Yellowstone in Winter

Not sure what to expect on a winter trip to Yellowstone? Read through to virtually explore this beautiful country with CMC's Adventure Travel Section.
JoAnne Young
August 31, 2023

Yellowstone in Winter is a classic Adventure Travel trip that has been sponsored by the CMC for over 30 years. What attracts club members year after year, sometimes for a repeat trip? Maybe it’s a brisk walk out to the geyser basin to see the Old Faithful erupt in the fading light of late afternoon on the day of arrival. Or the several mile ski into Lone Star geyser basin with the anticipation of being there at just the right moment to enjoy 15 minutes of spectacular water and steam, perhaps with a bison thrown in for added atmosphere. Or a starlight walk in an eerie landscape of bubbling mud pots and steaming vents, sure to astound if not spook the most experienced outdoor traveler.

Yellowstone National Park - February 2024

Notable for being the world’s first national park, Yellowstone has half of the world’s geothermal features and is the centerpiece of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the largest remaining, nearly-intact ecosystem in the Earth's northern temperate zone. Steaming geysers, bison, elk, river otters and other wildlife are all part of the experience of visiting.

Yellowstone in the winter. Skiers, snowshoers, nature lovers and photographers will enjoy the convenient trails leading directly from the Snow Lodge to the geysers and waterfalls. All these experiences and more await those who join this trip, with its balance of camaraderie for outdoor adventures, happy hours, and opportunities to tailor each day’s snowy outings to individual skills and abilities.


Old Faithful

old faithful.JPGDiscovered in 1870 by the Washburn Expedition, Old Faithful geyser was named for its frequent and somewhat predictable eruptions. In winter, the crowds are fewer and you may be lucky enough to have the area to yourself. It is just a few steps away from the Snow Lodge and the Visitors’ Center.

Yellowstone Bison 
Yellowstone is the only place in the United States where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times. Yellowstone bison are exceptional because they comprise the nation’s largest bison population on public land. They will be present all along the Upper Geyser Basin, just outside the door of our lodge. Be alert for Bison while in Yellowstone, National Park Service recommends keeping at least 25 yards away.

Upper Geyser Basin

upper.JPGThe Upper Geyser Basin is Yellowstone’s largest geyser basin. In fact, it’s home to the world’s largest single concentration of hot springs. Located between the Old Faithful area and the Biscuit Basin road, the Upper Geyser Basin contains several groups of geothermal features, totaling more than 150. The basin is less than a half-mile wide and most of its geothermal features are situated within a few hundred feet of the Firehole River.

Black Sand Basin 

black sand.JPGA short ski or snowshoe from Old Faithful is Black Sand Basin, named for its black sand (obsidian) which is formed when lava cools too quickly. This obsidian sand covers much of the Black Sand Basin, which is located within the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park. Jewel-like geysers and beautiful hot springs show vivid colors, which are the main attraction of the area.

Learn more about this trip here!

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