10 Winter Activities in West Yellowstone

Yellowstone Park snowy in winter

Tourists and nature lovers flock to Yellowstone National Park throughout the spring, summer, and fall. But as snowy weather sets in, the crowds thin out, leaving die-hard park fans a perfect opportunity to enjoy beautiful snowy landscapes and participate in exciting winter sports and activities. If you’re looking for winter vacation ideas, consider heading to West Yellowstone for some fun.

Snowcoach Tours

Snowcoach Tour in Yellowstone

Every year, Yellowstone tour buses and vans are refitted with ski tracks or balloon tires to allow them to move through the snow and give an unparalleled view of the Yellowstone Park winter wonderland. These coaches are heated and comfortable, with lots of window area to allow you to spot wildlife, steam clouds from geysers and hot springs, and beautiful landscapes covered in glittering white snow. Stop for photo opportunities along the way, or request drop-off and pick-up service for day hikes, skiing, or winter picnics.

Nordic Skiing

Skiing in Yellowstone

The hush of a snow-covered field or forest, the sloosh of your skis skimming across the packed snow, and the joy of feeling the bite of chill air even as your muscles warm with movement. For cross-country ski fanatics, there is nothing like it in the world. But whether you are a pro or an amateur, West Yellowstone offers plenty by way of Nordic skiing opportunities, including festivals and competitions, well-traveled and groomed trails, and sparsely traveled trails located in the northwest corner of the park.

Cut Your Personal Christmas tree

Christmas Tree

Take home one of West Yellowstone’s beautiful evergreen trees. It only takes a $5 permit to chop down a Yellowstone tree just in time for the holidays. Visitors can explore the land for their perfect Christmas tree via snowshoes, skis, or snowmobiles in the Custer or Gallatin National Forests.


Snowmobiling in Yellowstone

Groomed snowmobile trails and readily available machine rentals makes snowmobiling one of the most popular winter activities at Yellowstone. Snowmobiling gives you access to beautiful vistas unavailable to cars and buses, along with the thrill of guiding a powerful machine through forests and fields. With trails usually open until the end of April, you can even plan a snowmobiling vacation into early spring. Ask about daily tours, or set up a private tour for your family or group.

Visit a museum


Explore West Yellowstone’s history with any of its local museums for an indoor getaway. Local favorites include the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, and the Heritage and Research Center. Popular with visitors, the Yellowstone Historic Center features permanent exhibits on Yellowstone wildlife and the Union Pacific Railroad.


elderly man in winter snowshoeing

Today’s snowshoes are lightweight, easy to slip on and off, and simple to use. Snowshoes allow you to hike more easily across deep snow, and they are easy for anyone of any age to master. With snowshoes strapped to your feet, you’ll be able to visit places otherwise unavailable to hikers.

Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing

West Yellowstone is home to the annual West Yellowstone Ice Fishing Tournament, which enjoys an audience of over 600 ice fishers per year! Join thousands of visitors on their way to the NAIFC Ice Fishing Tournament every January for a day out on the ice.

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