Picture this – you’ve got a couple days vacation and you know you want to spend them in Stillwater County, Montana because you’ve heard so many great things about it. You’re ready for an adventure! You’ve got your significant other and kids on board, and you’re starting to plan. And then all of a sudden, you start to panic because you have NO IDEA what to pack or even what the itinerary should be. Don’t worry! We’ve planned out your 3 day Stillwater County Adventure so that you can stop worrying and get excited. You’ve earned it.
Your 3 Day Stillwater County Adventure Itinerary and What To Pack
Now that you’re officially excited about your Montana adventure, let’s talk about the itinerary so you know what you’ll be doing and how to pack for it.
Today is heavy on the fun and will ease you into a great adventure! Today we want the adrenaline pumping and the smiles big. Start the day in Absarokee and end the day at the heart of Stillwater County, Columbus, MT, where you can you stay at a FREE campground at Itch-Kep-Pe Park.
Breakfast at The Rosebud Cafe
You don’t want to miss out on a hearty breakfast today, so stop at the Rosebud Cafe first and take in the cozy atmosphere and make sure to take time to chat with the owners Sylvia and Roger. Sweetest couple ever! This is a local favorite, and will get your day started off right! You’ll need your strength for the next activity!
Book a half day rafting trip with Adventure Whitewater for a trip you’ll never forget. They specialize in personal trips, and is one of Montana’s go-to spots for anyone who loves rafting!
These half-day trips are perfect for those seeking a thrill but don’t want to be wiped out the rest of the day. After you’ve had enough of being on the river, grab a shower, lunch, and a change of clothes and get ready for the next adventure.
The Museum of the Beartooths is the perfect place to unwind after your exciting morning. Discover the history of Stillwater County, and dive into the history of the 2nd Crow Agency. Bring the kids and a camera and capture some memories!
Take your time here and have fun exploring.
No Stillwater County adventure would be complete without a good ol’ fashioned drive-in diner. Head over to the Dew Drop Drive Inn for a delicious cooked to order meal and enjoy the fresh air in the open air dining patio and then stay awhile in the attached RV Park! The Drive Inn even has free WiFi, so you can answer a quick email or check your social notifications if you want.
S’Mores and Relaxing
After dinner, you can head to Itch-Kep-Pe Park and relax. Maybe light a campfire and get to making some tasty S’Mores! Enjoy the gorgeous views and immerse yourself in a camping experience that everyone will love.
Here’s What To Pack: You’ll need two outfits for today. First, wear something comfortable for river rafting, so something you’d be ok getting wet or even swimming in if necessary. Water shoes or hiking sandals might be a good idea. Pack a light jacket or windbreaker in case it gets a little windy. The second outfit should be something comfortable and light for after you get off the river. You’ll be walking around the Museum and chilling by the campfire, so don’t forget a jacket for the cooler night!
Don’t forget your refillable water bottle! You’ll want to stay hydrated today.
Today is all about spending time in the great outdoors. Be sure to check the weather before you pack and see if you’ll be needed an extra couple of layers or not. Montana typically has beautiful summers, but the weather can change in an instant, so it’s best to be prepared.
You’ll want to take the quick drive over to Rapelje for a delicious and comforting breakfast at Stockman Cafe. Don’t forget to take in the incredible mountain views of the 5 surrounding mountain ranges. Feels like you are sitting on top of the world.
Fishing on The Yellowstone and Stillwater Rivers
You don’t want to miss fishing in Montana. Check out all of the access points here if you’re ready to get out on your own. Or better yet, book a guided fly fishing trip with some local experts from Stillwater Anglers! You can rent gear and get a trip you’ll never forget, all while leaving the details up to them. Check out all of the guided fishing trip options here.
Today’s a good day to pack a lunch. Once you’re out in the Beartooth Wilderness, you won’t want to head back into town. Pack a lunch, a couple of cold drinks, and plan for a glorious picnic outside today.
If you haven’t had enough fishing today, we get it! Stay on the river. But if you’re ready to stretch your legs and get some amazing photos of the beauty that is Stillwater County, a hike is definitely the remedy. Check out our list of all of our favorite hikes in the area, and pick the right one for you and your family!
You have had a big day today! You’re probably a little exhausted and are ready for a nice dinner (and maybe a couple of drinks). We recommend one of the most popular restaurants in Stillwater County, 307 Bar and Grill. There is something delicious for every family member here, or it makes for the ideal date night for you and your honey.
Here’s What To Pack: Today you’ll be spending pretty much all day outdoors, so dress in layers. Long pants might be a good idea for hiking, and comfortable walking or hiking shoes. You could wear something slightly dressier for dinner if you’d like, but that’s up to you.
Start your day with a little down-home cooking at The Bearstone Cafe. They serve breakfast all day so take your time or tackle the day early! If you’re less of a breakfast person, check out their Facebook page for their daily lunch specials.
If you want a quick breakfast, then The Big Fat Lunchbox food truck is your style. You will find the best breakfast burritos this side of the Rockies. Columbus’ own burritos extraordinaire. You will come back just for those burritos. Guaranteed!
Next, you’ll take a gorgeous drive over to the Tippet Rise Art Center. One of the most beautiful drives in Montana, Highway 78 is full of gorgeous views. The drive to the Art Center convinces you that the sky really is bigger here.
Once you actually get to the Art Center (and make sure you book a tour in advance!), you’ll find a beautiful hike of sculptures, with lots of opportunities for photos. This spot is definitely one for the books.
Your last day in Stillwater County means exploring it’s largest town, Columbus. There are lots of little neat shops there, including famous Montana Silversmiths Outlet, where you can find the perfect gift to take home from your trip.
Eat whatever you’re in the mood for, and explore the town. The locals would love to point you to their favorite places, and you’ll head home with more souvenirs and memories than you’ll know what to do with.
The New Atlas Bar is a historic landmark in Stillwater County, a bar that has been in Columbus for over 100 years. This is a bucket list place you just have to get to. Though we wouldn’t classify it as kid-friendly, we know that you’ll love the unique features of this bar you’ll never forget.
Here’s What To Pack: For the morning trek to the Art Center, bring water. Pack for the weather, and again it would be best to dress in layers. Don’t forget your camera! Today is a great day for memories, and you don’t want to miss out on all of the sculptures or the land.
Now You’re Ready!
Now you know what to do in Stillwater County, and what to pack so that you can get started on your 3 Day Stillwater County Adventure. There’s something for everyone on this trip, from high thrills to laid-back afternoons, and everything in between. If you’re not much of a planner, come anyway! We are sure you will find something fun and enjoyable to do here, even if it’s just a spontaneous getaway.
Give us a call if you have any questions, or need advice on what to do while you’re here. We would love to help you plan your next visit.