Our aviation community at VCB (Nut Tree) was always looking for an air adventure. Each year we would fly out to OshKosh for AirVenture and this year was to be another. Jeff Sharman, our crazy South African was always in the lead as far as the flight ideas and the adventures we would look to experience. We decided that it was time for an Yellowstone visit. Gardiner Montana was right there, at the north enterance and the motel (Absoroka) was cheap and clean. Also, we had transportation waiting. We exited VCB and made a line toward Medford for fuel. We were on our way to see the Spruce Goose at the Evergreen Museum in McMinnville. Weather kept us from getting that far north and west as low level clouds covered the area. So off to Montana we went. A moderate gaggle of aircraft, two RV-4s, an 8 and a couple of 6s. Loose formation with some mild aerobatics along the way. Safety first but come on, we have to get out of autopilot mode to keep awake.
Gardiner airport is a nice paved runway. 10, facing west is uphill and preferred. There is no fuel and no services so plan ahead if you need fuel for the next leg. Fuel is available at Livingston, West Yellowstone and Bozeman. If you decide you want to rent a car, don’t even think of Gardiner, there aren’t any…The next trip we made to Gardiner, the next year, we landed at Bozeman, rented a vehicle, and one of us drove it to Gardiner and met us at the motel. The motel will pick you up at the Gardiner airport.
The restaurants in Gardiner are plentiful and excellent. Coming in to town there is a hamburger shack advertizing elk burgers. Excellent burger but it’s long term affects required a motile form fighting antibiotic and a few days or hydration as I was not going to fly in that condition. The italian Restaurants and anyplace you can get a steak are great.
Being on the north enterance to the park gives you quick access and a 3/4 day trip around the park is a measure one. A drive to Cody Wyoming will give you another day of adventure as well. The park will not be well experienced in one day. You will need at least two to see things and probably three if you are getting out and doing some hiking. If you like to get wet and enjoy speed, the white water is excellent at Gardiner. There are many white water rafting companies that will be willing to set you up!