Yellowstone National Park Winter Tours

There are many activities and Yellowstone National Park winter tours available for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, wildlife viewing, and photography!

Use this Yellowstone National Park travel guide for a list of the winter tours available and the fun things you can see, do, and photograph.

Yellowstone winter tours

When planning a Yellowstone Winter Vacation you’ll also want to know what to pack, where to stay, services available, and weather conditions to expect this time of year.

Check out the Grand Teton Winter Tours if you want to visit both parks!

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Packing for a winter vacation in Yellowstone

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Yellowstone National Park Winter Tours

You’ll find a variety of tours at Yellowstone National Park in the winter. Many of the tours will provide hotel pick up and drop-off. Most Yellowstone winter tours do NOT include gratuity for the guide.

Yellowstone National Park may require all guests to pay the entrance fee or show your National Park pass.

VIP Private North Yellowstone Winter Excursion

This private tour takes you into the park from the North Entrance. Full day tour highlights: Paradise Valley, Yankee Jim Canyon, Gardiner, Mammoth Hot Springs, Undine Falls, Slough Creek

Yellowstone Winter Tour With Naturalist Guide

Private road-based tour driving in and out of Yellowstone via the north entrance. Full day tour highlights: Paradise Valley, Gardiner, Mammoth Hot Springs, Lamar Valley, Emigrant, Montana.

Yellowstone Winter Wildlife Safari

This private tour will focus on Yellowstone’s northern range with two hours in Lamar Valley! Exploring the park between Mammoth Hot springs and the Lamar Valley, you may see: Elk, Moose, Fox, Coyote, Pine Marten, and maybe even Wolves!

bison in the snow at Yellowstone
bison in the snow at Yellowstone

Winter Yellowstone Tour (with Optional Hike or Snowshoe Activity)

Check out this winter tour to see three areas of Yellowstone: Mammoth Hot Springs, Lamar Valley, and Calcite Springs overlook, where you have the option to hike or snowshoe to the overlook and check out the hot springs.

4-Day Yellowstone Wolves Winter Tour

Explore Yellowstone in the winter with a guide in search of wildlife, especially wolves! This small-group tour is family friendly and perfect for all ages. The winter tour includes: 3 nights accommodation, 3 breakfasts, National Park fees, beverages/snacks.

Private Tour of Yellowstone’s Winter Wonderland

On this winter tour of Yellowstone, you determine when what stops to make based on your group’s interests. The guides track animal sightings in order to give you the best chance of viewing wildlife possible!

Yellowstone Snowshoeing Tour

Enjoy a full day private tour seeing Yellowstone in the winter from Mammoth Hot Springs to Lamar Valley. A guide will lead you on a one to two-hour snowshoeing excursion in Lamar Valley. Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level for this snowshoeing activity.

Yellowstone and Grand Teton Multi-Day Winter Tours

There are three multi-day tours to see the most famous attractions at both parks. Enjoy winter activities including a heated snow coach adventure, horse-drawn sleigh ride, and snowshoe trek. You also have the option to customize the itinerary to suit your personal interests. For an additional cost, take a helicopter tour or dog sled excursion.

West Yellowstone Winter Tour

Full day private excursion to surrounding areas around West Yellowstone in Montana and Idaho. Enjoy stops at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, a ghost town, and sand dunes in the region.

Yellowstone Winter Activities

There are quite a few things to do at Yellowstone National Park in the winter. You can enjoy the winter activities on your own, or you can book a Yellowstone winter tour.

cross country skiier
cross-country skiing

Yellowstone Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing

All unplowed roads and trails are open to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Here’s a list of Yellowstone ski and snowshoe trails by region.

