yellowstone in winter

Old Oct 16th, 2019, 09:41 AM
  #1  
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yellowstone in winter

I would like to take a week to 5 day vacation in Yellowstone with my adult daughter in the winter. We have been to yellowstone in the summer years ago and loved it but would like t o plan a winter adventure. I"m having trouble searching the forum for prior questions on this. I understand there are road closings but can anyone suggest a tour group for a few days? thanks
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Old Oct 16th, 2019, 09:49 AM
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In past years, the snow machine tours went out of West Yellowstone MT. You'll have to check to see when the season starts and how much it costs. With the amount of snow that western Montana got recently, they should be up and running soon.
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Old Oct 16th, 2019, 10:22 AM
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The source: https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvis...-in-winter.htm
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Old Oct 16th, 2019, 06:52 PM
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It wasn't a tour and I didn't write a trip report, but nearly five years ago I took a trip to Yellowstone in winter. It was wonderful, totally uncrowded! Stayed several nights at the Snow Lodge, where we did lots of snowshoeing, and a few nights in Gardiner. From Gardiner we went wolf-watching in the Lamar Valley. One spot one day in the Lamar Valley was the coldest I've ever been in my life (-42 F). Really miserably cold, but we saw two wolf packs.

I will dig up more details if you are interested. We flew into Butte the day after Christmas and out of Bozeman a week later. We rented an SUV but of course took the snowcoach for the Snow Lodge part.

ETA: Although my trip was independent travel, we booked wolf-watching through Wolf Tracker. We had a fantastic biologist guide. It was a great experience.

https://www.wolftracker.com/

Last edited by Leely2; Oct 16th, 2019 at 06:59 PM.
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Old Oct 17th, 2019, 06:05 AM
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We took a "Yellowstone in Winter" tour and it was fascinating. No roads in the park are open to motor vehicles,,,,all travel is by SnoCat or snowmobile. Our only gripe was that the meal service was so late in the evening that it was hard to face a big platter of goodies. AsTomFuller says, we began our visit in West Yellowstone.
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Old Oct 17th, 2019, 06:13 AM
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I'm going on this tour in January:
https://www.roadscholar.org/find-an-...in-yellowstone

I became fascinated with the idea after spending a week in Yellowstone in September a few years ago, and nobody I know was interested in joining me for a winter trip.
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Old Oct 17th, 2019, 07:32 AM
  #7  
mms
 
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We did the same thing as Bobmrg and stayed in West Yellowstone and took a snocat tour into the park. Full disclosure, this was 28 years ago, so of course I can't give the name of the company or anything, but it was a great way to spend a day and that doesn't change with time In the Snocat I was seated in the very front next to the driver and it was much colder in that seat than the rest, FWIW, so just plan ahead.
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Old Oct 17th, 2019, 11:43 AM
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We also had a wonderful winter visit in Yellowstone, in January a few years back. We stayed in West Yellowstone for the first few days, then a couple of days in the Snow Lodge. Our snowcat ride to/from the Lodge was part of our room rate. That winter there was also a nighttime snowcat tour offered for Lodge guests, where we visited some geysers under the stars and moon. Really nice. It felt like the entire park was devoid of people, which it nearly completely was. One morning we took a hike around the Old Faithful area, where a coyote was sleeping right next to the trail - nearly had to step over him. He barely opened one eye.

While in West Yellowstone, we also did a day tour in with an outfit that put us in a fun vintage snowcat, although I can't recall the name either. The guide was very knowledgeable, though.
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Old Oct 17th, 2019, 01:40 PM
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@Leely2 thank you for your reply. Sounds absolutely wonderful except for the extreme cold! I also like the idea of flying into one place an out another but I am traveling just with my daughter and a little concerned about the driving in bad weather. After I review the map etc. I'll contact you if I need more info. thanks
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Old Oct 17th, 2019, 09:04 PM
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I did this once and loved it!! We drove there from where we were living in Idaho at the time. We were used to driving in snow so it was no big deal. We took the snowcat from West yellowstone into Old Faithful and stayed at the Snow Lodge for a few days. It is BUTT cold. But beautiful. We cross country skied every day--around the geyser basin and on other trails. The wildlife are all right there in the basin--bison, elk, etc. I really hate snowmobiles--noisy and air polluting. If you want to see animals, you need to be quiet. Skiing is easy but you could snow shoe if you want to do that instead. I am sure there are some tours you could book through Yellowstone or there is something like the Yellowstone Nature Insitute--which I believe is referenced on the nps webpage another poster referenced above.
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Old Oct 17th, 2019, 10:22 PM
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As StantonHyde says, Yellowstone in winter is not crowded!

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Old Oct 19th, 2019, 07:04 PM
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Our first trip to Yellowstone was in winter. We flew into Bozeman, rented a 4WD and stayed in both Gardiner MT and at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge. The northern road which goes from Gardiner to Cooke City MT through the Lamar Valley is open to vehicles year round and we drove ourselves. There are tours available if you don't want to drive. To get to Old Faithful, we took a snowcoach from Mammoth Hot Springs. I posted a trip report if you click on my screen name. Both the hotel at Mammoth Hot Springs and the Old Faithful Snow Lodge are open in winter. You can also stay in Gardiner just outside of the north entrance or West Yellowstone just outside of the west entrance. However you cannot drive in via the west entrance, only oversnow vehicles are allowed. There are oversnow options from the south entrance as well.

I'm currently "stuck" in a snow storm at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge on the last night of their summer season and it's beautiful here! We snowshoed today. Saw 4 of the Wapiti Lake pack close up yesterday. The best wolf sighting we've ever had!




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Old Oct 19th, 2019, 07:18 PM
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Poor you, stuck in Yellowstone. I love the pictures.
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Old Oct 20th, 2019, 09:41 AM
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Winter lodging inside the park https://www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/winter/

Yellowstone Forever programs https://www.yellowstone.org/

We joined Yellowstone Forever and got 20% off our accommodations. Not sure if it's because it's off season but it's something you could look into. I believe the membership also gets you a discount on Yellowstone Forever programs.

We're convoying out of the park, darn.
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Old Oct 20th, 2019, 02:33 PM
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Patty--lucky you!!!!! Those wolf pix are fantastic. In all my years in Yellowstone, I have never seen one.
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Old Oct 20th, 2019, 05:29 PM
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Patty, so that's where you've been! Amazing sighting and wonderful photos. Enjoy the rest of your trip.
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Old Oct 20th, 2019, 05:53 PM
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Thanks, everyone! A minute or two earlier or later and we would've missed them completely!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2019, 03:41 AM
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Beautiful pics Patty. wondering what camera you used! I'm thinking of getting one for the trip.thanks
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Old Oct 22nd, 2019, 07:39 AM
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Thanks, I have a really old Canon DSLR with a Tamron 16-300mm lens. The landscapes were just phone photos.
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Old Nov 25th, 2019, 04:17 PM
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In case you're still planning, there will be a Black Friday sale on winter park accommodations (also good for the first 2 weeks of May) https://www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/thankful/
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