Beat the Summer Heat in West Yellowstone

Tubing Hebgen Lake West Yellowstone MontanaSummer is one of the most beautiful seasons to plan a visit to West Yellowstone. The days are long, the temperatures are warm, and visitors can spend hours outdoors hiking, fishing, horseback riding, biking, and exploring the majesty of the Greater Yellowstone region. But when the long summer days get a little too hot, consider cooling off in one of the area’s mountain lakes or scenic rivers.

Below, we break down some of the best ways to beat the heat on your next West Yellowstone adventure.

Where should I go?

Hebgen Lake is located about 20 minutes from West Yellowstone. The lake, which is roughly 16 miles long and 4 miles wide, offers some of the best still-water fishing in the state. Visitors can bring a picnic and relax on one of the lake’s numerous beaches, venture into the water for a refreshing swim, or explore the area on a boat or watercraft.

The Madison River flows from Yellowstone National Park into Hebgen Lake and Quake Lake before winding through the stunning Madison River Valley. The river is one of the premier fly fishing destinations in the state. Visitors can also kayak or canoe certain stretches of the river and take in the breathtaking mountain views.

Watercraft rentals

For those looking to explore, the following local businesses offer a variety of watercraft rentals to get you out on the water. Make sure to confirm rental prices before your visit and clarify whether life jackets or fuel are included.

Kirkwood Marina (35 Kirkwood Creek Road)

Kirkwood Marina caters to visitors who are looking to beat the heat! Kirkwood offers one of the widest selections of watercraft rentals in the area, both motorized and non-motorized, to allow guests to keep cool during the summer’s hottest days.

Whether you are relaxing on the water with a large family or cruising the lake with a couple of friends, Kirkwood offers a variety of motorized boat rentals in various sizes. Depending on the boat, rentals are available for a two-hour block, a half day, or a full day.

  • Pontoon boats (No hourly rental, $229-$299/half day, $299-$369/full day)
  • Ski boats (No hourly rental, $349/half day, $429/full day)
  • Fishing boats ($69-$89/2 hours, $89-$109/half day, $129-$179/full day)

Kirkwood Marina also offers several non-motorized paddlecraft rentals for recreation. Pedal boats, stand up paddleboards, kayaks (single and double), and canoes are all available for rental at hourly, half day, and full day rates.

  • Pedal boats ($20-$40/1-3 hours, $45/half day, $50/full day)
  • Stand up paddleboards ($20-$40/1-3 hours, $45/half day, $50/full day)
  • Kayaks ($20-$45/1-3hours, $40-$45/half day, $50-$55/full day)

Madison Arm Resort (5475 Madison Arm Road)

Madison Arm Resort has an affordable selection of watercraft rentals to please every member of the family! The resort offers motorized boat rentals and non-motorized watercraft rentals at hourly or daily rates.

  • 14-foot aluminum boat ($35/hour, $175/day)
  • 16-foot aluminum boat ($40/hour, $200/day)
  • Canoes ($15/hour)
  • Kayaks ($15/hour)
  • Stand up paddleboards ($20/hour)
  • Water bikes ($15/hour)
  • Paddle boats ($15/hour)

Yellowstone Holiday RV Campground & Marina (16990 Hebgen Lake Road)

At Yellowstone Holiday, visitors can rent all of the gear that they need to explore Hebgen Lake and keep cool on a hot summer day. The resort rents 14-foot fishing boats for $20/hour, stand up paddleboards for $15/hour, kayaks for $10/hour, and canoes for $10/hour.

Keeping cool on a summer day in West Yellowstone can be a challenge, but the lakes and rivers of the area offer plenty of refreshing opportunities. Whether you are looking to relax on a sandy lake beach or kayak in the shadow of the mountains, West Yellowstone has your options covered to beat the heat on your next adventure.

For more information and trip ideas click here.