Winter Diamonds

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
map of U.S. showing our winter, snow national park picks: Crater Lake, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain, Acadia and Denali

Activities: Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, wildlife viewing, snowmobiling
Only in Winter Vision: Steaming geysers, hot springs, and other thermal features surrounded by snow and ice.

Before the area was christened Yellowstone, many knew it as "Wonderland." Precede that with "winter", and you've got the makings of a popular song, as well as a destination.

But rather than walking, you're likely to find yourself skiing or snowshoeing. The main cross-country ski areas are the Mammoth area and the Old Faithful area. Both areas feature hot springs and plenty of winter wildlife. Mammoth is easier to get to, but Old Faithful gives you a chance to have a little peace in an area that's swarming with tourists at other times.

The park is center-stage in a snowmobile controversy that keeps on running. But snowshoeing and skiing get you closer to the environment—and wildlife—anyway. If for whatever reason the human-powered thing doesn't work for you, snow coaches provide an automotive get-around that is much kinder to Yellowstone's delicate winter ecology.

Yellowstone is one of the great wildlife watching centers of the world at any time of year. Winter highlights include bison, elk, bighorn sheep, coyotes, trumpeter swans, and other resident birds. In 1995, wolves were reintroduced to the park. You probably won't see any, but you will notice that the elk appear a lot more alert.

More on Yellowstone Winter Sports
More on Yellowstone National Park Page

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 7 Nov 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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