The winter scenery inside Yellowstone National Park is unmatched. The landscape is blanketed in sparkling snow. Streams freeze over and delicate icicles form on the branches of leafless trees. Bison travel in packs and moose solo or in small groups, heading for areas of the park where food is more abundant. You’ll want your camera handy to capture these amazing sights.
With roads closing for the winter, the best way to see the park is by snowmobile or snowcoach. Scenic Safaris offers guided snowmobile tours through the park, focused on Old Faithful or the famed Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, plus a full-day Old Faithful snowcoach tour and other area tour options. Here are a few of the best photo-op spots you’ll find along the journey through America’s crown jewel.
West Thumb Geyser Basin
The largest geyser basin on the shores of Yellowstone Lake, West Thumb features several active and dormant geysers, including Fishing Cone. Here, you’ll find steaming pools of blue-green water alternating with muddy clay pits that produce heavy steam clouds in winter. Set against a backdrop of white snowfall, the turquoise waters of Abyss Pool make for breathtaking landscape shots. You’re likely to see this basin on the Grand Canyon Tour. Guides often choose one smaller geyser basin to visit on the Old Faithful tour as well, so speak up if you’re hoping to see West Thumb.
It’s easy to see how this cave-like spring got its name. Made up of hidden caverns and a large rock “mouth” that spews steam, the popular feature rumbles with the sound of exploding gases in the water. According to park signs, Dragon’s Mouth was named around 1912 by a visitor; at that time, the waters inside the formations would lash out as far as the boardwalk. Scenic Safaris’ guests may have the opportunity to visit Dragon’s Mouth and a nearby mud volcano while taking the Grand Canyon tour.
Erupting about every 90 minutes on average, this iconic geyser really earns its name. It’s the largest regularly erupting geyser in the park, shooting sprays of heated water up to 184 feet high (typically closer to 100 feet). Standing near the snow-covered boardwalk in winter, you’ll see a giant white-grey cloud of water and steam at eruption time, set against a mountainous backdrop of dark evergreens.
Located midway between the south park entrance and Grant village, this natural waterfall along the Lewis river is a great selfie spot. The water here doesn’t freeze over in the winter, so you can see the river plunge over a 30-foot cliff all year long. After heavy snows, look for miniature floating icebergs in the river and heavy snowdrifts that gracefully curve down the banks. Both the Old Faithful and Grand Canyon tours typically stop here.
These are just a few of the best camera-worthy stops along your Scenic Safaris tour. Keep your smartphone at arm’s reach during your trip, because you never know what sights you’ll find around the corner. Bison, eagles and coyotes are among the wildlife you may see on the trek to Old Faithful, while Grand Canyon tour guests may have the chance to snap an epic Instagram pic of wolves or trumpeter swans at play. Call 888-734-8898 or visit us online to set up a wild winter adventure at Yellowstone National Park.