All that wide open big sky that Montana is known for makes a spectacular place to put some space between you and others. It's a dream for social distancing! When you're staying in Paradise Valley, you can access some of the most scenic spaces Montana has to offer. Here are some of the best social-distancing friendly activities you can find in Yellowstone Country.
Cast a line out into the miles of river around Gardiner. With so much water to go around, you cannot even spot another angler. There are hoards of state-managed fishing access sites around town, and plenty more put-ins as you head south into the Paradise Valley. When you pull on your waders or climb into the drift boat, you're setting out into the serenity of nature, far removed from city crowds and bustling sidewalks.
Get ready to lace up your hiking boots and head away from the over-crowded hotspots. Yellowstone trails are likely to get crowded, and there may be limited hours and closures as the park continues a phased reopening. But if you stay away from the most popular spots, you can find ample solitude in nature. There are trails in and around Gardiner, not to mention the seemingly endless national forest land that lines the Paradise Valley. You can head out into the wilderness in some areas without seeing another soul for hours. Be sure to come prepared, hike with a buddy, and let someone know where you're headed before you hit the trail.
When you head out on the water with a paddle in your hand and a kayak under your seat, it's easy to stay several boat lengths away from others. You can float mild sections of the Yellowstone River with a shuttle system (so you don't have to fight your way against the current to get back to the car). Or you can head to Bozeman to paddle around on Hyalite Reservoir or the ponds in town. Boating in Yellowstone reopens when the park moves into Phase 2, so keep an eye out to see when a trip out on Yellowstone Lake might be a possibility.
Get behind the wheel and set out for an adventure, safely isolated from others. Roll the windows down to let in some fresh air, crank the radio, and make photo stops as you go. The drive south from Livingston to the Gardiner entrance of Yellowstone follows the Yellowstone River's flow through the Paradise Valley, an aptly named spot for scenery. You never know what wildlife you'll spot along the way, so be sure to watch for elk, bison, and bears.
In Livingston, this city park commemorates the Lewis & Clark Expedition's return journey east; when Clark passed through the area on an exploratory side trip along the Yellowstone River in 1806. Today, the park provides the same mountainous views that Clark saw as he traveled along the river, and you can see a commemorative statue of Sacajawea and her son Jean Baptiste. Have a picnic on the grass, breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy your restorative time in nature.