The Best Wildlife Tours in Montana for Families and Kids

The Best Wildlife Tours in Montana for Families and Kids

Planning a family vacation can be challenging, especially when you want it to be both fun and educational. 

If you’re thinking about heading to Montana, you’re in luck. This state is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts, and there are plenty of family-friendly wildlife tours to choose from. 

Whether your kids are budding biologists or just love animals, these tours offer unforgettable experiences. 

Here’s your comprehensive guide to the best wildlife tours in Montana for families and kids.

Common Questions and Concerns

Before we dive into the best tours, let’s address some common questions families often have:

Are these tours safe for young children?

Yes, most wildlife tours in Montana are designed with safety in mind, and guides are trained to handle groups with kids.

What should we bring on a wildlife tour?

Essentials include comfortable walking shoes, weather-appropriate clothing, binoculars, snacks, water, and a camera. Some tours provide equipment like binoculars, but it’s always good to bring your own.

Will we actually see animals?

While wildlife sightings can never be guaranteed, Montana’s rich and diverse habitats make it highly likely. Guides know the best spots and times for animal sightings.

How long are these tours?

Tour lengths vary, ranging from a few hours to full-day excursions. Choose one that fits your family’s schedule and stamina.

Are there age restrictions?

Most tours are suitable for all ages, but it’s always a good idea to check with the tour company about age-specific recommendations or restrictions.

Top Family-Friendly Wildlife Tours in Montana

Yellowstone Safari Company

Yellowstone Safari Company offers some of the best wildlife tours in Montana, tailored for families. Their Family Wildlife Safari is a hit, providing opportunities to see bison, elk, bears, and wolves. The guides are knowledgeable and great with kids, ensuring the tour is both educational and fun.


  • Customizable tours to fit your family’s interests
  • Experienced guides with a focus on safety
  • Opportunities to learn about wildlife conservation

Personal Story:

The Johnson family from Texas recently took a tour with Yellowstone Safari Company. 

Their 8-year-old daughter, Emma, was thrilled to spot a grizzly bear in the wild. “It was the highlight of our trip,” said Mrs. Johnson.

 “The guide made the experience unforgettable with his stories and knowledge about the animals.”

Practical Tips:

  • What to Bring: Dress in layers, as the weather can change rapidly. Bring binoculars, snacks, water, and a camera.
  • Safety Note: Always stay close to the guide and follow their instructions.

Glacier National Park Tours

Glacier National Park is a must-visit, and their wildlife tours are perfect for families. Companies like Glacier Guides and Montana Raft offer guided hikes and river trips where you might spot mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and even the elusive grizzly bear.


  • Combination of hiking and rafting for varied experiences
  • Family-friendly routes and knowledgeable guides
  • Stunning scenery and abundant wildlife

Personal Story:

The Smith family from California chose a half-day rafting trip with Glacier Guides. Their 10-year-old son, Jack, couldn’t stop talking about the bald eagle they saw swooping down to catch a fish. “It was like something out of a nature documentary,” said Mr. Smith.

Practical Tips:

  • What to Bring: Waterproof clothing, sturdy shoes, sunscreen, and a hat.
  • Engage with Guides: Encourage kids to ask questions. Guides love sharing their knowledge and it keeps children engaged.

Montana Wildlife Adventure Tours

This company specializes in family tours, with packages designed to engage children. 

Their Kids’ Wildlife Adventure tour includes activities like animal tracking, bird watching, and nature scavenger hunts.


  • Interactive and educational activities for kids
  • Small group sizes for a personalized experience
  • Focus on teaching kids about wildlife and ecosystems

Personal Story:

The Lee family from New York joined a tour with Montana Wildlife Adventure Tours. Their 6-year-old son, Leo, had a blast learning to identify animal tracks. “He still talks about how he found ‘bear prints’ in the mud,” said Mrs. Lee.

Practical Tips:

  • What to Bring: Comfortable walking shoes, a small backpack, water, and snacks.
  • Stay Patient: Wildlife sightings require patience and quiet, so prepare your kids for some waiting.

Bitterroot Valley Wildlife Tours

For a more relaxed experience, the Bitterroot Valley offers scenic tours that are great for families with young children. 

Bitterroot Wildlife Adventures provides gentle hikes and drives through wildlife-rich areas, ensuring minimal exertion while maximizing sightings.


  • Easy, family-friendly tours
  • Abundant wildlife in a tranquil setting
  • Knowledgeable guides who cater to young children

Personal Story:

The Martinez family from Florida took a leisurely tour with Bitterroot Wildlife Adventures. Their 4-year-old daughter, Sofia, was delighted to see deer up close. “It was perfect for her age,” said Mr. Martinez. “No long hikes, just a relaxing drive with plenty to see.”

