Roll into Spring in West Yellowstone

Photo Courtesy of NPS, taken by Jacob W. Frank

Spring in West Yellowstone, Montana, is a special time of the year, with so much to do in the area and unique access to Yellowstone Park. It’s the time when winter and spring merge and one is left in awe of the beauty, bounty and babies.

Cross Country Ski in the morning on National Forest lands, or over 50km of trails accessed from the edge of town. West Yellowstone locals love crust cruising: A euphoric phenomena allowing skate skiers to travel over large open areas, determined solely by Mother Nature. Skate skiers can literally ski anywhere by staying on top of the hard crust that has formed over the snow. Stop by Freeheel and Wheel for a coffee and explore other local hot spots.

Bike into Yellowstone without the cars. Before the West Gate opens to vehicles, the public can enter by non-motorized forms of transportation. The most popular way to traverse the roads between West Yellowstone and Mammoth Hot Springs is by bicycle. For “Cycle Only Days”, The West Gate will open as conditions allow, from late March through the third week of April, depending on weather. The West gate does not start charging entrance fees until it re-opens for vehicle travel.

Take a leisurely scenic drive. You will be amazed that within just a few miles and minutes you will find bison (maybe even see some of the first calves of season), bald eagles, moose, bighorn sheep, waterfowl and more. You will be mesmerized by the beautiful views of snow-capped mountains, the sunset over Hebgen Lake and the miles of river bordering your drive. The West of Yellowstone Map has plenty of ideas and insider tips.

Be sure to stop by the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center to see the new wolf packs, bear cubs and the recently opened Riparian Exhibit with river otters and native fish.

Yellowstone Park opens to public vehicles on April 17. Catch a glimpse of bears emerging from their dens, wolf packs out in the meadows, bison munching on greening grass and herds of elk migrating back to spring areas. The cool mornings create mist over the rivers and thermal areas for awe-inspiring pictures and once-in-a-lifetime views like those in a postcard. April 18 is a National Park FEE FREE Day, so no admission fee will be charged at the gate.

Mid-May marks the opening of The Museum of the Yellowstone, and Memorial Weekend visitors can explore the history of Earthquake Lake at the Visitor Center on Hwy 287.

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