Photo: Russ Nordstrand

Premier Yellowstone Hiking Company

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Yellowstone Snowshoe Traverse

Highlights

  • Experience Yellowstone in arguably its most magical season
  • Visit many of Yellowstone's most famous geysers and thermals
  • Enjoy solitude, peace and quiet
  • Journey through snow-blanketed Yellowstone meadows and frozen river valleys
  • Relax in cozy accommodations each evening and enjoy wonderful meals at historic lodges
  • Enjoy good potential to see moose, bison, elk and more
  • Learn about the amazing history, biology and geology of America's first national park
  • Let us take care of all the details so you can focus on enjoying Yellowstone!


Description

Our Yellowstone Snowshoe Traverse is an opportunity to explore and enjoy the truly majestic winter beauty of Yellowstone on foot. We'll embark on four or five days of showshoeing through vast, snow-covered meadows to geysers, frozen waterfalls, and wildlife areas. Each evening we'll return to cozy national park lodges for showers, relaxation and hearty meals!

Included in the trip cost is your lodging, all your meals, local transportation, gear and a professional Yellowstone guide. We take care of nearly everything so you can relax and soak it all in!

Please note: new reservations on this trip within 30 days of trip start date are highly unlikely due to Yellowstone's lodging cancellation policies. Please book at least 35 days in advance!



 

Photos of this Trip

(Special thanks to Russ Nordstrand for many of our Yellowstone photos)

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Shuttle to Mammoth Hot Springs: 2-hour drive
Snowshoe Mileage: 5 miles
Accommodations: Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel (or equivalent)


We’ll arrive at Mammoth Hot Springs and settle into our rooms before departing for our first snowshoe at Tower Falls. After appreciating the overlook of the 132-foot Tower Falls we’ll head southwest on the groomed Tower Fall Trail adjacent to the rushing waters of Tower Creek. Wildlife sitings are likely and may include bison, elk, coyote, and bighorn sheep. We’ll enjoy a delicious picnic lunch with hot cocoa before heading back to the hotel. After some personal time we’ll venture out to the Boiling River hot springs for a soak beneath the evening alpenglow.


Day 2

Snow Coach Shuttle to Old Faithful: 4 hours
Snowshoe Mileage: 4.7 miles
Accommodations: Old Faithful Snow Lodge (or equivalent)


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.

Depending on the weather and the abilities of the group we’ll either be dropped at Midway or Biscuit Geyser Basins. From Midway Geyser Basin it is 4.7-miles to Old Faithful and from Biscuit Basin it is 2 miles. In both cases we’ll snowshoe through Upper Geyser Basin (photo below) before arriving at 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

Snowshoe Mileage: 6 miles
Accommodations: Old Faithful Snow Lodge (or equivalent)


Following breakfast we head out to one of the more unique and impressive backcountry geysers in the park - Lone Star Geyser (above photo). Our route 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 creamcolored mound. At full tilt it sprays scalding water and steam 40 feet into the air. We’ll snowshoe back on the Howard Eaton Trail 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 4

Snowshoe Mileage: 2 miles
Snow Coach Shuttle To Mammoth: 4 hours
Shuttle to Bozeman: 2 hours


The final morning of our journey we’ll head out on an invigorating snowshoe to Observation Point where we’ll have a great view of the entire Upper Geyser Basin. We’ll then head on to Black Sand Basin and by the Daisy Geyser. We’ll eat our final lunch on the trail before heading back to the lodge.

Following our snowshoe we’ll head back to the lodge to pack our things and meet up with our snow coach to begin the shuttle back to Mammoth Hot Springs and our vehicle to Bozeman.


5-day Variation

This trip is often done in 5 days by doing Biscuit Basin and Grand Geyser the day after Midway Geyser Basin. It is a half hour snow coach ride to Biscuit Basin and the day will consist of up to 5.5 miles of showshoeing. We’ll explore a number of thermal features in Biscuit Basin, including the brilliant Sapphire Pool, before making our way along the Little Firehole River 1.5 miles to Mystic Falls, draped in curtains of ice. We’ll then turn around and head back through Biscuit Basin before snowshoeing the final 2 miles to Old Faithful. En route we’ll pass by Morning Glory Pool and the spectacular Grand Geyser.


Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary park restrictions, campsite availability, weather, road closures, guest ability/injury, and natural events like fires and flooding.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • We provide roundtrip transportation from Bozeman, Montana to Yellowstone National Park and back.
  • Roundtrip snow coach transportation from Mammoth to Old Faithful
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Yellowstone snowshoe 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 snowshoes
  • Use of a top-of-the-line backpack
  • Use of ski poles
  • 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
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Waterbottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)


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
  • Use of snowshoes
  • Use of ski poles
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), 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

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). 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

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? Simply click here and complete the form 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 48 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

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


Where Do We Meet?

You'll meet your hiking 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.

Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, lodging and more.


Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day's pick-up time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 5 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 travel experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


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 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)
     
 
Month
High
Low
 
December
25°
 
January
24°
 
February
28°