TRIP IDEA

Skiing and Snowshoeing in the Old Faithful Area

Yellowstone National Park

Skier on a trail with a hydrothermal feature steaming in the background
Topic(s) Trails
Activities Skiing, Hiking, Snowshoeing
Type Kid Friendly, Active, Solitary/Remote, Outdoors, Group Friendly
Parks Yellowstone National Park

Skiing in a geyser basin near thermal areas is an exciting and unusual experience. It also presents some challenges. Because of the heat below ground, sections of these trails are often bare of snow and you may need to remove your skis in order to continue. However, for your own safety and the safety of other skiers, please do not remove your skis on steep, snow-covered trails. Skiing on boardwalks can be quite difficult and you may want to consider snowshoeing or walking along those routes. Caution: Bison frequent all trails in the Old Faithful area.

Access to the Old Faithful Area requires riding a concession-operated snowcoach, joining a guided snowmobile tour, or applying for a non-guided snowmobile permit.

Ski Trails in the Old Faithful Area
  • Yellowstone National Park

    Fairy Falls Ski Trail

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: Yes
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Old Faithful Area
    • Duration: 6–8 Hours
    • Season: Winter
    • Time of Day: Day
    Skiers make their way to the bottom of frozen Fairy Falls in winter.

    The Fairy Falls Ski Trail is a 10 mile (16 km) (with ski drop) skier-tracked, round-trip, easiest to more dificult ski that provides icy views of one of Yellowstone's most popular waterfalls.

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    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Skiing
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Old Faithful Area
    • Duration: 8–10 Hours
    • Season: Winter
    • Time of Day: Day
    Views from the Mallard Creek Trail looking toward Midway Geyser Basin and the Madison Range.

    The Mallard Creek Ski Trail is a 12 mile (19.3 km) round-trip, most-difficult, skier-tracked trail that takes advanced skiers over challenging terrain.

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  • Yellowstone National Park

    Mallard Lake Ski Trail

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Skiing
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Old Faithful Area
    • Duration: 5–6 Hours
    • Season: Winter
    • Time of Day: Day
    A lone skier breaks trail along the Mallard Lake Trail in the forested section near the trailhead.

    The Mallard Lake Ski Trail is a 6.8 mile (10.9 km) round-trip, skier-tracked, more difficult trail taking skiers on a steep climb to views of Mallard Lake.

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  • Yellowstone National Park

    Observation Point Loop Snowshoe Trail

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Snowshoeing
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Old Faithful Area
    • Duration: 1–2 Hours
    • Season: Winter
    • Time of Day: Day
    Glimpses of mountain views can be seen through the trees along the Divide Ski Trail.

    The Observation Point Loop Snowshoe Trail is a 2.0 mile (3.2 km) snowshoe only trail that treats visitors to unobstructed views of the Upper Geyser Basin and the Firehole River.

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    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Skiing
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Old Faithful Area
    • Duration: 5–7 Hours
    • Season: Winter
    • Time of Day: Day
    Lone Star Geyser erupting with a rainbow captured in the spray.

    The Lone Star Geyser Ski Trail is a 9 mile (14.4) round-trip, easy, machine-groomed trail that takes skiers along the Firehole River to Lone Star Geyser.

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    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Skiing
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Old Faithful Area
    • Duration: 6–8 Hours
    • Season: Winter
    • Time of Day: Day
    A skier pauses from breaking trail along the SpringCreek Trail.

    The Spring Creek Ski Trail is an 8 mile (12.9 km) one-way, skier-tracked, most difficult ski that requires excellent speed control and turning skills.

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    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Skiing
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Old Faithful Area
    • Duration: 2–3 Hours
    • Season: Winter
    • Time of Day: Day
    Glimpses of mountain views can be seen through the trees along the Divide Ski Trail.

    The Divide Ski Trail is a 2.8 mile (4.5 km) round trip, more difficult, skier-tracked trail that offers views of Shoshone Lake and Mt. Sheridan on clear days.

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    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: Yes
    • Activity: Skiing
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Old Faithful Area
    • Duration: 2–3 Hours
    • Season: Winter
    • Time of Day: Day
    The Fern Cascades Loop Ski Trail as seen from a forested, flat section of trail.

    The Fren Cascades Loop Ski Trail is a one-way, steep, 3 mile, easy to most difficult, skier tracked trail that provides views of the cascades.

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    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Skiing
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Old Faithful Area
    • Duration: 2–3 Hours
    • Season: Winter
    • Time of Day: Day
    Black Sand Basin thermal features billowing steam along the Firehole River on a cold winter day.

    The Black Sand Basin Ski Trail is a groomed 4 mile (6.4 km) round trip, easiest trail that takes you from the Upper Geyser Basin to Black Sand Basin. Begin in front of the Old Faithful Visitor Center and take the Upper Geyser Basin Trail past Castle Geyser. Turn left onto the skier-tracked trail to Daisy Geyser, stay to the left and continue to the snow vehicle road. Black Sand Basin is across the snow vehicle road.

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Last updated: January 31, 2018