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Experience: Whitefish

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January 2011

Wintertime in

West Yellowstone

For road warriors, byway explorers, and itchy-feet-types, we present: wanderlust-worthy goodness delivered straight to your inbox. Each of our monthly emails propels you towards Montana's secret treasures: historic tiny towns, hidden natural beauty, and experiences that can't be found anywhere else.

This month? Welcome to West Yellowstone, known as either a snowmobiler outpost or a cross-country playground (depending on who you ask) and recognized by all as a magical, winter gateway into Yellowstone National Park.
NATURAL SPLENDOR (OBVIOUSLY)
Yellowstone National Park in the winter is a rare, ethereal sight, and in this town, it's literally two blocks away. Through mid-March, ride snowcoaches to see the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone or Old Faithful, or take a guided snowmobile tour of the Park. Or visit the six-story Yellowstone IMAX Theatre for a unique (and never weather-dependent) view into Yellowstone. For a side trip, visit beautiful Quake Lake, formed by a 1959 earthquake.
EXPLORE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK ›
The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is open 365 days a year, and their bears don't hibernate. From Jen C.: turn your happy hour into a weekend at the Happy Hour Bar on Hebgen Lake. Find it on GetLostMT.com. 13 FEET OF SNOW A YEAR

"West" (as locals call it) is a renowned snowmobiling haven, especially during the jaw-dropping aerial antics and races of the annual Snowmobile Expo. Need a quieter way to make the most of 13 feet of snow annually? The Rendezvous Ski Trails boast over 35 kilometers of immaculately groomed cross-country ski trails, looping through lodgepole pine forests and wide meadows. Freeheel & Wheel rents skis, boots, and poles and makes a mean espresso, too.
YELLOWSTONE WINTER ACTIVITIES ›
FROZEN, HUNGRY, AND LOVIN' IT
After a hard day's riding, skiing, or (okay, maybe not so hard) snowcoaching, head back to town where locally-owned restaurants, bars and hangouts offer tasty ways to warm up. At Kiwi' Takeaway, for example, personable New Zealand transplant Alison Zanderaarde whips up fresh homemade meat pies, bison burgers, and fried pineapple rings (with a side of witty banter).

Not quite hungry? There are quite a few good coffee options including Morning Glory Coffee and Tea, West Yellowstone's own small-batch microroaster. And never forget breakfast: restaurants like Running Bear Pancakes serve it up home-cookin' style, with touches like real maple syrup.
FIND PLACES TO EAT ›






Shoot to make it to West before the snow's gone to truly experience a different side of Yellowstone... but if the thaw beats you here, don't worry! West Yellowstone's summer means hiking, camping, fishing, cycling and a host of warmer-weather fun. Either way, a Montana adventure awaits.

START PLANNING YOUR ADVENTURE ›

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