Canyon Ski & Snowshoe Trails: Canyon Rim, Cascade Lake, North Rim, Old Canyon Bridge, Roller Coaster

Mammoth Hot Springs Ski & Snowshoe Trails: Bighorn Loop, Bunsen Peak, Indian Creek, Sheepeater, Snow Pass, Upper Terrace Loop

Northeast Ski & Snowshoe Trails: Bannock, Barronette, Pebble Creek

Old Faithful Ski & Snowshoe Trails: Black Sand Basin, Divide, Fairy Falls, Fern Cascades, Lone Star Geyser, Mallard Creek, Mallard Lake, Observation Point Loop, Spring Creek

Tower Ski & Snowshoe Trails: Blacktail Plateau, Chittenden Loop, Lost Lake, Tower Fall, Yancey’s Hole

West Yellowstone Ski & Snowshoe Trails: Bighorn Pass, Black Butte, Daly Creek, Fawn Pass, Gneiss Creek, Riverside, Specimen

five snowmobiles
snowmobile group tour

Snowmobiling at Yellowstone

The road between Mammoth Hot Springs and the northeast entrance is the only road in the park open to regular traffic all year long. All other roads in the park close in early November to prepare for the winter season.

By mid-December when enough snow accumulates on the roads, they open to “oversnow” travel only. This means the only way to visit Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and other areas in the park during the winter is by guided snowmobile or snowcoach.

In addition to the tours listed above, here’s a list of more authorized tour companies for snowmobile and snowcoach tours.

Grand Prismatic in the winter
Grand Prismatic in the winter

Yellowstone Winter Photography

Be ready with your WINTER camera gear to capture images of the landscape and wildlife as you drive along the road, or ski along the trails. We especially love photography gloves and rechargeable hand warmers!

As you can image, taking pictures of the Yellowstone landscape in the winter is a unique adventure for any nature photographer.

We recommend you book a Yellowstone snowcoach photo tour where there is flexibility to stop and take pictures where YOU want at any time.

One of our favorite stops in the park was visiting Grand Prismatic where we captured the reflection of the winter landscape and rising steam in the water.

bison with snow on it's face at Yellowstone
bison in snow at Yellowstone

Yellowstone Wildlife in the Winter

Winter is one of the best times to visit Yellowstone for wildlife! We love to photograph the contrast of the white snow against the dark hair of the animal. You’ll see the bison plow away the snow with their massive heads.

Be patient and wait long enough for them to look at you and you’ll get that awesome shot of snow all over the bison’s face!

In the winter, the northern range and Lamar Valley are the best places to see wildlife in Yellowstone National Park.

Be sure to have the right camera and lens to capture animals that are in the distance:

Old Faithful at Yellowstone sign in the winter
Old Faithful at Yellowstone in the winter

Things to Know About Visiting Yellowstone in the Winter

With limited ways to enter Yellowstone in the winter, it’s a great time to visit so you can enjoy the quiet and serenity.

Here’s a breakdown of what to expect each month during the winter at Yellowstone:

Yellowstone Roads in the Winter

In the winter all roads except from the north entrance in Gardiner to the northeast entrance in Cooke City are closed. Be sure to read the fall and winter Yellowstone road closure dates for the most updated year-to-year information.

You can access the park from West Yellowstone and the south entrance near Grand Teton by snow coach tourssnowshoeing, cross country skiing or snowmobile tours.

Yellowstone Weather in the Winter

The weather during the winter months in Yellowstone can be unpredictable and constantly changing. Check the Yellowstone weather daily so you’re prepared for the conditions.

Temperatures range from 0 to 20 degrees F during the winter. At night and at higher elevations, temperatures can dip below 0!

Layers are key when exploring Yellowstone in the winter. Reference our winter clothing guide so you can enjoy the outdoors, even when it’s cold! We recommend at the minimum:

Grand Teton maps and guides

AMAZON: Yellowstone and Grand Teton Guides and Maps

Plan a Yellowstone Vacation

Places to stay in West Yellowstone

Places to stay in Gardiner

Places to stay in Cooke City or Silver Gate

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FREE DOWNLOAD: Printable Yellowstone Packing Lists

Packing for a winter vacation in Yellowstone

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