Secrets Around Yellowstone, from Ghost Towns to Fly Fishing

Awesome fishing is just one hidden secret in Yellowstone!

  • 13
  • 11:56
  • 548 mi
  • $108
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Created by Holbach4 - March 21st 2020

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most famous parks in the country, but just because it's popular doesn't mean it isn't loaded with hidden gems and incredible secrets. With historic ghost towns, loads of hot springs, mysterious musical rocks, and some of America's best fly fishing, Yellowstone and the surrounding area offer up more than just Old Faithful. Take a road trip through Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho to uncover it all!

Photo of Mammoth Hot Springs

Mammoth Hot Springs, Mammoth, WY, US

Mammoth Hot Springs

No visit to Wyoming is complete without a visit to the Mammoth Hot Springs. These otherworldly springs are crazy hot (which means no swimming), but can be experienced from winding boardwalks that wrap around the park.

It gets pretty warm, but here's a tip: The visitor's center serves ice cream to help you cool off.

Photo of Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Near Canyon Village, WY, US

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Considered by many to be the highlight of the whole park, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone has to be seen to be believed. The drive offers astounding views of the rugged cliffs and rushing waterfalls, and if you time it just right, you'll catch sight of the iconic rainbow featured in so many of the canyon's stunning photographs. Bonus: The Yellowstone River and Yellowstone Lake above the falls have some pretty awesome fly fishing, especially during the salmonfly hatch in mid-July.

Photo of The Smith Mansion

2903 N Fork Hwy, Cody, WY, US

The Smith Mansion

There's a good chance you'll spot this crazy work of art from the Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway, but this 75-foot-high structure is worth a closer look.

The Smith Mansion looks like some kind of bizarre Dr. Seuss illustration come to life, and is what resulted when a man decided to build his own house... but just couldn't stop building.

Since the owner's death in 1992, the Smith Mansion has sat untouched (it's too dangerous to actually enter), but every year, thousands of curious travelers drive the byway and stop to see the structure—it's a great photo op.

Photo of Red Lodge KOA Journey

7464 US HWY 212, Red Lodge, MT, US

Red Lodge KOA Journey

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Click to find bookable tours and activities here

The Red Lodge KOA Journey, located just a few miles outside of town, makes the perfect home base for your explorations of Yellowstone.

The campground features fixed barbecues and picnic tables at each campsite and a heated pool, and its cozy cabins let you sleep where the original cowboys did, but a whole lot more comfortably.

78mi 02h 04m
Photo of Jackson Lake

Grand Teton National Park, WY, US

Jackson Lake


Jackson Lake offers fantastic fishing and boating, and a variety of fun activities that make it a perfect destination for lovers of the great outdoors. And its beach is ranked among the best park beaches in America. Rent a boat and set off to catch some cutthroat, lake trout, or brown trout!

29mi 00h 40m
Photo of T.A. Moulton Barn

Grand Teton National Park, Moose, WY, US

T.A. Moulton Barn


Hidden inside the Mormon Row Historic District of Grand Teton National Park, the T.A. Moulton Barn is an iconic landmark that you've probably seen before, even if you don't remember where.

Set against a backdrop of blue mountains, herds of wild bison, and grassy valleys, this rustic building is, literally, the most photographed barn in America. When you see the view, you'll understand why.

Built as part of a larger farm between 1912 and 1945, the T.A. Moulton Barn is now frozen in time as the last remaining building from the Moulton family homestead.

39mi 00h 56m

37 S Main St, Victor, ID, US

Grumpy's Goat Shack


Inside a little garage next to the Old Stone House Italian Restaurant sits a secret bar where you can chow down on some comfort food, kick back with a brew, and watch the local goats as they graze in the nearby pasture.

Grumpy's Goat Shack is an unconventional little hideout that's only open during the warmer months, but it takes full advantage of the summer season with a great outdoor patio in a nice, quiet setting. Pull up one of their eight bar stools, sample a local beer, and relax after a long day of reeling in fish.

45mi 01h 07m
Photo of Jenny Lake - Grand Teton NP

Grand Teton National Park, Moran, WY, US

Jenny Lake - Grand Teton NP


One of the most beloved portions of Grand Teton National Park, Jenny Lake offers a slew of activities that range from action-packed extreme sports to low-impact wildlife observation hikes.

Jenny Lake is also a fantastic place for fly fishing. There's a boat dock at the south end of the lake (make sure you get a permit from Teton Park), but if you're more of a boots-on-the-ground angler, there's some great trails circling the lake that provide access to the water.

Expect to find both cutthroat and lake trout.

76mi 01h 52m

Yellow Stone National Park, Mammoth, WY, US

Old Faithful


Old Faithful is an iconic American landmark that's been inspiring awe since it was discovered in 1870, and it's just as incredible today as it was more than a century ago.

Easily the most recognized, celebrated, and studied geyser in the world, Old Faithful, true to its name, erupts every hour and a half to the delight of onlookers who've come far and wide to catch a glimpse of its dramatic spout.

Show up when they open the park at 8:00 a.m.—you'll beat the crowds and get a classic photo op.

17mi 00h 26m
Photo of Firehole River

Grand Loop Road, WY, US

Firehole River


One of several rivers in Yellowstone National Park, Firehole River has a pretty unique feature: It's naturally heated by the nearby hot springs, making it almost 20 degrees warmer than other rivers!

Surprisingly, its heat also makes it a pretty great fishing spot, earning it the title of "strangest trout stream on Earth." Don't be surprised if you see large billows of steam rolling out of the waters as you reel in a big one.

64mi 01h 21m
Photo of Lower Mesa Falls

Mesa Falls Scenic Byway, Ashton, ID, US

Lower Mesa Falls


As the only major falls in Idaho not used for irrigation or hydroelectric projects, Both Upper and Lower Mesa Falls has been painstakingly preserved to maintain its spectacular sights and sounds.

You can access both falls easily via well-maintained paths and viewing areas, each of which offers stunning views of the natural wonders.

Make sure to bring your fishing gear, because you'll find tons of trout in the stretches of the Snake River above and below the falls.

Be sure to pop in to the lovingly restored Mesa Falls Lodge while you're there.

17mi 00h 25m

26 N Hwy 20, Ashton, ID, US

Frostop Drive-In


If you've worked up an appetite during your fishing adventures and want to chow down on something that isn't trout, visit the Frostop Drive-In, a classic diner in Ashton, Idaho, that's known for its juicy burgers and fantastic root-beer floats.

Skip the french fries and order the tater tots instead!

179mi 03h 06m
Photo of Bannack State Park

721 Bannack Rd., Dillon, MT, US

Bannack State Park

With some of the best fishing hot spots in the nation, incredible hidden gems, and comfy KOA campgrounds, Yellowstone is a sure bet for your Western adventure. You'll leave with memories to last a lifetime-- and plenty of fish, too.