The Specimen Creek Ski Trail is an 8-mile (12.9-km) one-way trail that takes skiers through rolling forests. The trailhead is located 26.5 miles (42.6 km) north of West Yellowstone along US Highway 191. Avalanche Danger: Moderate to severe on the Shelf Lake Trail portion. This popular route follows the north side of Specimen Creek for 2 miles (3.2 km) through rolling forests to the Sportsman Lake Trail junction on the south (right). (Sportsman Lake Trail is not recommended). Follow the trail to the left along the north fork of Specimen Creek, ascending for 4 miles (6.4 km) through forests and meadows to Shelf Lake (the Crescent Lake trail junction). Shelf Lake lies 2 miles (3.2 km) north and Crescent Lake is 2 miles (3.2 km) east. Snow cover ranges from sparse to marginal on the lower reaches. The last mile of each trail is extremely steep; climbing skins are recommended.
Notes: Avalanche Danger is moderate to severe on the Shelf Lake Trail portion. Bison and elk frequent this trail. Federal regulations require you to stay at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves, and at least 25 yards (23 m) away from bison and all other wild animals.
Check out the ski trail details and accessibility information at the bottom of this page.
This skier-tracked easiest to most difficult trail includes steep terrain. Service dogs allowed.
More On Ski Trails in Yellowstone
Ski Trail Information
With miles of ski trails to enjoy, start your trip planning here and confirm conditions at the Mammoth or Old Faithful Bear Den Ski Shop.
Prepare for cold air, deep snow, and slippery boardwalks.
Ready to brave the cold? Check out our tips for enjoying Yellowstone in winter.
Last updated: February 18, 2021