If you think Yellowstone during the summers is magical, come and check it out in the winter! It is awesome and unlike any experience you have ever had! Most people think that Yellowstone is shut down in the winter. It isn't. But it is deserted. Instead of there being tens of thousands of people in the park, there are only a few hundred! You just about have Yellowstone to yourself.
During the winter months the vast majority of Yellowstone is closed to cars and buses. We will have you gliding over the snow in your choice of a snowcoach or snowmobile! It is so hard to describe the thrill of snowcoaching through the crown jewel of America’s National Park system. If you prefer to snowmobile, it’s just you and the elements. With nothing in-between, you are exposed to endless vistas of the most incredible beauty. Whatever you choose, you will get up close and personal with sights you could only have imagined!
And what a unique experience it is, with the landscape being painted white, as far as the eye can see. But don't worry. You'll be nice and warm as you enjoy sights that only a tiny number of people get to see in their lifetimes.
Day 1 - Flight from San Francisco to Salt Lake City - About two hours
Sorry! There is an early morning start today, as you will need to get yourself to the San Francisco airport - where the tour starts - for a flight at approximately 6 a.m. There will be a checked luggage fee which you will need to pay. You will get to Salt Lake in time for the 10 a.m. ride to Yellowstone.
You will take a shuttle through northern Utah, into Idaho, and eventually Montana, before arriving in West Yellowstone. There are stops at several towns along the way. The vehicle is generally a mini bus.
Please note that today is an unescorted part of the tour. What this means is that although you obviously have a bus driver with you at all times, there is no tour guide providing a running commentary. You should also be aware that this trip can vary in length, depending on whether it is snowing, and whether the roads are snow packed or not.
You will be dropped off at your self catering studio in West Yellowstone, where one of our staff will welcome you. Please note that if you leave it too late to book, you may stay in a hotel room, which will not have catering facilities. West Yellowstone is a really small town, and it is generally very easy to walk around. The town likes to call itself the snowmobile capital of the world, and the roads are left unplowed, so that snowmobiles can scoot around.
Yellowstone can get very cold, and we suggest you bring the appropriate clothing with you. Consider dressing in layers. That way if you get too hot you can take a layer off, or put one on if you start getting cold. If you decide to go snowmobiling, especially warm clothes are provided as part of your package.
We will go over details of the rest of your tour with you in the evening. If you need a ride into town to get dinner, we're happy to oblige!
You will find that the basic food you need for breakfast will be in your apartment when you arrive, so you can make yourself something to eat for the mornings you are at Yellowstone. Foods will include a selection of bacon, eggs, sausage, beans, hash browns, bread, milk, cereal, tea and coffee, as well as the necessary condiments. If you land up staying in a hotel instead, it will be one that has a continental breakfast.
Today you'll be doing something very few people get to do - travel over the snow to Old Faithful, the world's most famous geyser. You'll also see many other geysers, some amazing scenery, as well as wildlife.
Please remember that a trip by snowcoach is included in the price of this tour. If you would prefer to, you can ride a snowmobile instead. There is an additional charge for this, which can be seen elsewhere on this page. You can have either one or two people on a sled, as the locals call a snowmobile, and can select whichever option you prefer on checkout.
If you travel by snowcoach your driver/guide will pick you up, and take you into the park for your tour. If you ride a snowmobile yourself, you will first be kitted out with special clothing, and then be shown how to control your sled. You will also have park etiquette and regulations explained to you. The snowmobile tour is also led by a guide, who will show you where to go, and tell you all about what you are seeing.
West Yellowstone is located right at Yellowstone’s entrance, and in no time you’ll be riding across the snow into the park. You can expect to see endless stunning scenery, wildlife, plus, of course, geysers and other thermal features.
Once in the park, we’ll follow the Madison River east, stopping whenever we see anything of interest, and there will be a lot of interest! At Madison Junction we’ll turn right, or south, and start making our way towards the geyser basins. Where you stop will depend on your guide, but options include the Lower Geyser Basin, which is home to Fountain Paint Pot, the Midway Geyser Basin, Black Sand Basin, and Biscuit Basin, before reaching the highlight of the trip, Old Faithful. As mentioned before, you can buy some lunch here, and watch Old Faithful. Alternatively, buy something in West Yellowstone and take it into the park with you.
After a fun filled day you will return to West Yellowstone. You are on your own for the rest of the day, and for supper.
Day 3 - Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone - About 6 hours, 30 minutes
Today we’re traveling by snowcoach to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, which is an amazing canyon that the Yellowstone River has cut through the rocks. Just as you did yesterday, you are welcome to go by snowmobile instead. Please choose that option when you check out. Whatever you decide on, you will once again have a guide with you.
