Yellowstone Family Adventure

Trip Length6 Days
Group Size4–12
Activity level
Starting from
$3,699 for REI Members
$4,069 for non-members
DeparturesJun 2024-Aug 2024

Spend six family-filled days exploring America’s first national park.

Yellowstone National Park is home to a wide range of otherworldly landscapes. The park draws visitors from around the world for its impressive display of erupting geysers, incredible rainbow-colored hot springs and gurgling mud pits. But the surrounding areas—towering mountains, dense forests and craggy canyons—are equally jaw-dropping. This convergence of iconic North American landscapes and wildlife make the park a fantastic, family-friendly destination.

Our camp is centrally located inside the national park, is the perfect jumping off point for visiting Yellowstone, providing uniquely cool and comfortable accommodations for the whole family. Hike the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and marvel at the kaleidoscopic Grand Prismatic Spring. Take a wildlife-viewing drive in the idyllic Hayden Valley and spend a day in magnificent Grand Teton National Park, cycling and rafting among the park’s majestic namesake peaks. No trip to Yellowstone is complete without visiting Old Faithful, aptly named for its predictable eruption times. Return to our camp each evening to spend relaxing nights with friends and family under the wide-open Rocky Mountain sky.

Not travelling with kids under 18? Check out our Yellowstone & Grand Teton Hiking & Camping trip.

Authorized permittee of Grand Teton National Park.

If you’re looking to explore different ways to enjoy all Yellowstone has to offer, view our full collection of Yellowstone itineraries.

We visit the travertine pools at Mammoth Hot Springs where we get our first glimpse of some of the park’s unique thermal features.

Trip Highlights

  • Discover America’s first national park on this family-friendly adventure
  • Hike past steaming geysers, giant waterfalls and towering peaks
  • Search for iconic wildlife including bison, grizzly bear, pronghorn and more
  • Spend a day exploring Grand Teton National Park by bike and raft
  • Relax at camp, your home away from home — knowing that in addition to our exceptional trip guides, a dedicated camp host is there to handle all the details.

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate (3). Daily hikes typically range between 2–7.5 miles in length with elevation gains/losses of up to 1,400'. One hike will take us to the summit of a 10,000-foot peak. Cycling and rafting are suitable for beginners; all gear will be provided. All activities are optional and our guides will brief trip members on the vigorousness of each prior to setting out.

  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Rafting
  • Cycling

What's Included

Lodging and meals as indicated on the daily itinerary. Professional guide services. Transportation during the course of the trip. See this trip’s Gear List for details regarding any equipment that may be provided for your use during the trip. Each participant will also receive a canister of bear deterrent spray and best practice instruction for hiking in bear country.

On this Classic Camping itinerary, we have included an additional guide who will be the camp host for the duration of the trip. The camp host will help our guide team set up and breakdown camp along with helping in preparing meals. The addition of the 3rd guide is uniquely due to the remote nature of the location and full days of the itinerary.

Accommodations

Classic Camping, 5 nights.

Your Adventure Itinerary

Itinerary map for Yellowstone Family Adventure
Day 1

Visit Mammoth Hot Springs and set out on a warm-up hike

Our trip begins in Bozeman, Montana. We rendezvous for orientation in the morning, then set off on the two-hour drive to Yellowstone National Park. Our first stop is Mammoth Hot Springs. We stop at the visitor center, watch for the resident elk herd and get our initial glimpse of some of the park’s fascinating thermal features. This afternoon our hike leads us away from the crowds following a lesser-traveled trail through the Hoodoos, an ancient rock fall, topping off with a beautiful panoramic view of Swan Lake and the surrounding valley. After we enjoy our time exploring, we’ll head over to settle into our camp for the evening and enjoy a tasty guide-prepared dinner under the star-filled sky. Lunch and dinner included.

Hiking: 5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 1,200'; Transfer: 3.5 hours.

Day 2

Visit the Grand Prismatic Spring and explore the Upper Geyser Basin

No trip to Yellowstone would be complete without exploring the park’s fantastic geothermal features. Still considered an active volcano, Yellowstone offers a glimpse of its more volatile side in the steaming, bubbling region of the park we visit today. We begin the day with a stop at the spectacular Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest hot spring in the nation. The spring's brilliant rings of red, yellow, blue, green and orange are caused by microbes that live at the edges of the mineral-rich water. Later today we explore the Upper Geyser Basin, home to Old Faithful and a host of additional geysers, hot springs and fumaroles. We marvel at the crystal-clear emerald waters of Morning Glory Pool before gathering near the base of Old Faithful to watch an eruption of one of the park’s most predictable geysers. All meals included.

