A Cozy Guide to Enjoying Yellowstone National Park in the Winter
Just this past August, Yellowstone National Park had over 800,000 recreational visits, and so far it has had a near-record year for tourism. If you try to visit the park in the summer or even the fall, you might find some of the attractions a little crowded. That's why considering a visit in the winter can be a great option.
Of course, there are parts of the park you won't be able to see, but there are guided trips and tours available.
If you do want to visit Yellowstone National Park in the winter, here are three ways to have a cozy time enjoying the park.
Bundle Up and Go Cross Country Skiing
Possibly one of the more unique places to cross-country ski in Montana is Yellowstone National Park. One thing that may not be common knowledge is that most roads in the park are closed during the winter. That means there are miles of road available for skiing, as well as trails. You'll also get a variety of terrain with the roads being unplowed, groomed trails, and backcountry trails, too. Keep in mind that while cross-country skiing itself may not seem dangerous, skiing in the park can pose challenges. If you do plan to ski in the park, familiarize yourself with the park's safety tips before you go.
Take a Snowcoach or Snowmobile
If skiing is not really your thing, you might have more fun on a snowmobile or snowcoach. Again, there are multiple tour companies for either snowcoach or snowmobile tours in the park. There are also opportunities to go on non-commercially guided tours for snowmobiles, and if you're over 18 you can apply to be a guide.
While most roads won't be open, the park service says, "The only exception is the road between Mammoth Hot Springs and the northeast entrance, which is open to regular traffic all year." With that particular road open, after a day skiing, snowmobiling, or touring in a snowcoach, you might welcome the opportunity to have a comfortable stay in a Yellowstone Hotel.
Get Cozy By the Fire in a Yellowstone Hotel
Two Yellowstone Hotels open in the winter: Mammoth Hotel opens December 15 and Old Faithful Snow Lodge opens December 16. Compared to some hotels in Montana, the rates are relatively reasonable, with prices as low as $162.67 on December 16 at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge as of this writing. Of course, it's recommended that you make reservations as soon as you can.
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