Winter is one of the best times to visit Wyoming’s National Parks. The crowds at Yellowstone are thinner, the wildlife remains active and the scenery is straight out of a postcard photo. Visitors during this time often feel like they’re the only humans for miles – likely because they are.
Once a thick blanket of snow hits Yellowstone National Park, snowmobiles and snowcoaches are the only vehicles allowed inside. Since most travelers are unlikely to have a snowmobile in tow, the best way to see Old Faithful or Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon in the winter months is with a guided tour from Scenic Safaris. This year-round tour company offers seven unique half- and full-day winter tours that take guests through Wyoming’s most famous National Parks and mountain ranges.
Your Scenic Safaris guide will outfit your family with safety gear and provide a quick snowmobile lesson. Still, you can never be too prepared for an icy winter adventure in Wyoming’s mountain country. Before you take off on the trails, here are five snowmobiling tips for a safe and satisfying ride.
Listen & Learn: Even if you’re a seasoned snowmobiling pro, now is probably not the time to key up Luis Fonsi’s Despacito on your iPod. Your guide’s primary job is to help you remain safe while enjoying the sights and sounds of Yellowstone. Listen carefully and follow any instructions he or she provides.
Come Equipped: Scenic Safaris equips every rider with helmets, snowsuits, boots, gloves and, of course, a Ski-Doo or other snowmobile. While helmets are a must-have, don’t forget smaller essentials such as layered winter clothing, thermal undergarments and a balaclava (ski mask) to help protect your skin in freezing temperatures.
Keep an Eye Out: Not all animals hibernate in winter. Look for bighorn sheep, wolves and small mammals on park grounds, as well as other snowmobiles, snowshoeing pedestrians or obstacles on the trails.
Stay on the Trails: While mountain trips allow for some off-trail riding, remain on the trails while inside Yellowstone. Keep with your group for the entirety of the trip, unless directed otherwise. There’s safety in numbers, especially if you get stuck in a snow bank or lose power on the trail.
Don’t Drink and Ride: Even though you’re snowmobiling on trails – not gravel roads – similar rules apply. While having a pre-trek mimosa might seem like a great way to get over any initial fears about snowmobiling, it’s not a safe choice. Stay sober on your snowmobile and avoid any potential issues that could come from a temporary lapse of judgement or concentration.
Snowmobiling is an exceptional way to see major U.S. landmarks such as Yellowstone National Park or the Gros Ventre mountains. Riders get the adrenaline rush of traversing scenic terrain on the landlubber’s equivalent of a jet-ski, with the ability to cover more area than you could possibly see on foot. For information on snowmobiling tours of Wyoming’s scenic mountain country, call 888-734-8898 or visit Scenic Safaris online.