Hiking: 8 miles with minimal elevation gain/loss. Transfer: 2 hours.

Day 3

Enjoy an early morning wildlife-viewing drive. Hike the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Yellowstone is home to more than 50 species of mammals including black & grizzly bear, bison, elk, pronghorn, moose and wolf. The park draws wildlife lovers from all over the world hoping to catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures. We set out on a wildlife-viewing drive at dawn this morning, aiming to reach beautiful Hayden Valley when the animals are most active. Additional dawn or dusk wildlife drives can be scheduled based on participants’ interest. After our wildlife adventure, we spend the day exploring the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. We hike the canyon rim and enjoy views of the Yellowstone River far below. We also visit one of Yellowstone’s marquee overlooks, Artist Point, and will admire the falls from a number of sublime vantage points. A quintessential day in Yellowstone! All meals included.

Hiking: 5–7.6 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 1100'; Transfer: 2–3.5 hours.

Day 4

Take a scenic bike ride and float trip in Grand Teton National Park

We head south today toward Grand Teton National Park, its immense granite peaks visible for miles above the plains. On the first part of our multi-sport day, we hop aboard our bikes and cycle to lovely Jenny Lake, carved by glaciers and the second largest lake in the park. We have time to explore the lakeshore before jumping back on our bikes and returning to our waiting vehicle. Later, we take in the spectacular views of the South, Middle, and Grand Teton as well as Mount Moran during a scenic rafting trip down the Snake River. In addition to the awe-inspiring Teton panoramas, we watch for bald eagles, beavers, moose and bear along the riverbanks as we float by. Our time in the Tetons ends with a tasty dinner at Signal Mountain Lodge overlooking Jackson Lake. It's a perfect spot to enjoy final views of one of America’s most beautiful mountain ranges. All meals included.

Cycling: 15–18 miles; terrain: established bike trail, Elevation gain/loss: 482'; Rafting: 2.5 hour scenic float trip (Class I and II). Transfer: 4–4.5 hours.

Day 5

Enjoy our hike to the summit of Purple Mountain

After a hearty breakfast, we set our sights on the Purple Mountain trail. As we hike through deep forests along meandering trails, the excitement builds with each step. Upon reaching the summit, we are rewarded with panoramic views of the Gibbon and Madison rivers, which stretch as far as the eye can see. To the east, the morning sun bathes the valley in warmth. To the south, the iconic peaks of the Grand Tetons loom majestically, their snow-capped summits reaching towards the sky. And to the west, the rugged beauty of the Yellowstone Caldera unfolds, with its geysers and thermal pools dotting the landscape like jewels. After a day of exploration, we return to our camp for the evening, coming together to celebrate our journey over a wonderful final dinner with newfound friends. All meals included.

Hiking: 6 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 1,500'; Transfer: 2.5 hours.

Day 6

Hike to the top of Mount Washburn for Panoramic Views of Yellowstone

This morning, we hike one of Yellowstone’s most iconic and scenic hikes. The summit of Mount Washburn (10,223 ft) offers breathtaking 360-degree views of Yellowstone spread out at our feet. The wide trail’s gradual ascent to the fire lookout atop the mountain makes it a great hike to top off our week. We may even glimpse some four-legged friends along the way, bighorn sheep are known to frequent the area and graze nearby. With our hearts full of appreciation for our National Parks we return to our waiting vehicle and start our journey back home, arriving in Bozeman by approximately 7pm. Breakfast and lunch included.

Hiking: 7 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 1,384'; Transfer: 2.5–3.5 hours.

Itinerary map for Yellowstone Family Adventure

Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. This gear list has been created to help you choose the proper equipment. Try to bring only what is necessary; this will help you and the field staff.

REI members can shop for gently used gear online or at most REI stores. Members can also trade in pre-loved used gear online or at any REI store in exchange for REI gift card credit. Check out Re/Supply at REI to learn more.

We provide

  • All Group Cooking Gear
  • Group First Aid Kit
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Tent(s)

What to pack

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 1 (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales ( 1 (800) 426-4840 ) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

Trip specifics may change over time. Reviews reflect the version of the trip that was active at the time the reviewer took it. Please review the itinerary as described above and call our team for any additional details.