Visiting Yellowstone in Winter
Every year, beginning in early November through mid-April, park roads are closed to the interior of the park to prepare for the winter season which begins mid-December and ends mid-March. This means the only way to visit Old Faithful and other interior attractions in the winter is by snowmobile or guided snowcoach that follow the park roadways. The road from the North Entrance to the Northeast Entrance is the only road open to private-wheeled vehicles during our winter season. Winter dates, activities, rules, etc. can change unexpectedly. Always check at the gate or visitor centers for the most current information.
A winter visit to Yellowstone National Park will give you lasting memories of snowy landscapes, steaming geyser basins, and incomparable wildlife viewing. Things to do include: cross country skiing trail and snowshoeing, ranger-led programs and concessioner-led programs. There are also opportunities to guide yourself via snowmobile into Yellowstone through a permitting process.
There are only two lodging options inside the park during winter (at Mammoth Hot Springs and Old Faithful). Park concessioner Xanterra Parks and Resorts provides lodging and other services, including evening programs, snowcoach tours, guided ski and snowshoe tours, guided snowmobile tours, and wildlife bus tours. Check our Commercial Guided Tours page for a list of all the businesses that are authorized to provide skiing, snowshoeing, snowcoaches, and snowmobile tours in the park.
The enjoyment of Yellowstone and its unique resources during the wintertime has drawn deep and passionate interest in the park for nearly 80 years. For more information on winter use, and ways to learn more about how you can participate in the process, see Winter Use in Yellowstone National Park.
In the winter, the road in Grand Teton National Park are similar to Yellowstone. There are a few roads that remain open year round and a few that allow only oversnow vehicles. Read more about Winter in Grand Teton…
/Sounds of the musical call of American Dipper and riffles on the Firehole River/
/I’ve been here fourteen times since the mid eighties. And since we started coming in the winter, we never have come in the summer again. We just love it in the winter/
/Sounds of American Dipper and Firehole River/
/It’s magical. It’s absolutely magical. Not many people. Lots of things to do. Wonderful skis…snowshoes…hikes/
/Schussing sounds of cross-country skiing/
/I think it’s so cool that the colors are different in the summer than in the winter. Like Morning Glory has much more color in the winter than it does in the summer – to me, anyway/
/Bubbling sounds of Ear Spring/
/And we had a treat yesterday as two very, very large coyotes walked right by our cabin window and cabin door/
/Yips of coyotes moving from left to right/
/We wanted to invite them in for wine (laughs), but they seemed to be in a hurry (more laughter)/
/It’s a spirit, sort of, in the wintertime/
/I’m Betsy Heiner and I’m from Colorado Springs/
/I’m Mary Smith, from Colorado Springs/
/I’m Sheri Kimble from Colorado Springs/
/I’m Helen Michaels and I’m from Port Washington, Wisconsin/
/Honks of Canada Geese and riffles on the Firehole River/
/This is Yellowstone National Park. Thanks for listening/