Snow blankets the ground and covers the trees. Hot springs and geysers throw steam into the sky. Wolves, bison, elk, foxes, and other wildlife come down into the valleys where they have a better chance at finding food – and a better chance of being spotted by wildlife watchers. Cross-country skiers kick and glide to waterfalls and snowmobilers rev their way to Old Faithful.
This is winter in Yellowstone National Park.
The area around the park, known as the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, is a mosaic of Federal and private lands. Visitors to dude ranches ride horses on National Forests and dine in rustic luxury beneath antler chandeliers. Western hotels hand out s’more kits and encourage guests to light a campfire under the crystalline stars. There are sleigh rides and ice-skating.
Even though tourism slows in winter, there’s still plenty to do, including alpine and cross-country skiing, winter fly-fishing, snowmobiling, shopping, and spending a day at a spa. The hotels, lodges, and cabins around Yellowstone have a knack for hospitality, welcoming visitors to the quiet season around the world’s first National Park.
Below are some of the lodging options for a snowy, iconic winter trip near Yellowstone.