You’ve probably read that #winter in Yellowstone is a magical time of year. We can’t back that up enough. Winter truly is a spectacle!
Starting November 8th, or so, all roads in Yellowstone close, except the road from the north entrance in Gardiner to the northeast entrance in Cooke City. This road is plowed and maintained throughout the winter. All other roads are only accessible via snowmobile or snowcoach.
Snowcoaches are giant snow-roaming vessels that impressively crush the snow and keep it’s passengers nice and toasty inside. Daily snowcoach tours are available from West Yellowstone, Gardiner and Mammoth Hot Springs, and can take visitors to Grand Canyon of Yellowstone or Old Faithful. Snow Lodge, located at the Old Faithful area, is open for the winter season, if you want to stay overnight in the park.
Snowmobile tours depart daily from West Yellowstone, Gardiner, and Cooke City, and explore a variety of locations and distances.
You can also apply for the "Non-Commerically Guided Snowmobile Access Program" where you can ride a personal snowmobile, or rent one, and explore the park via snowmobile on your own. The program allows four groups per day (one to enter at each of the four entrances).
Cross-country ski tours and snowshoes tours are available from West Yellowstone, Gardiner and Mammoth Hot Springs as well.
But, there is so much to see on the road from the north entrance to northeast entrance, so if you are on a time or budget restraint, you can still experience a magical corner of Yellowstone in the winter. You see, this is the road that leads through Lamar Valley.
Lamar Valley is known for it’s abundance of #wildlife, and this is especially true in the winter. The high elevation of peaks surrounding Lamar Valley are covered in snow during the winter, making the wildlife descend to lower elevation, the Valley. And, it is usually easy to spot wildlife, as they stand out in contrast to the snow.
Again, we recommend strapping on some snowshoes or cross-country skis and hitting a trail to truly experience the essence of the season.
Our favorite trails to cross-country ski in Yellowstone in the winter are:
· Fawn Pass
· Madison Riverside Trail
· Blacktail Plateau
· Bannock Ski Trail
Our favorite trails to snowshoe in Yellowstone in the winter are:
· Upper Terrace Loop Ski Trail
· Tower Falls Trail
Come check out why winter in Yellowstone is the most wonderful time of year!
NOMADIC BY NATURE offers day hikes and backpacking trips in the spring, summer and fall, check out our Yellowstone hiking tours for a well-rounded experience in Yellowstone!
Featured Trip: Lamar Valley to Pelican Valley
This guided backpacking trip through Lamar Valley, in the northeast corner of the park, covers some of the best scenery Yellowstone has to offer. You will hike through wide-open meadows scattered with bison, pronghorn, and other big mammals, all the while following the majestic Lamar River. Eventually, the trail takes you over the mighty Mist Pass and drops into Pelican Valley — a massive expanse of rolling grass, slow-moving creeks, and a true wildlife stronghold.
Of all the trips Nomadic By Nature offers, this trip offers the best chance to see wildlife in the backcountry..