We’ll once again follow the Madison River into the park, but this time we’ll head north, or left, at Madison Junction. The Gibbon River will be alongside us, and you can once again expect to see wildlife, beautiful scenery and thermal features on the way.
Amongst the many highlights will be stops at both Gibbon Fall and Beryl Hot Spring, before reaching Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, which will take your breath away. Because there is nowhere to buy food along the way, we provide a sack lunch today. Please remember to take it with you.
There is the option of spending an extra day in West Yellowstone, to take a snowmobile on your own, outside the park. You will be able to ride your sled over your choice of hundreds of miles of trails through the forests and up and down the mountains of the area. This is really exhilarating fun!
Please order this option when you check out. It includes an extra night's stay and the use of a snowmobile. Note that you will not have a guide with you unless you want to pay extra for one.
The shuttle back to Salt Lake City departs at about 6 p.m. this evening. You will drive through Montana, before crossing into Idaho, and spending the night in a small town called Rexburg. The hotel is included in the tour price.
Tomorrow morning, you can depart from Rexburg at various times, to return to Salt Lake. Please note that this is an unescorted part of the tour. What this means is that although you obviously have a bus driver with you at all times, there is no tour guide providing a running commentary the way there was when you were in Yellowstone.
The shuttle to Salt Lake this morning makes several stops along the way. You can choose from several departure times from Rexburg. The shuttle will pick you up at your hotel, and drop you off at the Salt Lake City airport, or at a central downtown location opposite Temple Square, where the tour ends.
Depart 2.05 a.m. Arrive 6.40 a.m.
Depart 3.35 a.m. Arrive 8.10 a.m. (Not available on Sundays)
Depart 5.05 a.m. Arrive 9.40 a.m.
Depart 6.35 a.m. Arrive 11.10 a.m.
Depart 8.05 a.m. Arrive 12.40 p.m.
Depart 9.35 a.m. Arrive 2.10 p.m.
Please note in the comments section which one you want.
Please be aware that the entrance fee to Yellowstone is excluded on this tour, and needs to be paid on arrival. As of mid 2020, the entry fee was $25 per person, but is subject to change without notice by the National Park Service.
If you are thinking of taking a winter Yellowstone tour, please be aware that tours for the period around Christmas and New Year sell out months ahead of time!
The days and dates this tour runs can be seen in the calendar at the top right of this page.
Between the dates of December 26th and January 2nd inclusive, there is a surcharge of $65 for each snowmobile trip.
The entrance fee to Yellowstone is excluded and needs to be paid on arrival.
The price of this tour assumes you are travelling at least three weeks from the tour date. Due to higher air fares the price may increase if you book less than three weeks from the tour date. There are no taxes.
Two nights' accommodation are included at a self catering studio at Yellowstone Self Catering Lodging in West Yellowstone. If lodging there is sold out, you will stay at a two star hotel in West Yellowstone. One night's lodging is included at the Americinn in Rexburg.
The price includes two days of snowcoaching inside Yellowstone. You can pay a surcharge and take a snowmobile instead.
The meals included are one hotel breakfast and one sack lunch. There will be bacon, eggs, bread, etc, in your studio, so you can make yourself breakfast when you are in West Yellowstone. If you stay in a hotel instead, it will be one that includes breakfast.
This tour starts at the San Francisco airport. The tour ends at the Salt Lake City airport and a central downtown Salt Lake location.
All times are approximate. We are not responsible for the consequences of any delays, and this itinerary may change without notice.
Portions of this tour are sub-contracted to other reputable vendors.
After ordering this tour please wait to receive a confirmation email from us before making any plans that are dependent on this tour.
It will be cold on this tour, and may be very, very cold. Please bring appropriate clothing. It is important to dress in layers. That way you can remove a layer when hot, or put one on if you get cold. We suggest a selection of the following:
Thermal underwear for both top and bottom; a pair of waterproof boots, with ankle supports, into which you can tuck your trousers; gloves; a beanie; appropriate pants and shirts; and a ski type jacket. A useful tip is to carry a spare pair of socks with you, in case the ones you are wearing become wet.
If you decide to ride a sled, special snowmobiling clothing is included in the tour price.
There are rare times when the authorities close the roads because of high winds and/or a lot of snow. We cannot be held responsible for the consequences of delays or cancellations caused by this, mechanical failure, acts of God, or other matters beyond our control. If it becomes necessary to cancel part of a tour all that we will refund is the cost of that part that is missed.
Payment And Cancellation Details: CANCELLATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED FOR THIS TOUR. Changes will also not be accepted, and refunds will not be given. Please consider purchasing trip insurance as our cancellation policy is strictly enforced. The payment schedule is as follows: This tour has an air leg. The cost of the flight, plus half of the remaining balance will be charged any time from when you make the booking. The final balance will be charged 30 or fewer days from the tour date, at our discretion.