This winter looks to be exceptional in West Yellowstone, Montana, which has an annual average snowfall of 150 inches. The streets will remain snow packed all season, providing a trailhead literally from your doorstep. Their trail system includes 400+ miles of groomed snowmobile routes that connect Montana and Idaho, and over 35km of terrain on the Rendezvous Ski Trails on the southwest edge town. Additional trails to the north and west of town lead to the Custer-Gallatin National Forest and Yellowstone National Park.
On December 15, the west entrance to Yellowstone Park opens to a unique experience and adventure. Each day, commercially guided snowcoach and snowmobile tours travel from the west entrance to popular destinations inside the wintry heart of Yellowstone. All tours are conducted by interpretive guides.
The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is open year-round (these bears don’t hibernate), offering kid-friendly activities and presentations. Weekly presentations by Yellowstone Park rangers can be found right in West Yellowstone at the Visitor Information Center. The local skating rink and sledding hill are open daily to the public, and rentals are available.
Winter brings a variety of events to West Yellowstone. Monthly Kids’N’Snow weekends offer an assortment of programs introducing families to winter activities including ice skating and sledding, snowshoeing, sled dog rides, snowmobile demo rides, winter learning programs and Saturday night S’mores. This year’s winter series run December 15, 2018 through March 3, 2019.
Ski events include the annual Yellowstone Ski Festival held Thanksgiving week each November, and the annual 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. For a fun time, plan to attend the annual Taste of Trails, a casual snowshoe or ski event with food stations along the way (February 17, 2019).
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 Annual Snowmobile EXPO, Powersports & Races will culminate the winter with events, demo rides, snow bike races and exhibitor area where manufacturers showcase the next year’s models all at one place at one time.
For more information visit at destinationyellowstone.com.