Winter Adventures in Yellowstone

Yellowstone | Montana
5.00
3 REVIEWS
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to ski or snowshoe in Yellowstone

  • Trip Highlight

    Get lost in Yellowstone snow-capped valleys and picturesque canyons

  • Trip Highlight

    Explore exciting trails and wildlife along the Northern Range

  • Trip Highlight

    Discover one of the largest populations of free-roaming animals in the world

Though it makes up less than 10% of the National Park’s total surface area, Yellowstone’s Northern Range may just be its most important part. Accessible by automobile all-year-round, the 600-square-mile (1,550 square km) reserve nestled between the Gallatin and the Absaroka Mountains hides some spectacular nature. In the wintertime, the already scenic landscapes take on a whole new flare, and areas like Mammoth, Lamar Valley, and Gardiner come to life with epic ski exploration opportunities. However, while the views are breathtaking, the Northern Range’s true star has to be the wildlife—free-roaming bison, mule deer, pronghorn, wolves, and many other species have been the region’s biggest draw for decades. Yellowstone’s Northern Range truly epitomizes the term wilderness—come and get a taste of the wild!

Season

December through March

Nearest city

Bozeman, MT, is 1.5 hours away

Duration

1 day

Skill level

Beginner to intermediate

Itineraries

Choose how you spend your day

Yellowstone Snowshoeing or Cross-Country Skiing Sampler

Half-day

Looking to explore Yellowstone’s legendary wilderness on a tight schedule? This 2-3 hour snow sampler adventure available from December to March is a great way to see what the legendary park has to offer in a quaint and convenient package! Head for a short expedition to the geothermal features and quiet forests near Mammoth Hot Springs, or journey to a section of the Blacktail Plateau packed with local wildlife—the choice is yours!
NOTE: The default meeting location for this tour is the Gardiner/Mammoth area in Yellowstone. Other meeting locations can be booked in our “add-ons” section for an additional location fee.

Yellowstone Half-Day Snowshoeing or Cross-Country Skiing Tour

Full-day

Experience the stunning sights and unparalleled serenity of Yellowstone’s winter wonderland! Explore Yellowstone’s scenic Northern Range from December to March on a 5-hour skiing or snowshoeing tour suitable for adventurers of all skill levels. Get ready to take on some of northern Yellowstone’s finest routes, such as Gardiner, Mammoth, Lamar Valley, and more.
NOTE: The default meeting location for this tour is the Gardiner/Mammoth area in Yellowstone. Other meeting locations can be booked in our “add-ons” section for an additional location fee.

Yellowstone Full-Day Wildlife Watching

Full-day

Join local biologists and naturalists year-round for a full-day wildlife watching tour in Yellowstone National Park’s richest habitats! Meet Yellowstone’s unique animal life and learn more about the Park’s natural history, ecology, and conservation efforts in the process. Observe wolves, coyotes, foxes, moose, elk, bison, river otters, bighorn sheep, and many other animals as they interact with each other in this breathtaking national park.
NOTE: The default meeting location for this tour is the Gardiner/Mammoth area in Yellowstone. Other meeting locations can be booked in our “add-ons” section for an additional location fee.

Reviews

Reviews (3)

Awesome winter wildlife & activity guide
Marianna C. about In Our Nature on Tripadvisor

Our family of six (parents and two young adult couples) spent three different days with Cara on a full-day wildlife tour, a half-day snowshoe tour, and a half-day cross-country ski tour. Having her as our guide made all the difference in our experience of Yellowstone. We had different levels of knowledge about the park, skills with the activities, etc., and she seamlessly adjusted herself to each person. She took us to the right spots, quickly set up and took down scopes, answered our many questions with knowledge and good humor, provided hot drinks and delicious snacks, helped us with rental equipment, was a kind and patient teacher, etc. Honestly, we cannot say enough good about Cara and highly recommend using her as a guide.

Excellent Knowledge and Customer Service
Joseph P. about In Our Nature on Tripadvisor

It was a pleasure setting up my tour with Cara. She gave tips not just on the snowshoe excursion but my visit in general. I went out with Mike for two days, to Tower and Mammoth Hot Springs. Both snowshoe trips were very enjoyable. Mike has an incredible depth of knowledge about the geology and the wildlife of Yellowstone. I did a third day on my own, on Blacktail (stunning) but would not have wanted to go out on my own prior to an orientation from Mike. You can tell that these folks really want you to have a good experience. The only downside is that cross country skiing looks like a hell of a lot of fun. Wish I knew how to do it.

