Groomed trail
Elevation Gain
1,550.00 ft (472.44 m)
11.92 mi (19.18 km)
Warming hut
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Tower Pass to Chittenden Loop is a partial loop groomed ski trail in the Tower Junction area of Yellowstone National Park. The Tower Falls trail is one of the most popular ski trails in the park, an out-and-back trek that totals 5 somewhat easy miles. From Tower Falls, one has the option to escape the crowds and tack on another 6 to 7 miles via the Chittenden Loop.

Begin your ski at the Tower Junction parking, which is where Tower-Canyon road closed in the winter. Ski your way up this closed road, passing some fantastic sights including a monstrous basalt cliff, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and the snow-capped rock spires of the Devil’s Den just above the famous falls.

After 2.7 miles, you’ll reach Tower Falls, obvious by the seasonally closed lodge. Being an incredibly short detour off your main route, it’s highly recommended to go peak at the falls.  Between the outer ice layer and the roaring water behind, Tower Falls is arguably its most spectacular in the winter.

From Tower Falls, follow the signs toward Tower Campground, a short distance of 0.25 miles. You can continue straight on the road and begin the Chittenden Loop that way, but it is generally regarded as more difficult. Skiing right through Tower Campground will get all your steepest climbing out of the way first. Plus, if you ski it in the opposite direction, this “more difficult” section (by Yellowstone ski ratings) can get packed and icy making for a tricky descent.

To follow the recommended path, ski through the campground and take the right fork at the edge. Be wary: the right fork is easy to miss. If you accidentally go straight, you’ll find yourself at the intersection with Tower-Canyon road which would otherwise be your return leg of the loop. Fortunately, if you make this mistake, it’s not too far to return to the campground and take the correct path. 

The first half of the 5.2 mile loop takes you through a dense pine forest, climbing grades lightly steeper than the ones you’ve thus far encountered. It may seem like a long climb, but just remember how much downhill you’ll have once you reach the top. The highest point of the loop is near where the trail intersects back with Tower-Canyon Road. From there, it’s an easy and straightforward downhill ski along a wide track back to Tower Falls. You know the rest from there!

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass


Solitude. Groomed trail. Easy to navigate.


Potentially congested to Tower Falls. Uphill for the first half.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

6,209.00 ft (1,892.50 m)

Highest point

7,273.00 ft (2,216.81 m)


Vault toilet
Big vistas
Family friendly

Trail type


Typically multi-day


Snowmobiles allowed




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