Backcountry Skiing in Cooke City

Cooke City | Montana
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to go backcountry skiing in Cooke City

  • Trip Highlight

    Conquer Cooke City’s thrillingly steep chutes and high couloirs

  • Trip Highlight

    Enjoy thousands of acres of ski-only access and options for all skill levels

  • Trip Highlight

    Explore Yellowstone National Park’s uncharted territory and amazing vistas

Once known as a snowmobiling and sledding paradise, Yellowstone’s Cooke City has now been co-opted by backcountry skiers. Powder skiing, cross country skiing, leisurely snowshoe hiking — these mountains have it all and then some. Whether you’re looking for exciting couloirs and technical descents or just wish to improve your newfound backcountry skills, you’ll find what you need in Cooke City. Also, the remoteness of the Yellowstone wilderness lends itself to an intimate backcountry atmosphere, with an abundance of indigenous wildlife and some scenic frozen waterfalls to truly make you feel at one with nature. Make the journey to Cooke City and get in touch with your wild side.


December through March

Nearest city

Yellowstone is minutes away from Cooke City


1 day

Skill level

Beginner to advanced


Book this adventure

A Full-Day of Backcountry Skiing


Make your way to Yellowstone’s backcountry and experience some of the most aesthetic and fun powder skiing in North America. Everyone is welcome here — whether you want to push your backcountry skills to the limit or just want to enjoy laps on mellower runs, your experienced guide will help you customize your tour and make sure you get the most out of your day. Head to Yellowstone, Montana, and discover why Cooke City is one of the top backcountry skiing destinations in the U.S.!


Reviews (2)

Excellent Backcountry Hosts
Tony F. about Beartooth Powder Guides on Trip Advisor

I recently spent four days and three nights at the Woody Creek Cabin operated by Beartooth Powder Guides. Ben and his team took excellent care of us and ensured that all of our needs were met. Not only was their hospitality top-notch, but their snow safety was second-to-none. Lastly, and most importantly, Ben and his team absolutely came through with the goods, finding us some excellent powder and tree skiing. I would not hesitate to book a trip with Beartooth again.

These guys know where it's at...
Imaginelle about Beartooth Powder Guides on Trip Advisor

We are backcountry skiers and we aren’t from the area- heck not even from the same country- so it pays to have good guides in the snow in an area you dont know. These guys know the terrain, the conditions and the stashes. Loved going up to the cabin with the zen Beau and ski touring Yellowstone amongst the wolfprints with Jesse. We will be back next year.

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Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in Cooke City, Montana

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Cooke City, Montana, please refer to the Montana Office of Tourism.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get in this adventure:

    • An experienced, certified ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • A full day of backcountry ski touring

What’s not included:

    • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
    • Food and snacks
    • Transportation
    • Accommodation

How fit do I need to be?

In order to enjoy this backcountry adventure, you need to have a moderate level of fitness. You will be on your feet for a full day. While there is terrain for all skill levels in Cooke City, you will need to manage controlled descents in variable conditions. All participants should feel comfortable on challenging blue or black-level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while skinning up variable degrees of terrain.

What if I’ve never backcountry skied before?

Backcountry skiing isn’t just for pros looking for the ultimate thrill ride, it’s also beginner-friendly, meaning anyone with challenging blue or black-level resort experience can have fun in the backcountry. If you’ve never backcountry skied before, heading out with a guide is your best bet. They’ll take care of the planning, introduce you to the basics, like skinning uphill, and teach you how to manage the terrain. They also have the experience and avalanche training to keep you safe.

What equipment do I need to bring?

For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:

    • Alpine touring skis, telemark skis, or splitboard with skins (can be rented)
    • Touring boots and poles (can be rented)
    • Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
      • Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
      • Lightweight snow shovel
      • Avalanche probe

For personal items, we recommend bringing:

    • Helmet
    • Sunglasses or ski goggles
    • Gloves and hat
    • Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex recommended)
    • Ski pants (Gore-Tex recommended)
    • Down jacket or vest
    • Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear, and socks
    • One triple-action locking carabiner or two conventional locking carabiners
    • Repair kit and Leatherman for your equipment (can be shared between several people)
    • Water bottle and 1L of water
    • Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
    • Food you can eat on-the-go
    • First aid kit
    • Sunscreen
    • Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-40L backpack)
    • Camera — optional

Can I rent equipment?

All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:

    • Avalanche safety pack, including backpack, beacon, shovel, and probe can be rented from your guide
    • Helmets, alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots, and poles can be rented from Grizzly Outfitters in Big Sky, MT

Ski rental locations are in Big Sky, MT, and should be picked up the night prior to your outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group size and prices:

    • For this adventure, the max client-to-guide ratio is 4:1.
    • Costs per person decrease as the group grows for private lessons, so it’s the perfect opportunity to ski with friends and family.

Ski touring in Cooke City can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

Min. age requirements:

    • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
    • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis.

If your group has skiers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to Cooke City, most people fly into Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, where you can rent a car. From Bozeman, Montana, it’s a 3-hour drive to Cooke City. Alternatively, you can take a 1-hour drive south to Big Sky via US-191 where you can pick up your rented gear. Then, from Big Sky, it’s about 3 hours south to Cooke City.

Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop in Cooke City or a predetermined location. From there, you’ll head to your tour. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ski ability of the group.

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