authentic Western Rodeo in nearby Cody, Wyoming (named after Buffalo Bill Cody), pig races, and the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary. All this takes place in a classic small-town Montana atmosphere with its cute main street, ice cream and candy shops, and fun restaurants.
Organized family tours with Zephyr Adventures are not like a typical family vacation for multiple reasons. We provide a structure that offers group activities when you can enjoy life with your kids while at other times we separate adults and kids, allowing you to have a nice glass of wine with a fancier dinner or a long hike while we take care of your brood. (Check out more answers to your questions about family tours.)
Speaking of that, vacation is simply easier when our guides are in charge. It is they who are responsible for driving, directions, reservations, planning, and answering “Are we there yet?”
Join us for some small town family fun in Big Sky Country!
Zephyr Adventures is an authorized permit holder of the US Forest Service and equal opportunity service provider
Private Tour Info
Want to make this trip even more memorable? Grab your friends and pick a date.Start planning your private tour
- Cost Per Person: $2,500
- Single Supplement: $800
- Activities: Hiking, Horseback Riding, Rafting, plus small town activities
- Difficulty: All Abilities
- Guides: And Local Guides
Other Info: Private tour pricing: $2,750 (4 - 5 people), $2,600 (6 - 7), or $2,500 (8+).
-> Kids staying in a room with their adult(s) receive a 15% discount.
-> Aunts, uncles, and grandparents are welcome, too!
-> Private tours are recommended for kids ages 5 - 18
- Enjoy the family-friendly setting of Red Lodge, Montana - a small town under the Big Sky
- Hike to waterfalls, around alpine lakes, and up mountain trails in the Beartooth Mountains
- Horseback ride and camp in the remote Pryor Mountains
- Drive the stunningly scenic Beartooth All-American Road
- Pool time, ice cream and a stop at the best candy shop ever for the kids
- Authentic Western rodeo in Cody, Wyoming
We meet you in Billings, Montana at 9:30 AM and after a brief orientation head to nearby Pictograph Caves State Park to become amateur archaeologists and contemplate the origins of human habitation in Montana. After a picnic lunch, we'll shuttle to Red Lodge and go straight to our horse camp to meet our wranglers for a 1.5-hour ride up onto the plateau, where we'll have sweeping views of the mountains on one side and plains on the other. This evening we'll dine at Bogarts, a family-friendly local eatery also known for its Margaritas. After dinner (depending on the day of the week), we'll reconvene to drive over the hill to watch the pig races at the Bearcreek Saloon - to our knowledge, this is the only place in the country where you can do that on a nightly basis! These adorable and humorous races were created to attract tourists but also to raise money for a local scholarship fund.
Rise and shine! After breakfast prepared by your guides, we'll drive to the nearby town of Absarokee for a fun and splashy family-friendly raft trip down the Stillwater River. We'll practice our paddling, listening to our raft guides for instructions on what to do and when to do it. On a hot summer day, stopping at our favorite swimming hole will seem like a good idea, won't it? Once back on dry land, we'll enjoy a picnic along the river before returning to Red Lodge. In the afternoon, we'll visit the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary to see incredible wildlife like wolves, bears, bison, big cats and raptors up close. The sanctuary provides a lifelong home to non-releasable native Montana wildlife while sharing a message of conservation and education. For those who want to play, we can enjoy a leisurely game of disc golf or do a scavenger hunt in town afterwards. Should we tell your kids about the world's greatest candy store, which happens to be on main street in Red Lodge? That is up to you! This evening for dinner, let our guides entertain your kids at the pool at a pizza party while you eat at our favorite local tapas restaurant.
