Today Parkchasers.com is sharing one of our most popular posts from 2016 – “5 ways to Rock a Winter Visit to Yellowstone” to help everyone making those winter vacation plans this year.
Each year millions of visitors flock to Yellowstone National Park to capture some of nature’s most astounding moments. The first rumble of a geyser eruption. The bugle of a distant elk in the morning fog. Views of water crashing over Upper Yellowstone Falls.
But beginning in early November, Yellowstone slowly begins to transform into one of the most magical seasons. Park roads begin to close under a blanket of snow and the crowds begin to dwindle around Old Faithful’s seating area.
It’s winter in Yellowstone; the one time of year you don’t want to miss.
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“5 Ways to Rock a Winter Visit to Yellowstone”
1. Take a snowcoach tour.
If you want to see Old Faithful and other interior areas of the park and you don’t feel great about a snowmobile or your own skills on skis, snowcoach is the way to go. Guided snowcoaches are permitted through the park service and are equipped to keep you safe in winter conditions.
These are not your historic noisy, smelly bombardier trips anymore either. Most snowcoach tours come equipped with large wildlife viewing windows, a toasty heater, snacks, and a local tour guide that stockpiled with information about the park.
2. Get lost in the steam of The Grand Prismatic Spring.
A winter visit to Yellowstone would not be complete without seeing the Grand Prismatic Spring. Even on warm summer days, the 160ºF water of the spring creates an erie billowing cloud of steam. Now drop air temperatures to the the balmy winter average of 25ºF at the Grand Prismatic. You’ll find yourself lost in a colorful, sulfury dreamland unlike anywhere else on earth.
3. Wildlife watch from your snowshoes.
Creatures all around Yellowstone savor the winter months as an escape from the crowds and traffic of summer. Snowshoes allow winter visitors up-close access to Yellowstone’s wildlife. The Yellowstone geyser basin is one of the best places to see bison and elk who flock to the warmer ground and open water. The patient (and lucky!) visitor may even spot one of Yellowstone’s famous grey wolves moving silently through the snow.
4. Brave the drive to Mammoth Hot Springs.
While guided tour is the most popular way to enter the park, visitors can still brave the snowy roads to the Mammoth Hot Springs entrance on the north side of the park. The visitors center remains open and offers ranger-led snowshoe hikes and evening programs in the Mammoth Hotel.
5. Cross-country ski to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
Hop off your snow coach, strap on the skis, and then set off for one of the most majestic sites in Yellowstone. All unplowed park roads are open to skiing in Yellowstone and two main trails are set for getting the best views of the snow-covered falls and canyon. The Old Canyon Bridge Trail and the Canyon Rim Trail to Inspiration Point offer easy to moderate trails available on many half, full and multi-day ski trips. No lodging is available at the canyon, but many of the tour agencies share warming yurts in the area.