“Every day we make deposits in the memory banks of our children”CHARLES R SWINDOLL
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 — starting off with horseback riding and camping the first night of the trip (equipment provided) in the picturesque Pryor Mountains. The remaining nights are then spent in a family-friendly hotel in Red Lodge, Montana, Travel Montana’s world headquarters.
In addition to horseback riding, you’ll enjoy lively yet age-appropriate hikes, a UTV ride to seek out wild horses and caves, and a rafting trip down the Stillwater River. 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 Wild 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 Travel Montana are not like a typical family vacation for multiple reasons. First and foremost, the kids love being in a group with other kids and tend to bond within the first five minutes. These tours are fun. Second, 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.
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!
Offered in partnership with our sister company, Zephyr Adventures.
Looking for more family vacation itineraries? Check out our Yellowstone Family Vacation!
Main Image Credit: Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development
Private Tour Info
Private tours can be arranged for groups as small as four people.Book Your Private Vacation Now
- Activities: Hiking, Horseback Riding, Rafting, plus small town activities
- Duration: 5 days
Price Per Person
4 - 5 people: $2,400
6 - 7 people: $2,300
8+ people: $2,200
- Single Supplement: $600
> Kids staying in a room with their adult(s) receive a 15% discount.
> This trip is appropriate for kids ages 5 - 18.
> Adults wishing to have their own room can pay a single supplement of $800.
> Aunts, uncles, and grandparents are welcome, too!
> Join our public tour for the lower price of $1,950 for adults.
- Public Tour Date: June 27 - July 1, 2021
- 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 the Pryor Mountains to meet your horse wranglers and hosts before departing for our backcountry camp. This afternoon, you'll saddle up the horses and hit the trail. Back at camp, you can relax or go exploring (can you find the nearby waterfall?) as we take care of camp duties or lend a hand and experience the fun of camp life! Tonight you enjoy a tasty dutch oven dinner, s'mores, and campfire tales. You won't believe how many stars you can see in the dark Montana sky!
This morning, after a hearty camp breakfast, you set out in search of the Pryor's famous wild horse pack and stop for a visit at the Big Ice Cave. Lunch will be out on the trail. Once back at camp, you'll pack up and head to Red Lodge to check in to your condos that will be your home for the next few nights. After a stop for ice cream cones (why not before dinner while on vacation?), kids will enjoy a poolside pizza party while adults have dinner at our favorite tapas restaurant. After dinner, 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 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! Let our guides entertain your kids at the pool while you explore the town - we recommend having a Red Lodge Ale, brewed right here in town. Tonight's dinner will be at Montana Vacation Company's headquarters, otherwise known as the home of Kris Keys, our Operations manager. Afterwards, we can make s'mores around the fire.
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. We'll eventually wind our way 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. 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.
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 Vacation
NIGHT 1 >> CAMPING / PRYOR MOUNTAINS
We start our adventure camping in the gorgeous Pryor Mountains. No need to bring your gear as all camping equipment will be provided. You'll stay in either a log cabin (in either beds or cots) or wall tents (on cots or sleeping pads).
NIGHTS 2 - 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.Book This Vacation
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 local Travel Montana guide will accompany each trip. Additional guides added depending on group size.
- Our trip prices are based on double occupancy. You have the option to pay the single supplement to get your own room if you don’t want a roommate. If kids stay in your room, they get a discount of 15% off the tour price.
- For private trips: If your private group has an odd number of participants, the single supplement for the person getting his/her own room becomes mandatory. You also have the choice to put three people in one room.
- For public trips: If you are coming on a trip solo, we will find you a roommate of the same gender. Many tour companies require you to pay a single supplement if they can’t find you a roommate. We don’t! If we can’t find you a roommate then you may end up getting your own room at no charge (although this is pretty rare).
- All meals except one lunch 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.
When to Travel
The season for outdoor activities in Red Lodge generally runs from May through September. In the summer months of July and August, highs average 80 degrees so the days can be warm. June and September are about ten degrees cooler, making them a wonderful 70 degrees on average for daytime highs, while in May high temperatures average in the low 60s. In June, the hills are green while, in September, they are a golden brown.
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.
Book This Vacation
Interested in booking a vacation but still have questions? No problem!