Today is a day for hiking in the Beartooth Mountains. These are some of the most rugged and isolated mountains in the continental United States. Yet, at the same time, there are excellent family hikes. We'll choose one that meanders along the a small creek, meaning we'll make slight uphill progress but never get beyond the skills of our littlest members. (Adults can choose to go ahead a bit more quickly if they wish.) In the afternoon, we'll jump in the van for a drive over the border into Wyoming and the small town of Cody, named for Buffalo Bill. We'll learn about the history by visiting Old Trail Town, where Cody himself started the town, to view a slew of old buildings and artifacts. We'll watch a fun Wild West Show in front of the Cody Hotel and enjoy a western style dinner. After dinner, we'll head over to the Cody Stampede Rodeo, an authentic small-town Western experience. Some of our troop might get a few winks on the drive back into Red Lodge after such a long day.
This morning we will have some free time before we head up into the mountains for a spectacular drive along the Beartooth Highway, a National Scenic Byways All-American Road. This 68-mile road winds its way up and through the Beartooth Mountains, through southwest Montana and northwest Wyoming, and leads into Yellowstone National Park at its Northeast Entrance. We'll not be driving the entire road but we'll stop along the way to stretch our legs, take a sip of some of the freshest water you'll ever drink (right out the side of the mountain!), throw some rocks in a few lakes, and get out for a couple short hikes. Back in town we'll have a final dinner at a taco joint that is beloved by kids and adults.
Today you can choose to sleep in or take a short early morning hike on the plateau above Red Lodge with mountain views in every direction. We check out and head back to Billings, arriving in time to take an early afternoon flight back home, or extend your travels by renting a car.Book this Tour
NIGHTS 1 - 4 >> CHATEAU ROUGE / RED LODGE
Located at the foot of the Beartooth - Absaroka Mountains and in walking distance to the center of town, this family-friendly hotel offers comfortable condo-style accommodations and an indoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi. It is perfect for families.Book this Tour
Arrival & Departure
We meet you at 9:30 AM at the Northern Hotel in Billings on the first day of the trip, allowing us to maximize our day. This means you will most likely need to arrive the day before, as there are limited flight options that arrive before the tour start time. The last day of the tour we will drop you off at the Billings airport by noon, making it possible to book your flight home after 1:00 pm.
- One or two Zephyr guides accompany each trip.
- Double occupancy lodging is included. If kids stay in your room, they get a discount of 15% off the tour price. If you are a solo adult in your family group, you may pay a single supplement to have your own room.
- All meals except two lunches are included. Gratuity for these meals is also included.
- All your transportation is included once you meet your guides on the first day.
- All trail fees and permits are included.
- NOT INCLUDED Beverages, one lunch, gratuities to your guides, personal expenses and travel to and from the destination.
Red Lodge is located in the beautiful Beartooth Mountains so the weather can change very quickly. You'll want to bring a few layers as well as rain gear for our hikes and rides. High temperatures in late June and early July average low to mid-70s during the day with low temperatures averaging lower 50s at night.
Type of People Who Will Enjoy This Tour
Kids of any age are welcome but this trip is most appropriate for kids five through 18. We as guides can vouch that kids are the true experts at having fun and it makes this tour special for everyone. It takes kids about five minutes to go from unknowns to fast friends! This trip includes activities that both kids and adults will enjoy, sometimes together and sometimes separately. We know you love your little darlings, but we realize it is nice to have an occasional break for an adult drink or longer hike — our guides are more than happy to oblige you in this! We plan a couple of separate activities and dinners for kids and adults (your older teenagers can make up their minds which group they would like to join these times!). Keep in mind that our definition of family is quite liberal: traditional nuclear families, single parent households, and aunts, uncles, and grandparents are all welcome.
Changes to Your Itinerary
While everything under “What is Included” will remain the same, the actual restaurants, hotels, and activities listed in our itineraries are subject to modifications. Changes that are out of our control are common – a restaurant closes or loses its awesome chef, a winery changes its visiting hours, a hotel gets remodeled, a road or trail undergoes construction. You are entrusting us to create an outstanding vacation for you and so it is possible we may take the liberty of making necessary changes (even at the last minute, during the guides’ scout trip) to the itinerary that will improve your overall trip experience. If there is any one experience that is going to make or break your trip, please discuss this with us in advance! We will attempt to keep our website itinerary as current as possible and communicate any major changes with you in the weeks prior to the tour.
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