Picture-perfect snowscapes, prime wildlife watching, peaceful trails…with all the compelling reasons to visit Yellowstone in the winter, we know that the frosty weather won’t keep you away. Plus, there are plenty of ways to warm up when you need to. Here are some of our favorites:
Visit a hydrothermal area
Do what the wildlife does and visit a hydrothermal area like the Upper Geyser Basin or the Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces. Animals of all sizes congregate near the park’s geysers and hot springs for warmth.
Take a guided (and heated!) snowcoach tour
Book a snowcoach for a scenic tour of the park, and to reach Old Faithful, which is only accessible in the winter by over-snow vehicle.
Check out a Visitor Center
The Old Faithful Visitor Education Center and the newly renovated Albright Visitor Center are open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. throughout the winter season. They offer interactive exhibits, films (at Old Faithful), and the opportunity to chat with a ranger.
Join a Yellowstone Forever Institute program
Claim a fireside chair
Drive the Northern Range
Assuming your car has heat, you’ll have a warm front-row seat to see wildlife and some of Yellowstone’s most open and scenic vistas. This route from Mammoth to Cooke City is the only road open to wheeled vehicles year-round.
Order up a hot beverage
At the end of the day, if you’re staying in the park, unwind with a steaming cup of Hot Apple Pie in the lounge at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge. Yellowstone National Park Lodges takes their commitment to using local ingredients seriously, spiking this treat with Montana-distilled Wildrye Apple Pie Liqueur.
Attend an evening Ranger Program
Yellowstone offers free, indoor Ranger Programs several nights per week throughout the winter at Old Faithful and Mammoth. Each one highlights a fascinating aspect of the park’s natural, cultural, or scenic wonders.
Stop by a warming hut
If you’re feeling chilly, thaw out in one of Yellowstone’s warming huts, which are scattered throughout the park.
Walk, ski, or snowshoe to keep your blood moving while enjoying the snowy landscape. Yellowstone has many accessible winter trails, several of which are groomed for Nordic skiing, and equipment is available to rent. You can even go ice skating on the rinks at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge.
Photos, top to bottom: Lamar Buffalo Ranch – NPS/Neal Herbert; Snowcoach – NPS/Jacob W. Frank; Albright VC – YF/Matt Ludin; Snow Lodge Fireplace – Xanterra; Skiers – YF/Matt Ludin