Practical Tips:

  • What to Bring: Snacks, water, a camera, and a blanket for sitting during breaks.
  • Safety Note: Keep young children close to avoid wandering off.
  • More Great Wildlife Tour Options in Montana

Montana Grizzly Encounter

For an up-close and educational experience, visit the Montana Grizzly Encounter. This sanctuary offers families a chance to learn about grizzly bears in a safe environment. 

It’s not a traditional tour, but it’s a fantastic educational stop.


  • Safe, controlled environment to see grizzly bears
  • Educational programs about bear conservation
  • Great for young children and school-age kids

Personal Story:

The Baker family from Illinois visited the Montana Grizzly Encounter. Their 5-year-old son, Ethan, was fascinated by the bears’ size and behavior. “It was amazing to see them so close and learn about their habits,” said Mrs. Baker.

Practical Tips:

  • What to Bring: Comfortable shoes, a camera, and curiosity.
  • Educational Aspect: Take advantage of the educational programs and talks provided by the staff.

Flathead Lake Wildlife Tours

Flathead Lake offers unique wildlife viewing opportunities, including bird watching and fishing tours. 

Companies like Flathead Lake Charters provide boat tours that are perfect for families.


  • Scenic boat tours on Flathead Lake
  • Opportunities to see birds, fish, and other wildlife
  • Relaxing and enjoyable for all ages

Personal Story:

The Robinson family from Washington State took a bird-watching tour on Flathead Lake. Their 9-year-old daughter, Lily, loved spotting ospreys and eagles. “The guide was fantastic, and the scenery was breathtaking,” said Mr. Robinson.

Practical Tips:

  • What to Bring: Binoculars, sun protection, water, and snacks.
  • Safety Note: Always wear life jackets on the boat.
Tours in Montana for Families and Kids

Tips for a Great Wildlife Tour Experience

Planning and preparing for your wildlife tour can make a significant difference in your overall experience. 

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your adventure:

Pack Smart

Bring layers, as weather in Montana can change quickly. Don’t forget sunblock and hats for sun protection. Binoculars and cameras are must-haves for capturing those unforgettable moments.

Stay Patient

Wildlife sightings require patience and quiet, so prepare your kids for some waiting. Bringing along a small activity or snack can help keep them occupied.

Engage with Guides

Encourage your kids to ask questions. Guides love sharing their knowledge and it keeps children engaged. This interaction can make the tour more educational and fun for everyone.

Respect Wildlife

Teach your kids the importance of respecting wildlife. Observing animals from a distance and not disturbing their natural behavior is crucial for their safety and well-being.

Capture Memories

Take lots of photos but also take time to put the camera down and just enjoy the experience. Sometimes the best memories are made by simply being present.

Stay Hydrated and Fed

Bring plenty of water and snacks. Hungry and thirsty kids (and adults) can get cranky quickly, so keeping everyone well-fed and hydrated is key.

Safety First

Always follow the guide’s instructions and stay close to the group. Wildlife tours, while generally safe, can pose risks if safety guidelines are not followed.


Exploring the wild landscapes of Montana with your family is more than just a vacation—it’s an adventure filled with learning, bonding, and unforgettable experiences. From the majestic bison in Yellowstone to the tranquil beauty of Glacier National Park, Montana’s wildlife tours offer something special for every family.

By choosing the right tour and preparing well, you can ensure that your kids not only see incredible animals but also develop a deep appreciation for nature and conservation.

Remember to pack smart, engage with your guides, and, most importantly, enjoy the journey. 

Whether you’re tracking animal prints with the little ones or rafting through scenic rivers with older kids, these moments will become cherished family memories.

We hope this guide has helped you plan your perfect wildlife adventure in Montana. Don’t hesitate to share your experiences or ask questions in the comments below.

Your insights can help other families plan their adventures, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Happy wildlife watching, and here’s to making memories that will last a lifetime!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the focus of the Family Adventure Tour offered by Yellowstone Wild?

The Family Adventure Tour is designed to be fun and educational for both children and adults, focusing on engaging all ages to discover the joys of the natural world through games, nature walks, hands-on learning, and multi-sensory engagement with Yellowstone’s offerings.

What activities are included in the Montana Family Vacation offered by Travel Montana?

The Montana Family Vacation includes horseback riding, hiking, rafting, pool time, and more, with activities tailored to accommodate families with kids aged five and up.

How does Yellowstone Safari Company cater to families with children?

Yellowstone Safari Company offers private or small group tours that cater to the diverse interests and needs of both children and adults, promising an immersive, educational, and fun experience. They also encourage children to become Junior Rangers, fostering a deeper connection to the park.

Are there any age restrictions for the tours offered by Yellowstone Safari Company?

While there is no minimum age for private safaris, children under the age of 3 will not be charged the full rate and are welcome to join at the parent’s discretion. Open safaris welcome children over the age of 5.

What is the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone?

The Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center is a nonprofit wildlife park and educational facility that offers visitors a chance to see live grizzly bears and wolves, with a museum highlighting Yellowstone’s unique ecosystems and history, and seasonal raptor exhibits