Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Yellowstone in Winter?

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the Northern Rockies. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the Northern Rockies Climbing Partners section.
 

Yellowstone in Winter?

Postby tigerlilly » Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:07 pm

Hi all,

What do folks think about a Xmass holiday vacation week in Yellowstone with 2 young teens in tow?

Many thanks,
TL
User Avatar
tigerlilly

 
Posts: 700
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:09 am
Location: Bethesda, Maryland, United States
Thanked: 48 times in 31 posts

Re: Yellowstone in Winter?

Postby Morlow » Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:51 pm

Hey tigerlilly. I work in the park and will be at the Mammoth Hotel gift shop this winter. As long as your family loves the snow I can't see why you wouldn't have a blast. The road is plowed for cars from Mammoth to Cooke City. If you want to head down to Old Faithful (or anywhere else in the park) you have to take over-snow travel (snowcoach or snowmobile), which would be a unique experience in itself. Snowshoeing and cross country skiing, as well as a hotel to stay in, is offered out of Mammoth and Old Faithful.
User Avatar
Morlow

 
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:29 am
Location: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, United States
Thanked: 6 times in 6 posts

The following user would like to thank Morlow for this post
tigerlilly

Re: Yellowstone in Winter?

Postby dyusem » Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:54 pm

Yellowstone is winter is one of the most special places on the planet. Teens will enjoy snowmobiling out of Mammoth Hot Springs and if you are lucky you'll see Big Horn Sheep, Moose, Bison and much more...what you won't see are many other people :)

Great shoeing and XC and the light for photography is special. Be prepared for frigid cold...enjoy!

http://www.yellowstonenationalparklodge ... -1367.html
User Avatar
dyusem

 
Posts: 133
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:06 am
Location: Inverness, California, United States
Thanked: 5 times in 5 posts

Re: Yellowstone in Winter?

Postby tigerlilly » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:54 pm

we love snow/cold, nordic skiing, animals, snowshoeing, saving $$, not spending time in car

1) Need advice on route: we have approx. 7+ days

a) Bozeman - to Mammoth - to Old Faithful - to West Yellowstone - back to Bozeman?
b) Or reverse?
c) Bozeman to Mammoth and stay put.
d) Bozeman to West Yellowstone to Mammoth and stay put. if so, why.

2) What are some great Nordic ski trails? best place to see critters? best place to stay? best airport to arrive/depart?

THANKS!
User Avatar
tigerlilly

 
Posts: 700
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:09 am
Location: Bethesda, Maryland, United States
Thanked: 48 times in 31 posts

Re: Yellowstone in Winter?

Postby chugach mtn boy » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:16 pm

Never been lucky enough to go there in full-on winter, but if I did, I'd check into spending a couple of nights over in Cooke City. The road from Mammoth over to Cooke is open in winter. On the way to and from, maybe you could ski in the Lamar Valley. Anyway, I was in Cooke once after a fall snowstorm and it was spectacular, kind of like this from the main street:
Image
User Avatar
chugach mtn boy

 
Posts: 884
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2006 7:54 pm
Location: Anchorage, Alaska, United States
Thanked: 180 times in 108 posts

The following user would like to thank chugach mtn boy for this post
mrchad9, tigerlilly, TimB

Re: Yellowstone in Winter?

Postby EarMountain » Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:49 pm

tigerlilly wrote:a) Bozeman - to Mammoth - to Old Faithful - to West Yellowstone - back to Bozeman?
b) Or reverse?
d) Bozeman to West Yellowstone to Mammoth and stay put.!

Keep in mind that you cannot drive most of the roads in Yellowstone in winter.
You can drive to Cooke City and Mammoth from the north. But that's it. All other roads in Yellowstone are not plowed in winter and open only to snowmobiles and snow coaches.

So if you drive to Mammoth, that's where you'll leave you car if you go further.
No roads into the park are open for autos from West Yellowstone either. Visitors usually come to West and leave their vehicle there and take a snow coach to Old Faithful.

You might also look into the Yurt lodging inside Yellowstone. A snow coach will bring you and your ski or snowshoe gear to the yurts. You can stay there for a few days and enjoy the solitude.
Ear Mountain Photography.
Text and photos Copyright 2007-2012.
User Avatar
EarMountain

 
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 6:30 pm
Location: Choteau, Montana, United States
Thanked: 12 times in 11 posts

The following user would like to thank EarMountain for this post
tigerlilly

Re: Yellowstone in Winter?

Postby John Duffield » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:05 pm

Hi TL! We took a flight delay coming back from Bozeman on a ski trip two years ago. I think free heels with skins would beat snowshoes for this. But well worth it. Winter enhances some of the geothermal features and the crowds are gone.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Edit: Oh Yeah, and +1 to everything in Previous post.
User Avatar
John Duffield

 
Posts: 2431
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 12:48 pm
Location: New York City
Thanked: 635 times in 356 posts

The following user would like to thank John Duffield for this post
mrchad9

Re: Yellowstone in Winter?