THE Cross-country experience
Greg about In Our Nature on Tripadvisor

This was our first time cross-country skiing and Cara made sure we learned how to properly put on our skis, move, stop and enjoy ourselves for the duration of our experience. We did a trail around Mammoth Hot Springs inside Yellowstone by the North Entrance. There was a perfect mixture of geysers and fumaroles that you pass by on the trail. Cara has an abundance of knowledge to share with you about each and everyone you pass. The views of the mountains and the park itself are stunning. Cara was more than happy to take pictures and videos of our trip and even offered to record a video of us skiing. At the end of our guided tour with Cara, she treated us to a hot cup of coffee and cocoa by one of the fumaroles. After, Cara gave us the option to do a few more laps of the trail on our own with the rented equipment and only asked us to have them back before the store closed at 5 pm. If you’re new or experienced at cross-country skiing, rest assured this trail is both easy to learn and challenging enough should you seek some excitement. The views are absolutely astounding and Cara is a great guide and instructor.

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Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in Yellowstone National Park, 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 Yellowstone National Park, please refer to Wyoming COVID-19 & Travel Safety Information and Montana’s COVID-19 taskforce’s website.

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 on snowshoeing and cross country skiing adventures:

    • An experienced, certified guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • A half-day of snowshoeing or cross-country skiing
    • All technical snowshoeing and cross-country skiing equipment 
    • Snacks and hot drinks on the trail
    • Transportation from Gardiner, MT, to the trailhead and back

What’s not included:

What you get on the Yellowstone Full-Day Wildlife Watching adventure:

    • An experienced, local naturalist hiking guide or biologist with extensive knowledge of the area
    • Full day of wildlife watching
    • Transportation from Gardiner, MT, or Mammoth, WY
    • High quality spotting scopes and binoculars
    • Lunch, morning snacks, coffee, tea, hot chocolate

What’s not included:

How fit do I need to be?

To enjoy these backcountry adventures, you’ll need to have decent cardiovascular fitness levels. You’ll be cross-country skiing or snowshoeing on varied terrain for 2-8 hours. While cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are full-body workouts and they can be challenging, your guide will help you choose the right terrain for your experience and fitness level.

What if I’ve never cross-country skied or snowshoed before?

These adventures aren’t just for experienced cross-country skiers and snowshoers, they are also beginner-friendly, meaning anyone with decent physical fitness can participate. If you’re a beginner, you’ll stay on relatively flat and short trails, and your guide will teach you basic cross-country skiing and snowshoeing techniques while you’re enjoying the beauty of the backcountry. For intermediate cross-country skiers and snowshoers, Yellowstone also has plenty of more demanding trails to enjoy.

What equipment do I need to bring?

The equipment is provided and included in the price for the short day and half-day snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trips, but you’re welcome to bring your own if you prefer. For technical cross-country skiing and snowshoeing gear, you will need to bring:

    • Cross-country skis, boots, and poles (can be provided by guide)
    • Snowshoes and poles (can be provided by guide)

For personal items, we recommend bringing:

    • Gloves and hat
    • Sunglasses
    • Light base layers
    • Warm mid-layers
    • Waterproof jacket
    • Waterproof boots that come up over your ankles
    • Closed-toe footwear with slip-resistant soles for wildlife watching tour
    • Water bottle or hydration bladder with at least 2L of water
    • Sunhat
    • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
    • Daypack large enough to carry all items listed
    • Headlamp or flashlight
    • Camera — optional

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and pricing:

    • For these adventures, the max client-to-guide ratio is 6:1. All prices are per person.
    • Costs per person decrease as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to ski, snowshoe, or watch wildlife with friends and family.
    • If you wish to book multi-day wildlife watching tours, the price of the desired wildlife watching itinerary above will be multiplied by the number of days. 

Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and watching wildlife in Yellowstone 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 as young as 7 may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis.

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

Cancellation policy

Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies. 

    • Cancellations up to 30 days before your trip date will receive a full refund minus a $50 processing fee.
    • Cancellations between 29 and 5 days before your trip date will receive a 50% refund.
    • For cancellations within 5 days of booking refunds will not be provided.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to Yellowstone National Park, most people fly into Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport 2.5 hours away. From there, you can rent a car to get to Yellowstone National Park.

For the cross country and snowshoeing adventures, once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s in Gardiner, MT, or a predetermined location.

For the wildlife watching adventure, you’ll be able to choose one of the following meeting locations: Gardiner/Mammoth, Tower/Roosevelt Junction, Lamar Valley, Norris Junction, or Canyon Village.

While transportation from Gardiner, MT, or Mammoth, WY, is included in the price for the wildlife watching adventure, pick-up at locations other than Gardiner/Mammoth incur an extra guide travel fee between $75 and $125 depending on the distance. In the winter, Norris and Canyon are not accessible.

The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.

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Wired for a better world

Outdoor adventuring makes us fall in love with our planet and people, it gets our brains rewired differently and forces us to rethink our life priorities.

For years, we’ve dreamt of building a company that can make an impact on things that we deeply care about. Here are some initiatives we are grateful to be contributing to.

1% of our sales goes to environmental non-profits
We provide work to thousands of local guides worldwide
We operate on carbon neutral and renewable energy
1% for the education and diversity in guiding
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