The crown jewel in the National Park System only shines brighter in winter. A trip to Yellowstone while it rests under a frosty blanket makes experiencing geysers and thermal features even more exciting. Don’t let the cold scare you off—with all that geothermal activity bubbling up, there are plenty of hot springs to hit up along the way that will keep you toasty warm. Multiple entrances accessible from Three Forks mean you can take your pick of the park, even when it’s not as simple as just hopping in the car to drive to Old Faithful. So embrace the journey, and get exploring!
What to Know about the Roads
The winter road situation in Yellowstone is simple at least: they’re closed. Okay, okay, that’s not strictly true. The road from the North Entrance to Mammoth, and then east to Cooke City through Tower Junction, is open and plowed year round, and the other roads are open for oversnow travel—that means ski, snowcoach, snowmobile, etc.—from mid November to March.
Sights to See
Steaming Old Faithful erupting as snow falls softly around, bubbling paint pots a warming spot for bison and other wildlife, and the vivid colors of Grand Prismatic highlighted in bright white, all make the experience of winter in Yellowstone new and exciting. Just about any of the bucket list spots are worth a second look in this chilly season.
Be Wowed by Wildlife
The Yellowstone Plateau has been a draw for wildlife for millennia. With the warmth of thermal features keeping it (relatively) toasty, animals flock here to escape the cold of the surrounding region. Sure, the bears are snoozing during their long winter nap, but bison, coyotes, elk, moose, mule deer, and wolves roam the park all year. Fewer people means less disruption, and a better chance of spotting some of these elusive critters.
Top Tours to Book
How do you choose between the warmth and comfort of a snowcoach, the adventure of a ski trip, the serenity of a snowshoe, and the adrenaline rush of a snowmobile ride? Only you can make that decision, but we’re here to help—and so is the National Park Service. You can check out their list of approved snowmobile and snowcoach tour operators before you make a decision, and choose an outfitter based on which entrance you’re looking to access the park from. West Yellowstone is the most direct from Three Forks, but the Gardiner entrance isn’t far, either. No matter which route you choose, you’re in for a treat.
Choose Your Own Adventure Experience
When it comes to a winter Yellowstone trip, you really are choosing your own adventure. And with limited lodging and services available in the park during the colder months, it makes a day trip seem even more appealing. Would you rather have chocolate-covered strawberries and fine dining, or award-winning burgers and a cold beer? Do you choose hot springs or a spa day? How about skis on your feet, or designer boots stepping into the warmth of a snowcoach? Pick and choose all you want, but a trip based out of Three Forks covers all the bases.
If you enjoyed this blog, take a look at some of our other related articles:
- How To Plan For An Unforgettable Winter Vacation To The Headwaters
- Where To Go Skiing Around Three Forks
- Where To Get The Best Winter Drinks In Three Forks
- Headwaters Family-Friendly Winter Itinerary