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Overview

Yellowstone is one of the oldest national parks in the world, one of the largest, the USA's first and arguably the best. This 2.2-million-acre wonderland underpins the very definition of wilderness, with its amazing wildlife, inexplicable geothermal plumbing bubbling up and over the surface of the Earth, and rugged alpine landscape, complete with a vast lake and an awe-inspiring canyon. In winter, the landscape, shrouded in snow, is remarkably different from what most visitors experience. The only road that remains open connects Mammoth Hot Springs and Cooke City, Montana, via the incomparable Lamar River Valley. (You can also get into the ...

Yellowstone is one of the oldest national parks in the world, one of the largest, the USA's first and arguably the best. This 2.2-million-acre wonderland underpins the very definition of wilderness, with its amazing wildlife, inexplicable geothermal plumbing bubbling up and over the surface of the Earth, and rugged alpine landscape, complete with a vast lake and an awe-inspiring canyon. In winter, the landscape, shrouded in snow, is remarkably different from what most visitors experience. The only road that remains open connects Mammoth Hot Springs and Cooke City, Montana, via the incomparable Lamar River Valley. (You can also get into the park via West Yellowstone, Montana on Highway 191 from Bozeman, or from Flagg Ranch, Wyoming near Jackson Hole in the south.) The unplowed roads are closed to all vehicles but snowcoaches (think of a van on tank treads) and snowmobiles, but the best way to truly experience this winter wonderland is to bundle up and slap on a pair of skis or snowshoes. The bears are asleep, but you'll see bison and moose and — if you're lucky — wolves. As only three percent of the park's visitors come during the winter season, it can feel like you have the place to yourself. You might even have a chance to see Old Faithful erupt all by yourself.

Eric Peterson
About the Expert

Eric Peterson has written and contributed to numerous Frommer’s guidebooks covering the American West, including Montana & Wyoming, Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks, and Texas.

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Eric Peterson for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Winter season runs from mid December through early March.