Greater Yellowstone and Tetons

Yellowstone National Park sits on a high plateau at the intersection of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, with vast meadows, lakes and river systems.  The area gets snow early and West Yellowstone is a popular training area for nordic athletes.  Snowcoaches make touring from and around Old Faithful easy, if you have the time.  Yellowstone Park has been dealing with the snowmobile issue for many years and current restrictions have made ski touring more pleasant on shared roads starting from the entrance stations.

South of West Yellowstone, the Island Park area offers wonderful opportunities for ski touring along meadows adjoining the West Fork of the Snake and in several Idaho State Parks.

The spine of the Tetons stretches south from Yellowstone, with the awesome Snake River, the many lakes and meadows of Teton National Park and the town of Jackson on its east side.  (The continental divide is further east in Wyoming; the Snake curves west at the Palisades reservoir twenty-five miles south of the range and then heads to the Pacific.)  West of the Tetons is the Teton Valley, ID.  Between the Teton Valley and the Jackson (Snake River) Valley, Teton Pass is one of America’s backcountry ski meccas.

It is all huge ski country, with long tours, awesome meadows and rivers and steep descents.  Be careful!

Please assess your abilities and what sort of activity or adventure you can safely pursue. No warranty is made regarding the accuracy of this information and all your activity is at your own risk. Check avalanche advisories, weather reports, trail conditions, etc.  Know what to take.

See Kickapedia for explanation of terms.

Nordic Resorts

Western Teton Area

Chance of Snow
Wednesday
High 35°/Low 11°
Clear
Thursday
High 33°/Low 11°
Partly Cloudy
Friday
High 33°/Low 22°
Snow Showers
Saturday
High 27°/Low 7°
Partly Cloudy
Sunday
High 24°/Low 17°

 

  • In West Yellowstone, the Rendezvous Trail System‘s  35K of trail is famous as a training ground for Olympic athletes.  As noted by Gallatin National Forests’ website, the trailhead starts right in West Yellowstone, Montana at the intersection of Geyser Street and Obsidian Avenue. Passes are available for sale at the Hebgen Lake Ranger District Office, the West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce, and several ski shops in the town of West Yellowstone.
  • On the west side of the Tetons, Grand Targhee grooms 15K of track.

Eastern Teton Area

Partly Cloudy
Wednesday
High 28°/Low 11°
Clear
Thursday
High 31°/Low 9°
Clear
Friday
High 32°/Low 20°
Snow Showers
Saturday
High 27°/Low 6°
Partly Cloudy
Sunday
High 24°/Low 14°

 

Community Areas

West Yellowstone Area

Partly Cloudy
Wednesday
High 23°/Low 10°
Clear
Thursday
High 31°/Low 10°
Mostly Cloudy
Friday
High 27°/Low 18°
Snow Showers
Saturday
High 23°/Low 4°
Partly Cloudy
Sunday
High 19°/Low 12°

 

  • Yellowstone National Park offers many ski and snowshoe trails around Old Faithful and in other areas of the Park, some of which are groomed.  To access the trails around Old Faithful, you need to plan a few days to ski in, or a few hours via snowcoach.
  • In and around the town of Jackson, Teton County (Wyoming) offers groomed trails at a number of locations, including Cache Creek and the Emily’s Pond Levee where Highway 22 cross the Snake River.
  • West of the Tetons, Teton Valley Trails and Pathways grooms a number of trails, including a 6 km trail up Teton Canyon and shorter trails in Alta (behind the Alta School) and in Teton Springs.
  • 77 miles south of Jackson Hole, Pinedale, Wyoming offers several well maintained nordic trail systems in breathtaking sections of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

State areas
  • The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation offers several options, including several sites in the Island Park area including:
    • Harriman State Park 18 miles north of Ashton, offers 21 miles of scenic trails.
    • Brimstone/Buffalo River off highway 20 just north of the Island Park ranger station, offers trails along the Buffalo River and Henry’s Fork, including a connector to Harriman State Park.
    • Fall River Ridge 10 miles east of Ashton on the Cave Falls road, offers seven miles of trails across rolling terrain overlooking the Falls River canyon.
    • Bear Gulch/Mesa Falls seven miles northeast of Ashton on Highway 47, offers nine miles of trails including to the falls and along the canyon rim, with an initial steep ascent.

Other areas

The outdoor-oriented community and notable National Parks provide many other opportunities for clean and quiet recreation.

  • The extensive meadows and sagebrush country in Grand Teton National Park offer many skiing and snowshoeing opportunities.  Guide to Teton National Park and other trails. The Moose – Wilson Road and the road to Jenny Lake may have a set track and there are additional trails around Colter Bay and Flagg Ranch. Guide.
  • Teton Pass is a mecca for the backcountry skier seeking turns on steep slopes and, depending on conditions, may offer some low-angle touring along the ridge.  There is high danger of avalanche in this area.
  • The Game Creek Trailhead, Curtis Canyon and Flat Creek near Jackson provide winter trails. The Gros Ventre road is closed to vehicle traffic, but is groomed regularly for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. Guide.
  • Out Togwotee Pass area is snowmobile country but offers additional trails if you don’t mind the snowmobile traffic. Guide.

Lodging

All of the major towns in the area offer lodging opportunities that can be considered ski-in ski-out, including:

Wilderness Lodges

  • The Old Faithful Lodge, accessible by snow coach, offers a unique opportunity to ski among Yellowstone’s geysers and winter wildlife.
  • Rendezvous Backcountry Tours offers four backcountry huts on the west slope of the Tetons offering access to extensive backcountry terrain and Teton powder.
  • The Lodge at Jackson Fork Ranch, located in Bondurant, WY, offers groomed trails for cross country skiing and snowshoeing and easy access to acres of National Forest land.

 Advisories

 Rental Shops

Guide Services

Other links

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