Yellowstone Cross Country Ski Tour

Bozeman, MT
5.0 (12 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Yellowstone's Most Magical Season
  • Mountain Solitude
  • Famous Geysers & Thermals
  • Snow-blanked Meadows & Frozen Rivers
  • Cozy Winter Lodges
  • Snow Coach Transportation
  • Amazing Natural & Cultural History
  • Winter Wildlife

Description

This four or five day Yellowstone ski tour includes the best winter scenery in Yellowstone: thundering geysers, bubbling thermal pools, meadows buried beneath blankets of untouched snow, and opportunities to see wildlife such as bison, elk, bald eagles, and wolves. Each day we’ll head out on cross country skis to explore these amazing features in the most peaceful and serene season of the year. Each evening we’ll return to the cozy confines of the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and the Old Faithful Snow Lodge.


Need to Know: Hotel Deadline & Ski Experience/Equipment

New reservations on this trip within 45 days of trip start date are highly unlikely due to Yellowstone National Park’s lodging cancellation policies. It’s highly recommended to book at least 46 days in advance!

AND

We recommend bringing your own cross-country ski equipment (boots, skis, and poles) however we will rent you a set if you do not have – or would rather not travel with – ski equipment. Boot sizes are not always guaranteed but usually available. If you do bring your own equipment, make sure they are waxless cross-country touring/backcountry skis with a metal edge and not skinny skis or skate skis.

Also, previous xc ski experience is required for this trip. Or if you have never cross-country skied before we ask that you practice prior to your trip. Ideally you are able to ski short downhill slopes on groomed and ungroomed terrain, be able to turn, and control speed in groomed and ungroomed terrain.

4 Days
$2365 Per Person
5 Days
$2890 Per Person
$350/$450 Single Supplement

$350/$450 Single Supplement

Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Inn-Based Tour
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-10 Guests
Trip Length: 4-5 Days
Distance: 20+MI / 32+KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 3

Our difficulty ratings are based on a scale of 1-5, tours with a rating of 1 being least difficult, tours with a rating of 5 being most difficult

Backpack Weight:
10 pounds
Daily Distances:
2-6 miles
Most Elevation Loss:
400 feet
Most Elevation Gain:
400 feet
Quality of Trails:
Tracked and Untracked
Additional:
We will be following existing tracks and breaking our own as well.

Participants should:

  1. be active and healthy
  2. exercise several times per week
  3. be comfortable hiking 6-8 miles per day in hilly or mountainous terrain with occasional breaks

SOLITUDE LEVEL 4

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate our Yellowstone winter tours a solitude 4. You can expect hours of solitude at a time, particularly on our longer ski/snowshoe forays.

Learn More about our Rating System

2021 TRAVEL LOGISTICS

The standard departure location for this trip is Jackson Hole, Wyoming (or alternatively the nearby towns of Victor and Driggs, Idaho). Most of the travel information on this page is geared toward these locations.

However, in 2021 some trip dates will originate from Bozeman, Montana. Please click here to see a list of trips originating from Bozeman. If your trip date is on the list, please see the Bozeman Meeting, Travel and Logistics Page to plan your travels.

Montana and Wyoming do not charge sales tax on services, so there is no sales tax for this trip.

All trips in Yellowstone National Park have a 5% fee required by the National Park Service. This fee is applied when your reservation is made and is passed through directly to the national park.

There are no other taxes or fees associated with this trip. Feel free to give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) with any questions!

Private Trips

Traveling in perfect company is a wonderful thing! With our private trip offerings you can book a trip exclusively for your group. Whether it’s with family, friends or colleagues, private trips are a fun and enriching way to explore the outdoors.

Private trip pricing is based on a sliding scale, depending on the number of people in your party. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax and national park fees (where applicable) or guide gratuity. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE to get the ball rolling!

