A Trip to Montana and Yellowstone: Part 1

by James Andrew Scott on August 12, 2012

in Guides, Tips

A Montana and Yellowstone Photo Guide

Jackson Hole Airport

Major U.S. airlines serve several airports that surround Yellowstone National Park.  Bozeman-Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) is served by 6 major airlines and is located about a two and 1/2 hour drive from Yellowstone National Park’s north entrance.  The most scenic option by air is Jackson Hole Airport (JAC).  Served by 4 airlines and located about 60 miles south of the Park in Wyoming, Jackson Hole is famous for its stunning views of the Grand Teton Mountains and is frequently considered among the world’s greatest approaches (landing video).  Finally, Yellowstone Regional Airport (COD) in Cody, Wyoming (served by Delta and United) is the closest airport to the Park, located about 50 miles east of Yellowstone.   Here is a map of the airports in relation to Yellowstone.

Day 1: Bozeman, Montana

We took a United flight in Economy Plus from Washington, Reagan-National (DCA) to Bozeman (BNZ) with a connection in Chicago (ORD).  From there, we rented a black Chevy Suburban and headed to our friend’s cabin nestled in the Bridger Mountains.

Our black Suburban made us feel like Secret Service agents.

Our home was secluded off a private road and overlooked the Bridger Mountains.

TripBadger relaxing in the hot tub.

Day 2: A Hike to Lava Lake

The weather was perfect and we were ready to experience the outdoors. We choose a moderately difficult, 6 mile hike that dead-ends at Lava Lake, a picturesque mountain lake formed by a landslide.  The trail is nearly all uphill, but only strenuous towards the top. The trail is well-marked and follows a meandering stream with one narrow footbridge (two logs) to cross.  It’s a rocky trail so suitable shoes are recommended; we saw one teenager attempting the trail with flip-flops–probably not a great idea. The views upon arriving at the lake are stunning–we paused for several minutes to take it all in.  Click for larger images.


Lava Lake Trailhead. The lake is part of the Gallatin National Forest.

The trail follows the meandering Cascade Creek uphill to Lava Lake.

Arrival at Lava Lake.

The author at the lake.

Part 2.  A drive to Yellowstone.



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