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Why You Should Visit Yellowstone in Winter

a sign on the side of a snow covered field

Yellowstone National Park is one of the biggest attractions in the Midwest. Located mainly in Wyoming, with small sections jutting into Montana and Idaho, the 3,500-square foot National Park drew a record 4,257,177 visitors in 2016. Travelers from across the globe flock to the geological spot to view the famous geysers, as well as canyons, rivers and pine forests. It’s an amazingly diverse and unique landscape.

a lot of smoke

Normally, it’s nearly impossible to snap an Instagram pic of landmarks like Old Faithful without a dozen tourists crowding your view. Wait for the winter months and that number dwindles. Rapidly. Starting in early November, park officials begin to close the public entrance roads. By mid-December, the park has become a winter wonderland. Roads are fully closed. Crowds dwindle from a geyser-worthy stream to a slow trickle. Temperatures plummet and the landscape is blanketed in white.

This is the best time to see Yellowstone’s majesty.

a group of people sitting on top of a snow covered slope

Exclusive Access

Just before the winter holidays, roads are opened for “oversnow” travel. Tour companies like Scenic Safaris offer guided trips to the park’s most popular sites. Book their 12-hour Old Faithful Snowmobile Tour and you’ll rocket across the pristine, snow-coated landscape on a newer Ski Doo 4-Stroke. The tour kicks off just after dawn, so be prepared to rise early. Breakfast and lunch are included, so you can have plenty of fuel for a day traveling the 45-mile trail to Old Faithful – stopping along the way to see sites such as Moose Falls and West Thumb Geyser Basin.

a sign on the side of a snow covered field

Old Faithful Gets Frosty

While the rest of Wyoming slows down during the winter months, Old Faithful remains – well, faithful – throughout the year. Yellowstone’s best-known landmark doesn’t hibernate in winter. According to Yellowstone officials, Old Faithful has erupted about every 94 minutes (plus or minus 10 minutes) for the past two years. Keep in mind, she’s not always prompt. Visitors may have to wait up to two hours to see the geyser erupt, but you’ll be rewarded with an amazing 100+ foot cascade of water juxtaposed against the sparkling snowdrifts.

smoke coming from it

The Best Way to Go “Coach”

Here’s the bad news” The average temperature at Yellowstone in January is about 24 degrees. That’s the high. If the thought of frigid weather leaves you cold, skip the snowmobiles and opt for a cushier coach ride up to the geyser. You’ll still see wild animals and several points of interest including Old Faithful at eruption – but with the option to huddle in the warmth of your tour bus in-between scenic stops.

a deer standing next to a pile of snow

Choose Your Adventure

If you’re willing to brave the weather, visiting Yellowstone in winter is extremely rewarding. The geysers and animals remain active throughout the season, increasing your chances of snapping that perfect National Geographic style shot you’ve been waiting for. Whether you’re skimming the white waves on a snowmobile or gently easing up the path to Old Faithful in a comfy motor coach, the winter landscape of Yellowstone National Park is one you’ll never forget. Call 888-734-8898 or CLICK HERE to get started on your Yellowstone winter adventure.