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.5
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.15
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1

*all rates are per person and single supplements apply

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We’re here to help. If you have any questions, call 800-715-HIKE or contact us online.
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ITINERARY

ITINERARY

Day 1

  • Shuttle to Mammoth Hot Springs: 2-hour drive
  • Skiing Mileage: 5 miles
  • Accommodations: Best Western by Mammoth Hot Springs

We begin this tour with a ski along a nicely groomed road out to Tower Falls. Ascending toward the falls we will be on the lookout for wildlife, as it is common to see bison, elk, coyote, and bighorn sheep in this area. After enjoying a picnic lunch and appreciating the overlook of the 132-foot Tower Falls we’ll retrace our tracks back to the vehicle for a drive through the Lamar Valley. The Lamar is world famous for wolf and other wildlife watching. While we can’t guarantee wolf sightings, winter in the Lamar provides some of the best opportunities for viewing these impressive canines. Don’t forget the swimsuit! If time permits, we will make a stop at the Boiling River before returning to the hotel for dinner and relaxation.

Day 2

  • Snow Coach Shuttle to Old Faithful: 4 hours
  • Skiing Mileage: 3-5 miles
  • Accommodations: Old Faithful Snow Lodge

We’ll be up and at ‘em early this morning and board a snow coach for the isolated winter landscape of Old Faithful! The 4-hour snow coach journey takes us by frozen rivers, snow- covered valleys, through dense forests, and by herds of bison huddling for warmth against the cold.

We’ll be dropped at Biscuit Basin, where we’ll explore numerous thermal features before skiing through the Upper Geyser Basin (photo below) on our way to Old Faithful. Yellowstone is home to 60% of the world’s geysers and most of them can be found here. Snowshoeing the trails, we’ll see the basins’ diverse array of geysers from thin fountains to massive eruptions as thick plumes of steam rise heavily through the frigid air. It is an impressive scene.

Day 3

  • Snow Coach to Fairy Falls Trailhead: 30 minutes
  • Skiing Mileage: 7 miles
  • Accommodations: Old Faithful Snow Lodge

Today we depart for one of Yellowstone’s most iconic features. It is a half hour snow coach ride to the Fairy Falls trailhead and the day will consist of up to 7 miles of skiing. From the overlook, we’ll enjoy the view of the Grand Prismatic Spring before making our way back along the Pipeline trail. We’ll once again pass through the Upper Geyser Basin affording new chances to see various geysers such as, Riverside, Grand, and Old Faithful herself in their eruption phase.

Day 4

  • Skiing Mileage: 8.5 miles
  • Accommodations: Old Faithful Snow Lodge

Following breakfast we head out to one of the more unique and impressive backcountry geysers in the park – Lone Star Geyser (above photo). Our ski tour hugs the Firehole River, named for the numerous thermal features that feed its waters, before we arrive at the geyser. Found in a clearing surrounded by dense forest, it erupts from a large cream- colored mound. At full tilt it sprays scalding water and steam 40 feet into the air. We’ll reverse our route back to dinner and time spent warming by the lodge’s fire. We’ll then venture out on an interpretive walk to see one of the more impressive starry skies in the Northern Hemisphere!

Day 5

  • Skiing Mileage: appx 2 miles
  • Snow Coach Shuttle to Mammoth: 4 hours
  • Shuttle: 2-hour drive

The final morning of our journey will commence with breakfast at Old Faithful Snow Lodge followed by an early morning snow coach departure back to Mammoth Hot Springs Lodge.

Upon returning to Mammoth Hotsprings, our group will embark on a short drive to a trail head that allows for exploration of the Mammoth Hot Springs travertine terraces. As we travel along the Upper Terrace loop, the expansion and contraction of this hot spring feature dominates the mixed conifer forest landscape. Our group will be able to view areas of the feature that have grown or shrank depending on changing underground thermal activity. Once on top of the Terraces, we will be gifted with wide ranging views of the deeply cut Gardner River Canyon directly below, Mt. Everts, and snow clad peaks of the Southern portion of the Absaroka – Beartooth Range.

From the high vantage, the group will descend back to the vehicle for the return drive to Bozeman and our conclusion to a unique winter experience.

