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Denis LeBlanc | 11.09.2017

Of the 4 million visitors Yellowstone National Park gets in a typical year, just 3% of them come to Yellowstone in the five months of November through March. Fewer visitors come to the park during the entire month of March than a typical day in July! There are many good reasons for this, not the least of which is the fact that it is darned hard to get into the park once most of the roads close in November. In fact only one road stays open all year, and that is the one from the Mammoth Hot Springs north entrance out to the northeast entrance through the Lamar Valley.

Visiting Yellowstone in winter is in many ways a throwback to the way visitors saw the park before automobiles, when people took some combination of trains, stagecoaches, wagons and horseback to venture into the vastness that is Yellowstone. Winter offers solitude and a range of beauty that might be missed by visitors who stick to milder seasons.

For the hardy, the only campground open all year is Mammoth Campground at the north entrance. Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel is also open all year. The Mammoth Hot Springs area makes a great place to base camp for winter exploration, and you can drive to it. The only other lodging open in the park is the Old Faithful Snow Lodge, and the only way to get to it is by snow coach or snowmobile from one of the four park entrances--from 32 to over 50 miles (Flagg Ranch at the south entrance is the closest access point).

Once at the park in winter, what is there to do?

Some of our favorite winter adventures in Yellowstone include:

Photo by Dylan Lara. 

For more ideas on how to explore Yellowstone in the winter, check out the extensive adventures and activities in the Featured Adventures below!


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