Postby tigerlilly » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:10 am

Hello Mr. Chugach! Nice to see you're still around. BTW, We made it to the summit of Granite Peak, in August! :-)

(Listen up ya'll, If you're ever in Alaska, Mr. Chugach cooks up a mean Salmon! )

I downloaded a winter map, so I am aware that you cannot drive through the park. We were thinking of using the snow busses that are available through the NPS.

Great Photos, John. Where is the best area to find animals?
User Avatar
tigerlilly

 
Posts: 700
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:09 am
Location: Bethesda, Maryland, United States
Thanked: 48 times in 31 posts

Re: Yellowstone in Winter?

Postby Morlow » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:20 am

I've been told wolves are very active in Lamar Valley in the winter. My friend worked in Mammoth last year and she said there was a pack around Mammoth all winter as well. I'm not sure where the bison hang out in the winter, but I know they stick to the roads more since they are much easier travel than untouched snow. Lots of waterfowl should be seen along the Firehole River since it is thermally warmed and doesn't freeze.
User Avatar
Morlow

 
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:29 am
Location: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, United States
Thanked: 6 times in 6 posts

The following user would like to thank Morlow for this post
tigerlilly

Re: Yellowstone in Winter?

Postby John Duffield » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:42 pm

tigerlilly wrote:Great Photos, John. Where is the best area to find animals?


In the road and along. We had trouble even getting the car around the Bison. I have a photo of one practically inside the car. North of the Park is good also. The road from the North Gate follows the remains of an old tourist railroad from the 19th century.

Inside the Park you have to be careful, I drew the ire of the cops for that Buffalo shot ^^^.

Such a difference from summer. In summer, one Bison, can jam traffic. A possible bear sighting and a thousand people will gather with the 5 grand binocs. I saw more large animals in half a day winter, than a 4 day family trip in summer.
User Avatar
John Duffield

 
Posts: 2431
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 12:48 pm
Location: New York City
Thanked: 635 times in 356 posts

Re: Yellowstone in Winter?

Postby tigerlilly » Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:12 pm

I was hoping we could see wolves, but I read recently that a pack of wolves, wearing collars, were recently shot outside the park. Kind of discouraging.

Thanks for the posting, John.

We are looking at the budget carefully - not sure I can pull this off since we waited too long to buy airline tickets. stupid. stupid. stupid.
Last edited by tigerlilly on Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
User Avatar
tigerlilly

 
Posts: 700
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:09 am
Location: Bethesda, Maryland, United States
Thanked: 48 times in 31 posts

Re: Yellowstone in Winter?

Postby tigerlilly » Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:13 pm

One thing I read that I thought was interesting was that the night sky at Yellowstone is incredibly dark and you can see thousands of stars. cool.
User Avatar
tigerlilly

 
Posts: 700
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:09 am
Location: Bethesda, Maryland, United States
Thanked: 48 times in 31 posts

Re: Yellowstone in Winter?

Postby John Duffield » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:06 pm

tigerlilly wrote:One thing I read that I thought was interesting was that the night sky at Yellowstone is incredibly dark and you can see thousands of stars. cool.


It's getting harder and harder to find good stars at night. Have to really get out.

Let me know if you make it! I'm already booked for February in the Tetons.
-
User Avatar
John Duffield

 
Posts: 2431
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 12:48 pm
Location: New York City
Thanked: 635 times in 356 posts

Re: Yellowstone in Winter?

Postby tigerlilly » Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:09 am

Great news, we're going!
Here is what I have learned, for anyone thinking of doing this in the future.

1) Check the hotels in the park frequently. They are full, right? Don't give up and lose hope. Just wait. People book these hotels years in advance. Then they cancel 2 weeks before hand, because they had to changed plans and can still get a full refund. Result? You get a room, when it was previously booked solid. Yeah, You!

2) Delta has a hub in Salt Lake City. They had the best flights and prices. Bozeman was most expensive. Billings was reasonable.
User Avatar
tigerlilly

 
Posts: 700
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:09 am
Location: Bethesda, Maryland, United States
Thanked: 48 times in 31 posts

Re: Yellowstone in Winter?

Postby mrchad9 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:16 am

tigerlilly wrote:Great news, we're going!
Here is what I have learned, for anyone thinking of doing this in the future.

1) Check the hotels in the park frequently. They are full, right? Don't give up and lose hope. Just wait. People book these hotels years in advance. Then they cancel 2 weeks before hand, because they had to changed plans and can still get a full refund. Result? You get a room, when it was previously booked solid. Yeah, You!

I can confirm that. On previous trips to Yellowstone or Zion, Bryce, Gand Canyon we wanted to get rooms in the parks for every night we weren't backpacking. Usually I could only reserve stuff for about 1-2 nights out of the whole 1-2 week trip, but in both cases we would call new places depending on where we'd be a few days ahead of time, and ended up we got rooms every time.
User Avatar
mrchad9

 
Posts: 4116
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:01 am
Location: San Ramon, California, United States
Thanked: 1187 times in 800 posts

Next

Return to Northern Rockies (ID, MT, WY)

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.