Winter visitors to the wintry wonderland of Yellowstone National Park have two options. The road from the park’s North Entrance at Gardiner,Montana, to the Northeast Entrance at Cooke City,Montana, is open all year to automobile traffic although snow tires are usually required between Mammoth and the northeast Silver Gate entrance. This is the one road that stays open year-round to wheeled vehicles and services local residents and school buses.
The other option is to take an over-the-snow vehicle from the west, east or south gates. Commercially guided snowcoach or snowmobile trips travel over snow covered, groomed roads to popular destinations including Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon of theYellowstone. These vehicles travel on the same roads that you do in the summer over snow prepared by groomers. The groomers work to smooth and pack the snow ensuring that the roads are adequately covered and making for a much smoother ride for visitors.
What's it like to take a oversnow snowcoach ride into Yellowstone Park in the winter? Read about it!
Each morning, snowcoach tours leave West Yellowstone for either the Old Faithful geyser area or the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone to see frozen waterfalls. The tours last the entire day, returning to West Yellowstone between 4:00 and 5:00 PM. There are also special snowcoach tours that include time to cross country ski or snowshoe trails inside Yellowstone.
Your snowcoach driver is also an interpretive guide that provides interesting background information with great personal anecdotes and insights about Yellowstone. They also know the optimal locations for photo stops, locations of the latest wildlife sightings, and all the best--heated--restrooms.
Snowcoach tours stop for lunch including Old Faithful or Canyon, depending on which tour you choose. Tours also stop and spend time walking around boardwalks such as Fountain Paint Pots or Biscuit Basin.