While West Yellowstone, Montana, is exceptional in the winter, with over 150 inches of snow, and a recreational trail system that includes more than 400 miles of groomed snowmobile routes, over 35 kilometers of terrain on the Rendezvous Ski Trails and daily tours into Yellowstone National Park starting December 15th, it is also a hub of winter events for the whole family.
Winter brings a variety of events to West Yellowstone, starting with the annual Yellowstone Ski Festival held Thanksgiving week, when thousands of Nordic skiers descend on the town for a week of clinics, demos and races. Events continue throughout the season, culminating with Yellowstone Rendezvous Race in March, the area’s only marathon cross-country ski race. Ski races are open to every age and racing ability. The Rendezvous Ski Trails also host the growing sport of winter biathlon which combines Nordic skiing and shooting. March of 2020 will also see West Yellowstone host the US Biathlon Championships.
Monthly, Kids’N’Snow weekends offer an assortment of programs introducing families to winter activities including snowcoach rides in Yellowstone Park, snowshoeing, sled dog rides, snowmobile demo rides, Nordic skiing and winter learning programs all for free. This award-winning, nationally recognized event is in its ninth year. This year’s winter series will run December 14, 2019 through March 8, 2020.
In January, the NAIFC Ice Fishing Tournament takes place on Hebgen Lake, just north of town. This official North American Ice Fishing Circuit event is winter’s equivalent of summer’s big-time bass and walleye tournaments, filled with seminars, a kid’s workshop and the fishing competition itself.
The last weekend in February, over 75 teams of horses and skiers will come to West Yellowstone to compete for cash and prizes during the 2nd Annual Skijor West event. Spectators line the course to watch horse and rider pull a skier through the obstacles at top speed.
Temperatures may be cooling down, but the winter event season in West Yellowstone, Montana is just warming up. For more information and a full calendar of events, visit DestinationYellowstone.com.