The Old Faithful Tour: Yellowstone’s most popular snowcoach tour, The Old Faithful Tour includes a trip through Yellowstone Park’s major geyser basins en route to the legendary Old Faithful geyser. Try this tour for a peek at the Park’s 10,000 thermal wonders and impressive wildlife along the trail’s riverways (spelling). During the Old Faithful portion of the tour, your tour guide will give you plenty of time to both eat lunch and walk “Geyser Hill” located adjacent to the Old Faithful Geyser. Make sure you leave time for the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center.
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone Tour: Many call this the “waterfall tour” in anticipation of the many waterfalls you’ll be passing by. The most spectacular are the Lower Falls with a 308 foot drop. The other falls include the Crystal Falls (129 feet), the Upper Falls (109 feet) and the Gibbon falls (84 feet). Additionally, you’ll pass through the Norris Geyser Basin which is the hottest and most acidic basin in the park. Many say it has the look of a desolate moonscape.
Custom Tours: Most snowcoach tour operators in West Yellowstone offer custom or “private tours.” Select this option if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind experience for you and your party. You can design the perfect tour for company outings, wedding parties, family reunions, friendly getaways and more! Be sure to ask your snowcoach tour provider for specific features or scenery you have in mind. Your custom tour can be tailored to meet almost any need.
What to Bring on a Snowcoach Tour
Yellowstone snowcoach tours almost always feature the opportunity to explore the outdoors, so for maximum enjoyment you’ll need to stay warm. You are going to want to dress in layers because there will be a vast temperature difference between the coaches and outside. Bring along your most comfortable and warming winter gear, including thermal undergarments or “long-johns,” a hat, gloves, earmuffs, and winter ready footwear. Don’t forget your sunglasses for avoiding the light glare from the reflected sun.
Snacks, nonalcoholic drinks and binoculars, while optional, are helpful. Since most tours do not provide food or drinks, you’ll want to bring your own sack lunches and snacks. The Old Faithful tour is the only tour that offers a food concession stop, but even here we recommend a bagged lunch to save time for more sightseeing.
Bring important medications and other must-haves along with you to your snowcoach tour, as once the tour has started it’s very difficult and complicated to have to return to the starting point. Additionally, cold temperatures zap camera batteries, so bring extra ones and keep them warm inside your pockets.
About West Yellowstone, Montana
As the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park, West Yellowstone, Montana is the most popular gateway to Yellowstone. West Yellowstone is located eight miles from Idaho and two miles from Wyoming. This bustling little town offers a rich local community and plenty of activities to discover outside of the Park. Explore their restaurants for a variety of dining options; experience taverns with live poker tournaments, and multiple quaint shopping opportunities. Many tours around West Yellowstone include extensive information about its incredible wildlife, including bison, wolves, eagles, and elk.
Additionally, West Yellowstone features dealers for all the popular snowmobile manufacturers (Polaris, Ski-Doo, Arctic Cat and Yamaha) Throughout the winter, there are several special activities such as Kids-N-Snow, ice fishing tournaments, dog sled races, and Nordic Ski races. At the end of the winter season, the town holds its annual Snowmobile Expo and Powersports Show, featuring racing, snowmobile gear vendors, a sneak peek at new snowmobile models, special exhibitions and more.
When should I visit?
Yellowstone Park’s winter season starts around December 15th and ends around March 15th. In December, all interior roads are left to “snow over” in preparation for winter tours. Expect more booked tours the week between Christmas and New Year’s, but availability should be more amenable before and after the busy holiday season. January is typically the park’s coldest month, and March is its expected warm month – “warm” being a relative term!
As with any snowy region, there can be extreme highs and lows in temperatures, but most weather will range between -15 and 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Your snowcoach will be heated, but prepare to dress warmly, and in layers, for the outside portions of the tour.