Last Updated: November 6, 2017
This Backcountry Situation report will not be regularly updated throughout the winter. Up to date conditions will start back up in early May. Before heading out on the trail, please review the winter backcountry camping regulations, current avalanche conditions, and road conditions.
Backcountry permits are required for all overnight stays in the backcountry.
- A permit is required for backcountry camping.
- Due to extreme temperatures and weather conditions overnight winter trips should be attempted only by experienced and well-equipped parties.
- Permits can be arranged at the Albright Visitor Center in Mammoth, and at the West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center, and during the winter season (December 15 through March 15) at the East Entrance or Snake River Ranger Station at the South Entrance. All offices are on call, it is recommended that you call or email the Central Backcountry Office about a week prior to your arrival.
Review the park roads page, and / or learn about the non commercially guided snow mobile access program .
- Review safe winter travel techniques. Check this map to get an idea of snow depths.
- For the most up to date ski conditions visit Yellowstone National Park Lodges website, it has up to date winter ski conditions for primarily day ski / snowshoe destinations but it can provide you with a sense of what conditions are like out there.
- Yellowstone does not have its own avalanche report but there are several avalanche reports near our region that you can reference. Custer Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center or Bridger Teton National Avalanche Center
Wildlife & Pets
- Survival during the long winter is difficult for wildlife. Human contact only adds unnecessary stress. Avoid approaching or startling any animals or birds. Exercise extreme caution in bear and mountain lion country.
- With exception of Service animals, Pets are not allowed on trails, unplowed roads, in the backcountry, or off leash. Dog sledding and ski-joring are prohibited.
- Do not leave food unattended at any time. All food, trash, and odorous items must be properly stored (hung 10 feet above ground and 4 feet from side supports or kept in one of the installed metal bear proof boxes, or an approved bear resistant food container) whenever the items are not in immediate use. See the list of bear resistant food containers (canisters, panniers, and coolers) that are approved for use in Yellowstone.
- On March 10th, several Bear Management Areas go into effect. if you are traveling during that time make sure to familiarize yourself with these closures.
Other Notable Regulations
- Fires are not allowed in the backcountry during the winter.
- Bicycles including bicycles modified for oversnow travel, are prohibited on oversnow routes.