Top 5 Attractions Near Red Lodge MT
Located only an hour from Billings, the virtual backdoor to Yellowstone National Park, Red Lodge Montana has a lot to offer. Sitting at the foot of the awesome Beartooth Mountains, Red Lodge boasts many winter activities along with summer fun as well. Skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, in the winter to excellent fishing, rafting, and horseback riding in the summer, no matter what type of outdoor activities you enjoy, you will find that Red Lodge offers something for everyone no matter the season.
Well known for its winter activities, people from all around Montana come to enjoy a week or a weekend in Red Lodge during the winter. If you have not planned a winter vacation to Red Lodge, it is about time to do so. There is always plenty of snow and plenty of variety to choose from.
Start out with downhill skiing at Red Lodge Mountain Ski Resort. Featuring 65 various trails, this resort sees an average of 250 inches of annual snowfall, so you don’t have to worry about finding lots of powder and excellent skiing. With an additional 30 acres of chute skiing and a 2400-foot vertical drop from its 9500-foot summit, you will find plenty of challenges. If cross-country skiing is more to your liking, the Red Lodge Nordic Center features 15 kilometers of groomed trails.
Many people also travel to the Red Lodge area for snowmobiling during the winter. Particularly popular is the area between Red Lodge and Cooke City, which is closed to other vehicles, but accessible by snowmobile. When you are finished, head back to Red Lodge and enjoy a warm cup of hot cocoa as you take a sleigh ride through the town.
Ice fishing is another popular activity around the Red Lodge area with Glacier Lake being the main destination, about a 2-mile hike from the town itself. Located off Rock Creek’s headwaters, this lake offers some great finishing for those that enjoy dipping a pole through the ice. If ice-skating is more to your liking, you will find an outdoor ice-skating rink that offers lots of fun for the kids, as well as adults.
It is hard to say whether the winter activities or the summer activities are more popular in Red Lodge, but if you are planning a summer vacation you will find even more to do outdoors than in the winter. Not matter what you are into, you can enjoy the natural outdoor beauty of the Red Lodge area during the summer as you select from numerous activities.
- Fly Fishing. The Red Lodge area offers some of the finest blue-ribbon trout fishing in Montana, as you are surrounded by serene views at the same time. People travel from all over the country to fish the streams in Red Lodge.
- Whitewater Rafting. There are several great spots to go rafting from the Stillwater River to the Rock Creek and the Clark’s Fork of the Yellowstone River. This is a great destination spot for whitewater rafting.
- Hiking and backpacking. There are numerous easy hiking trails all over the area, extending from Red Lodge to the Beartooth Highway. No matter if you are looking for short walks or extended hike, you will find trails that suite your preference around Red Lodge.
- Camping and RV. Red Lodge is a destination spot for people who enjoy camping as they pass through on their way to Yellowstone National Park or the Bighorn Canyon. It is easy to find a nice private setting to camp all around the Red Lodge area.
- Horseback Riding. There are many outfitters in and around Red Lodge that will offer you unique horseback riding experiences. If you have been wanting to take the family out for a ride and just get out and experience nature, this is the place to do it.
- Kayaking and canoeing. If whitewater rafting is not your thing and you would like to be on the water at a more leisurely pace, you will find a multitude of places where you can rent a kayak or a canoe. Organization an adventure for the whole family as you get out on one of the areas many streams and rivers.
Red Lodge offers a number of other attractions simply due to the stunning beauty of the area. Known as the Gateway to Yellowstone Park, the town itself offers great selections of small shops, restaurants, and services. You will enjoy walking down Main Street in Red Lodge and just taking in some of the business that have been there for decades. Western hospitality with a small town feel is what Red Lodge has become known for.
Scenic drives are yet another reason to pass through Red Lodge as you travel over the Beartooth Plateau on the way to Cooke City MT. The Beartooth highway is spectacular and worth seeing no matter what your end destination is. Just outside of Cooke City is the 47-mile Chief Joseph Scenic Byway which traces the historic route of the Nez Perce tribe as they (unsuccessfully) trade to evade the US Calvary into Canada.
There are also many historical centers as well as museums in the area, from the Carbon County museum in Rawlins Wyoming, to the Union Pacific Railroad which showcases how the areas remote towns were developed. The town of Red Lodge itself even offers a skateboard park, city pool, as well as several other city parks, which make a great pit stop for the kids to get out of the car and get some exercise along the way.
No matter what you and your family enjoy, or what time of year that you visit Red Lodge and the surrounding area, you will find incredible natural beauty, as well as a plethora of outdoor activities. The serenity of the area is well known (especially to people who live in nearby Billings MT and want to take a quick weekend getaway from city life) and has become a destination for families all over the country. If you love the great outdoor, you will not be disappointed by Red Lodge MT.