Red Lodge Montana is a wonderful place to spend your summer vacation. With access to endless recreational opportunities, wildlife viewing, shopping, and scenic drives, you'll have a tough time choosing which adventure to embark on first. Here are several suggested activities for visitors who want to spend a little time in Red Lodge during the summer. Depending on the length of your stay, you can mix and match the suggestions below to create your dream Montana vacation.
During your stay in Red Lodge, reward yourself with a great night's rest at one of the areas beautiful lodges or resorts. Also available are amazing cabin rentals and cozy motels. Find all of Red Lodge's lodging options here and begin making reservations for your summer vacation right away.
Full Day Suggestions
Yellowstone National Park
The world's first National Park, Yellowstone offers some of the most unique natural landmarks including geysers and sulfuric “hot pots”. Visit Old Faithful to see the most famous geysers shoot water nearly 200 feet in the air. The park also boasts amazing wildlife including bison, elk, wolves and grizzlies. The best opportunity to view these animals is to venture into the Lamar Valley, known for its massive wildlife population. And for the recreational enthusiasts, head off on one of the various trails or go fishing in Yellowstone Lake. It's easy to spend a whole day in the park, if not two or three.
1 hour south of Red Lodge
$30 entry fee
Beartooth Scenic Byway
South of Red Lodge, MT Highway 212 switch-backs up and over the Beartooth Plateau, offering breathtaking views of the Rock Creek Canyon below. Often called the All-American Road, this byway allows visitors to enjoy the gorgeous vistas of Montana landscapes from upwards of 10,000 ft above sea-level, as well as plenty of wildlife. On the other side of the pass lies beautiful Cooke City, Montana. Stop here for a delicious sandwich at the Buns & Bed, then head into the Yellowstone (just 6 miles from Cooke City).
Red Lodge's 18 hole course offers amazing views of the Beartooth Mountains. Don't forget your waders though—this course has an island green! Other courses in the area include the Stillwater Golf Course along the Yellowstone River in Columbus (47 miles north of Red Lodge) and Peter Yegen Jr. Golf Course at the foot of the Billings Rims (60 miles north of Red Lodge).
Not far from Red Lodge, Montana's highest point—Granite Peak—offers a challenging climb for skilled mountaineers.
Call the Beartooth Ranger District at (406) 657-6200 for details.
Find a Climbing Guide here.
Red Lodge hosts a number of awesome events including the Beartooth Rally, Iron Horse Rodeo, and Festival of Nations. Events occur throughout the summer, and draw crowds of people from all over the country. When these events are in town, Red Lodge comes to life with live bands, street dances and parades.
See our complete Calendar of Events.
Whitewater or Scenic Rafting
The Stillwater River, Rock Creek, and Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone offer opportunities for rafters of any skill level. Whether you want to ride whitewater or enjoy a gentle scenic float, guides in the area give floaters a chance to see the beautiful Montana landscape from the river.
Find a guided Scenic Float or Whitewater Rafting Trip.
Several outfitters in the Red Lodge area offer horseback rides lasting from an hour to a few days. Take a ride through Custer National Forest and take in the view of the breath-taking Beartooth Mountains, or ride through the Stillwater Valley.
With its close vicinity to Custer National Forest, Shoshone National Forest and the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, the hiking options here are endless. Hike the Parkside Recreational Trail along Rock Creek, Woodbine trail to Woodbine Falls, or Willow Creek up Red Lodge Mountain. For more information on hiking trails, contact the Beartooth Ranger District.
Read about other nearby Hiking Trails here.
Call the Beartooth Ranger District at (406) 657-6200 for details.
Spend part of your day cruising down the Beartooth Scenic Highway on two wheels, riding the Silver Run mountain trails or just peddlin' around town. Bike rentals and guided tours can be purchased in Red Lodge during the summer.
Rent ATVs and explore the endless trails of the upper Stillwater. Here, you can explore Jeep trails that take you pass the old Bembo mine, while offering breathtaking views of the Stillwater Valley.
Drop a line into one of the various stocked lakes of the Red Lodge area—allowing visitors a catch nearly every cast. Wild Bill Lake has handicap accessible trails and picnic areas. This lake also offers a unique history with remnants of a cement dance floor and man-made swimming hole from the early 1900's. For those who enjoy fly fishing, outfitters from the area will guide visitors to the best holes, while showing them the most beautiful scenery Montana has to offer. One of the most popular fly fishing areas is the lower Stillwater River near Absarokee, MT.
Find a Fly Fishing Guide.
Under 1 Hour
Red Lodge is home to some amazing wild critters. Visit the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary ($6 entry fee) for an intimate look at animals who are unable to be reinstated in to the wild, including elk, moose, mountain lions, owls and raccoons. The Silver Run Elk Viewing area offers amazing opportunities to see elk in their natural habitat.
Contact the Beartooth Nature Center at (406) 446-1133.
Visit downtown Red Lodge for some amazing shopping, offering everything from Montana-made products and art to recreation-specific merchandise and novelty items. Visit the Red Lodge Candy Shop; here, visitors can buy old-fashioned candy in a historic mercantile setting. Not only are most store fronts in Red Lodge locally owned, most are over 100 years old. While you're shopping, take in the history that still resides along Broadway Avenue's Historic District.
Carbon County Museum
Established in 1959, this local museum illustrates Carbon County's unique history, with focus on local Native Americans, mining, rodeo, and ranching. Don't forget to visit the Mercantile Gift Store for Montana and Carbon County-specific perihelia.
Call the museum at (406) 446-1647
Pack a lunch and visit one of Red Lodge's various parks or recreational areas for a picnic. Lion's Park on Hauser Avenue has horseshoe pits, picnic tables, and playground equipment and even an old Northern Pacific caboose! Want to be closer to nature? Visit the Parkside Campground at the base of the Beartooth Plateau.
Visit the Bearcreek Saloon, just east of Red Lodge, where pigs really do fly. Here, you can watch pigs race in a miniature version of the Kentucky Derby. Enjoy dinner and a drink on the patio as you cheer on your favorite little piggy. The Bearcreek Pig Races begin 7p.m., every Thursday through Sunday during the summer.
Call the Bearcreek Saloon at (406) 446-3481 for details.
Visit Red Lodge's historic train depot-turned-art gallery, just off Broadway Avenue. The Art Depot boasts pieces of all mediums created by local artists.
Red Lodge Restaurants
Whether you're craving Italian from the Pizza Co., Mexican from Bogarts, or a thick bison burger from Foster & Logans, Red Lodge has it all. And after dinner visit Scoops, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor.
Every night at 7:15, the Roman Theater shows a recently released movie (usually family-friendly). So, grab a popcorn and soda at the concessions and come relax with the locals at the Roman.
Call for the latest schedule: (406) 446-2233
Craving a drink after a long day's adventure? Visit Red Lodge Ales Microbrewery from some local ale or dance to a live band at the Snow Creek.
For an amazing view of Red Lodge, stroll through town on a horse-drawn wagon. Rides occur nightly and are free to the public.