Doug Ammons was born in Missoula, Montana, to Robert Bruce Ammons and Carol H. Ammons. He grew up surrounded by family and knowledge. Both his parents have degrees in psychology, his father being a professor at the University of Montana. When he was in his adolescent years, his father would put together science projects for Doug and his siblings to work on, it “taught them to have open and investigative minds”. Their father’s assigned projects led the Ammons kids' to several places, like the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park, Coppermine on the Arctic coast, the desert of Oregon, and the Columbia River Gorge. Doug Ammons and his siblings would also hike, backpack, swim, and share their experiences together thru poetry.