Yellowstone National Park winter tours make for a vacation like no other

See Yellowstone in winter for a truly unique wildlife experience

Yellowstone National Park welcomes over 2 million people each summer, all enthralled with the idea of seeing Old Faithful or catching some glimpses of wildlife on one of the park’s many tours, but as multiple roads in the park close in the winter, the number of visitors drops dramatically. It’s for this very reason that winter may be the perfect time to see Yellowstone in all its natural glory.

From early November until mid-April, the roads servicing the interior of Yellowstone National Park are closed and only the road at the North Entrance is open to the public. With traffic in the interior cut dramatically, Yellowstone takes on a different, unspoiled persona. You can still see the major attractions like Old Faithful, but you’ll probably want a snowmobile or snow-coach to get there.

Thankfully, multiple companies offer guided Yellowstone winter tour packages, such as Yellowstone Vacations who runs a regular winter guided tour of Old Faithful and its other surrounding geysers. For only $114 you can spend the day experiencing the world’s most concentrated geothermal area under the beautiful cover of snow. 

Tours like this are often in “snowcoaches,” buses specially designed to traverse right over the snow almost like a snowmobile on steroids. Another Yellowstone winter tour provider, Yellowstone Snowcoaches, describes the experience on their snowcoach tours:

A snowcoach is a great way to see Yellowstone, the animals and geological formations in the winter. Riding one of these over-snow vehicles is an experience in its own right. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience thermal mists and do your own geyser gazing. Or, take the road-less-traveled-by and go north to the scenic grandeur of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Watch for Yellowstone wolves, bison digging for grasses under the snow, nesting bald eagles, and the famous Yellowstone elk herds. Our Yellowstone snowcoaches have LARGE, CLEAR, UNTINTED windows that are designed for once-in-a-lifetime Yellowstone photographic opportunities for professionals and amateurs alike.

Of course, a snowcoach isn’t the only way to see Yellowstone National Park in the winter. Yellowstone is widely regarded as the snowmobile capitol of the world with hundreds of miles across Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. Many of the same companies offering snowcoach tours also offer either snowmobile tours or rentals for everything from a day trip to a 3-day adventure.

If you’re looking to explore the winter in Yellowstone without an engine at your disposal, cross country skiing and snowshoeing will put you in the heart of Yellowstone’s vulnerable winter beauty. Once again, multiple companies offer both equipment for rental and full guided tours. In fact, Yellowstone National Park offers winter snowshoe walks with real Yellowstone rangers, a great option for visitors wanting a knowledgable guide for the day.

Whether you chose to enjoy winter in Yellowstone National Park by foot, snowcoach, or snowmobile, it’ll be an incredible experience filled with wildlife and natural wonders. For more information on Yellowstone in the winter, visit the National Park Service’s Yellowstone Winter Guide.

RVer tips:

  • During the winter, Mammoth Campground is the only RV site within the park that is open. Accessed by the North Entrance, the campground features 85 campsites, most pull-through with the ability to handle a vehicle up to 75’. There are NO HOOKUPS, but generators are allowed from 8am-8pm.
  • Many of the RV parks surrounding Yellowstone close during the winter months, but a few may still be good options. Pony Express RV Park, for example, is open year-round and affiliated with Yellowstone Vacations, which can help you schedule your different tours and a rental car if needed.
  • Of course, you’ll also want to prepare for the adverse road and camping conditions you may encounter by visiting Yellowstone National Park in the winter. To ensure you have peace of mind no matter where your travels take you, consider Good Sam Roadside Assistance.

Cover Photo: Flickr

Places explored in this article:

This was originally written for Roadtrippers, a great resource for anyone interested in travel.
Want more articles by Austin Coop? Find them here!