• national park buses

    Ready, Set, Go!: On a ride in the classic red and yellow buses inside Glacier and Yellowstone national parks

    By Ednor Therriault

    Whether you’re nudging your way through a road-blocking herd of grumpy bison in Yellowstone National Park’s Hayden Valley, or trying not to wet yourself as you look over the edge of Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road at the sheer half-mile drop into thin air, riding shotgun in a vintage National Park Service tour bus is the best seat in the house.

    If you’ve experienced both of Montana’s national parks from the unique perspective of the throwback tour buses, you might think that apart from the paint jobs, Glacier’s iconic red buses and Yellowstone’s historic yellow buses are all the same.

    But that would be like comparing apples and bananas.


    There are plenty of tours to experience at both parks, from eight hour treks up mountain passes to quick evening rides.


    Here’s more about the two tours writer Ednor Therriault took.


    The Firehole Basin Adventure in Yellowstone: A three hour tour that takes riders to geyser basins along the park’s valley. Riders can also request drivers stop at specific sites throughout the drive. The tour leaves from the Old Faithful Inn and runs numerous times throughout the day.

    There are plenty of more “adventures on land” inside Yellowstone. You can read about them all and fill out reservation forms here.

    The West Side Crown of the Continent Tour in Glacier: An eight to nine hour tour that takes riders through Lake McDonald Valley and up along Going-to-the-Sun Road. Riders can eat lunch at the Many Glacier Hot, the tour then continues through St. Mary Valley and into Swiftcurrent Valley.  The tour leaves from various sites around the park daily from June 20 through Sept. 21.

    To learn more about all the tours, including the “Big Sky Circle Tour” and “East Alpine Tour,” click here.
    To view the entire story on the famous park buses, find this issue on newsstands now. To read more about Montana all year, subscribe now.

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