Snowmobile at Yellowstone and downhill ski?


Jun 29th, 2009, 01:53 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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Snowmobile at Yellowstone and downhill ski?

My husband and I woud like to plan a trip in January 2010 to Yellowstone. We think we might stay at Mammoth or at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and wonder if people have good reviews of their winter stays there. Also, I know cross country skiing is abundant in the park, but would it be too ambitious to find downhill skiing. Would Jackson Hole or Big Sky be do-able? Our total vacation will be 6-8 days in length.
MerrieC is offline  
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Jul 2nd, 2009, 01:20 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Have taken two winter trips to Yellowstone but they were before the new policy of needing a snowmobile "guide" was begun. The first time we spent a couple of nights at Mammoth Hot Springs. Food was ok and reasonably priced. Could stay 5 miles away in Gardiner and have many more choices within walking distance if you are wish. The lowest price rooms at MHS do not include a restroom (located down hall).

We drove the NE entrance road. This road which is the only one paved during winter (other than from Gardiner to Mammoth) goes through the Lamar Valley which is one of best areas to see wolves, bighorn sheep and elk. We took a snow coach from Mammoth to Old Faithful. I hated this as you are at the mercy of the driver when they want to stop/leave - after all they have a schedule to keep. Have high humidity inside the coach which caused my glasses to fog constantly and we were packed tightly together.

Stayed in a cabin at the snow lodge which was nicer in my opionion since did not hear other visitors all night long. Lodge & restaurant are not a far walk away. They had sleds to transport luggage to your room. May be wrong but will probably need to get snowmobile thru Xanterra since you will already be in the park. Park Service in their "wisdom" now makes you go with a guide on a snowmobile trip, so again you are at mercy of someone else to stay or go. Just remember to carry your driver's licence with you or you could get a ticket. They also run radar so don't exceed posted limits.
The machine I used had electric start and heated hand warmers which helped alot. A supply of the disposable pocket heat packages and a refillable water bottle were a big help as well. Don't forget sunscreen and sunglasses.

If you are out all day put your camera and lens inside a sealed plastic bag before you come inside. This will cause the condensation to form on the outside of the bag and not on your equipment. Wait several hours before opening it once inside. Keep extra batteries as close to your body as you can - the cold will zap quickly. Once again warmed will probably work fine.

Last time I was there you could rent skis at both MHS and Old Faithful. There are trails through the geyser basins. Can't help on downhill areas.
Photodog is offline  
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Jul 2nd, 2009, 04:01 PM
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When we skied at Big Sky, day trips to Yellowstone were offered, so I'd think that the reverse is also possible.
abram is offline  
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Jul 2nd, 2009, 06:53 PM
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It's been a long time since we did this, but we took a week's vacation to Big Sky and Yellowstone. We stayed in Bozeman 3 nights and drove daily to Big Sky. We loved the downhill skiing at Big Sky--much fewer people than at the Colorado resorts with equally good skiing. Then we spent 3 nights at Mammoth Hot Springs Lodge. We did not want to be reliant on the snow coaches, so we stayed at MHS rather than Old Faithful Lodge. (We drove into Gardiner for dinner one or two nights.) We were there when you could rent a snowmobile and go out on your own. Now that was FUN! Too bad you have to do it in a group now. I would recommend doing some cross-country skiing in the park because that's really the best way to experience it.
I would highly recommend a combo trip of Yellowstone and Big Sky!
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