4-day Variation

This trip is often done in 4 days by eliminating the Biscuit Basin day from the itinerary (Day 3).

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.

Trip Dates & Booking

TRIP DATES & BOOKING

Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book

AVAILABLE TO BOOK

This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast

GOING FAST

This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation

REQUEST A RESERVATION

This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Bozeman to Yellowstone and back
  • Roundtrip snow coach transportation from Mammoth to Old Faithful
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Yellowstone winter travel guide
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • Double-occupancy lodging at 2 different lodges in and around Yellowstone National Park (single occupancy requires an additional single supplement)
  • Use of a top-of-the-line backpack
  • Cross country skis, poles and boots if needed (We recommend bringing your own cross-country ski equipment, but if you’d rather not, then it is included. Boots in your exact size are usually available, but not guaranteed since we rent from a third party ski shop.)
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

Meals: What To Expect

We provide all your meals from breakfast the first day through lunch the last day. Your guide will prepare breakfasts and lunches with a variety of hot and cold meals that are appropriate for the day’s activities. Feel free to tell us about your food preferences, as we’re more than happy to tailor the menu to your needs/desires. For dinners, we’ll enjoy meals in historic Yellowstone lodges!

Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply several gear items on your ski tour. These items are cross country skis, boots and poles; two 1-liter water bottles per person; and basic items like sunscreen lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

Please note: the Yellowstone National Park snow coaches have limited space for luggage, so we ask that you have no more than 1 bag or suitcase weighing less than 50 pounds, a day pack (we provide), and a small carry-on bag.

What Clothes to Bring

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with detailed guidance about what clothes to pack (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and our recommended clothing system. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

Please note: the Yellowstone National Park snow coaches have limited space for luggage, so we ask that you have no more than 1 bag or suitcase weighing less than 50 pounds, a day pack (we provide), and a small carry-on bag.

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

Where Do We Meet?

You’ll meet your guide and group in Bozeman, Montana for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks before your trip and will specify the exact location of the orientation meeting at that point. The next morning we’ll pick you up at your hotel for transport to the trailhead.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

Start/End Times

You can expect the first day’s pick-up time to be between 6 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day no later than 7 PM.

Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our tours are led by professional outdoor guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We’ve developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.

Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time…etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides’ off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on inn-based trips is 6 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 10 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we’ll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis

Weather in Yellowstone

Yellowstone can be very cold in the winter. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). See below for average winter temperatures in Yellowstone:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)

MonthHighLow
December25°
January24°
February28°

Accommodations

Accommodations

Best Western by Mammoth Hot Springs

1 night

One of Best Western’s premier properties, this hotel is located close to the famous Roosevelt Arch, Mammoth Hot Springs, and the northern entrance to Yellowstone. A cozy winter hotel with big rooms and all the modern amenities, this is our home on the first night.

Old Faithful Snow Lodge

3 nights

This is Yellowstone’s newest and most modern full service hotel. It won the prestigious “Cody Award for Western Design” and Travel and Leisure’s “Inn of the Month.” As the name implies, it’s near Old Faithful and gives us amazing access to many Park highlights.

* These exact accommodations are not guaranteed. In some instances alternative accommodations of similar quality and location may be used.

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 5.0 (12 reviews)
Topher Y.
5.0

Wonderful trip

1 year ago

Wonderful trip Scott and Brian were awesome and made the trip what it was, enjoyed myself very much

Laurie W.
5.0

Guides did an Amazing Job

1 year ago

Our guides Scott and Brian did an amazing job in making sure everyone had a great experience!

Nena W.
5.0

Phenomenal Experience

2 years ago

Our experience with Wildland Trekking was phenomenal. The initial inquiry into the experience along with the myriad of questions we had was handled promptly and professionally. Our guides were enthusiastic and knowledgeable. They provided an outstanding experience. We would definitely recommend Wildland for any Trekking adventure.

See All Guest Reviews!

Go to our reviews page

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