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Family Travel Files Ezine Family Vacations Resource
Rocky Mountain States Secret Family Vacation Places in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming.Montana Gold Country Family Fishing Adventure Secret family vacation places in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming offer unique experiences and off-the beaten path family vacation adventures.

Here's the scoop.
The vastness of the American West makes pinpointing excellent family vacation spots slightly challenging. Variety is at your fingertips. Follow the Trail of the Coeur d’Alene’s; visit the ghost town of Bannock in Montana; try fly-fishing with your kids; dig for dinosaurs in Wyoming.

Montana: Gold Country - Gemstones, Cowboy Stories, and Great Fishing.
Southwestern Montana offers natural beauty, slightly quirky history and plenty of fun for families on vacation. Expansive valleys and snow-capped mountains frame family friendly communities, state parks and working ranches. Known for crisp dry air and amazing star-filled nights, summers bring rodeos, rock hounding, fly fishing, cattle drives, horseback adventures and living history. Located between Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park, the area is dotted with ghost towns, acres of wilderness, trout-filled rivers, mysterious caverns and cowboy culture. This is the place to ride horseback; dig for gems; hike a ridgeline; discover a ghost town; hook a trout; attend the theatre; experience living history. Bonus Points: Sift for sapphires in the enchanting town of Philipsburg. The sapphire sifting room, with windows on the street, is the hands-on part of the Sapphire Gallery. Purchase a bag filled with gray soil and stones then proceed to the water wash for sifting and table top for the sorting. Family vacation base: Just 35 short, scenic miles northwest of Dillon, Montana High Country Lodge in the Grasshopper Valley is a family-friendly guest ranch with western ambiance and a laid back, comfortable yet luxurious style. They have 12 oversized guest bedrooms and suites all with private baths, huge grand room with stone fireplace, dining room, hot tub room, game room. Whether it’s directions to the North Face outlet or how to identify scat found along a mountain trial, Russ and Karen are experts in creating distinctively Montana family adventures. Vacation activities include fishing, hiking, gemstone hunting, trial riding, stargazing and snow mobiling. Horses in the pasture ready to ride and a bottomless cookie jar. (Montana High Country Lodge Polaris, MT 59746. (406) 834-3467 or and Montana Gold West Tourist Information toll-free 1-800-879-1159, (406)846-1943 or

Idaho: Harrison - Horseback Riding, Boating, and Biking the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes.
Idaho Wild Horses Splashing A little more than 250 miles east of Seattle and only about 30 minutes from Spokane the small resort town of Harrison nestled along the eastern shore of South Lake Coeur d'Alene at the mouth of the Coeur d'Alene River history and natural beauty. For many boaters this is the ideal place to launch on the clear waters of more than 12 lakes. Bonus Points: The Harrison Marina Trailhead provides easy access to the 72-mile long Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes. The smooth paved path was made for walking, biking, hiking, or roller skating while enjoying the beauty of the American West. The Trail offers views of the lake, river and surrounding mountains and wetlands. Family vacation base: Tucked away in a tranquil valley an hour's drive south of beautiful Coeur d'Alene is Red Horse Mountain Guest Ranch. The guest ranch offers the perfect, all-inclusive family vacation with plenty of western flair. Stay in beautifully crafted and authentically furnished log cabins and enjoy ranch life with your kids. The list of outdoor adventures include horseback riding, kayaking, a challenge course, fly fishing lessons and excursions, whitewater rafting, sporting clays, mountain biking, fishing ponds, 3D archery trails, enjoy wholesome meals and nightly entertainment. They have a variety of riding trails, all of which leave the valley floor and climb into the surrounding hillsides. Enjoy riding through open pastures, along wide trails, on open hillsides and through narrow, wooded paths. (Red Horse Mountain 11077 East Blue Lake Road Harrison, ID  83833. Toll-free 1-888-689-9680, (208) 689-9686 or
Wyoming: Thermopolis - Dinosaurs Digs, Ancient Petroglyphs, and World's Largest Mineral Hot Springs. Located among the foothills of the Owl Creek Mountains and at the edge of the Big Horn River, Thermopolis which means "Hot City" in Greek is a really neat place for families. In addition to dramatically beautiful scenery, it is renowned for its World’s Largest Mineral Hot Springs. The Big Horn Springs are open year round, including holidays and visitors of any age are welcome to swim, slide, or just relax and soak in the water. West of Thermopolis on the road to Cody is a secret spot known as Legend Rock Petroglyphs. The Hopi, Zuni and Peruvian petroglyphs are located along the base of the cliffs. The site requires a key which may be obtained at the Hot Springs State Park office. Bonus Points: In addition to a hot soak and ancient stone drawings, for families there is even better news. Thermopolis is the home of the Wyoming Dinosaur Center ( and one of the world's largest fossil quarries. During the summer months it is possible for families with children older than eight to join scientists on a real dig in the red hills on the northern end of the Wind River Canyon. Family vacation base: Close to Hot Springs State Park and the Big Horn River, The Elk Antler Inn offers families spacious two and three bedroom suites, each furnished with log furniture, microwave & refrigerator. Onsite is a picnic area w/BBQ grill. They offer boat, canoe and tube rentals as well as fishing guide & shuttle service to the hot springs. (The Elk Antler Inn 501 South 6th, Hwy 20 Thermopolis, Wyoming. Toll-free 1-800-320-4028, (307) 864-2325 or
Content researched and posted by Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the good Stuff for the Family Travel Files. Images by Red Horse Mountain and Montana High Country Lodge. Copyright updated 2017.
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