One of the first things we're taught in life is the value of sharing. But out here in Yellowstone, as the snow piles high among silent meadows and lodgepole pine forests, having it all to ourselves seems pretty sweet. The sight of shaggy-shouldered bison lumbering across the icy landscape, searching for warmth near a steaming thermal pool. River otters fishing in semi-frozen streams. Maybe even a cautious gray wolf trailing elk to lower elevation. It's a winter wonderland of epic proportions. And we can't wait to share it with you.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
Accommodations & Service StandardsMammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Old Faithful Snow Lodge are fairly rustic national park lodges that reflect the natural surroundings of Yellowstone National Park. While these hotels offer simpler accommodations than the typical Backroads property, they provide unparalleled access to the best hiking and snowshoeing in the region. Please note that guest rooms are not equipped with televisions.
Generally speaking, service in the national parks can seem laid-back when compared with the high standards of service found on other Backroads trips.
Interpretive Guides & Hiking Without Your LeadersThe National Park Service limits the size of all groups in Yellowstone National Park. Accordingly, you'll hike and snowshoe in small groups with Backroads leaders. We appreciate your cooperation with the park's regulations.
Cold-Weather AttireWinter weather in Yellowstone can be among the coldest in the United States, but you can comfortably enjoy the outdoors if you're properly dressed. In order to snowshoe or hike in the snow, you must wear waterproof snow boots or hiking boots and waterproof breathable pants, jacket and gloves. Your clothing should be warm enough to allow you to comfortably remain outside in below freezing conditions for 2-4 hours at a time. Layers are encouraged for when we snowshoe. See "Suggested Packing List" for more information on essential cold-weather attire.
Severe WeatherYou can't have a winter wonderland without some winter weather. During December, January and February when our trips run, snow and below-freezing temperatures are likely, and even rain is possible. Please know that if we encounter severe weather during the trip that affects our planned activities, your Trip Leaders will find alternate activities that you're sure to enjoy.
Days 1-2 Witness steam rising from colorful geothermal pools amid the winter landscape on a guided snowshoe excursion at Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces Watch for bison, elk, bighorn sheep and even elusive gray wolves during a motorized safari through the Lamar Valley, "America's Serengeti" Snowshoe from Tower Junction in search of more winter wildlife, and learn about the park's history at the Albright Visitor Center and Museum.
Day 3 Journey by snow coach to the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, one of the park's most photographed spots thanks to its immense size, multicolored canyon walls and thundering waterfalls In the winter, massive Lower Falls often freezes into a natural ice sculpture—truly a magical sight! Explore the rim on snowshoes, passing through stands of snow-dusted lodgepole pine Watch for bison foraging in open meadows or hunkered down under trees, seeking protection from the elements How's your triple Lutz? Put a final spin on the day at the lodge's ice skating pond.
Days 4-6 Snowshoe through idyllic Upper Geyser Basin, passing Old Faithful, Castle and Spasmodic Geysers Ascend Geyser Hill for a breathtaking panorama of the surrounding geothermal features and snow-covered mountains Hop aboard a snow coach for a tour of Mid-Way and Lower Geyser Basins, and a short stroll on the Paint Pots boardwalk Keep an eye out for graceful trumpeter swans braving the cold while you snowshoe along the Madison River Cozy up with a hot drink at the lodge while the snow falls outside Enjoy one last morning jaunt, heading out on snowshoes into a treelined valley behind Rainbow Ranch.
- Soak up silence and serenity as you explore Yellowstone's winter world by snowshoe
- Ride aboard heated motorized snow coaches to access the more remote sections of the park
- Even on the snowiest of days, you're sure to spot herds of bison peppering the vast frozen plain
- Steaming fumaroles and bubbling mud pots—pure magic against the snow-brightened landscape
- Discover a different face of Yellowstone—one that few visitors experience!
Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel (2 nights): This simple historic lodge is ideally located next to unique travertine terraces.
Old Faithful Snow Lodge (2 nights): A superb example of classic "parkitecture," this lodge features log and cedar accents, rustic wildlife-themed décor and proximity to the famed geyser.
Rainbow Ranch Lodge (1 night): This intimate riverside lodge is located in the sweeping Gallatin Valley in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of
interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one
day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat
from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each
day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
Routes For All Abilities
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|Other||Lamar Valley Wildlife Safari (6 Hours)|
|Other||Albright Museum & Visitor Center (1 Hour)|
|Other||Snow Coach Shuttle to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (2 Hours)|
|Other||Snow Coach Shuttle to Old Faithful Snow Lodge (2 Hours)|
|Other||Optional Nordic Skiing (3–12 Miles)|
|Other||Snow Coach Tour of Lower Geyser Basin & Madison Area (3.5 Hours)|
2015 Dates & Pricing*
- 12/20-25 Price: $3298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.)
- 12/22-27 Price: $3298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.)
- 12/27-1/1 Price: $3298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.)
- 12/29-1/3 Price: $3298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.
You can pick any open date for your group of 8 or more except for trips departing during the last two weeks of December, where a 16 guest minimum is required. Call us for date availability.
Pricing for Private Trips (prices may vary based on departure date)
|8 - 9 guests from $3,898 pp dbl. occ.||12 or more guests from $3,098 pp dbl. occ.|
|10 - 11 guests from $3,398 pp dbl. occ.|
For groups of 2 to 7 guests, please call for Custom Trip pricing.
Guest Trip Reviews
We're thrilled to bring you an entirely different Yellowstone experience - in the heart of winter! When snow blankets the park, crowds subside and it's a totally different world. The geothermal features defy the cold weather, the brown bison stand out against a white backdrop and the stands of lodgepole pine are decorated with a winter coat. On snowshoes and from the comfort of oversnow vehicles, you'll see the more peaceful side of Yellowstone on our new winter trip.- Regional Manager, North America