Scenic Winter Overview
Photo courtesy: West Yellowstone Chamber
Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center
Photo courtesy: Discovery Center
West Yellowstone Rodeo
Photo courtesy: MTOT
Yellowstone Historic Center
Photo courtesy: MTOT
The town of West Yellowstone, just outside of the West Entrance toYellowstone National Park is a year-round destination. Nestled among majestic mountain peaks, and surrounded by natural scenic wonders, the town is rich in history and activities.
West Yellowstone is an outdoor adventure paradise. Fishing is a year-round activity here. Fly fisherman can be seen in the rivers at any time of the year. The NAIFC holds their annual ice fishing tournament on Hebgen Lake and West Yellowstone frequently hosts the International Federation of Fly Fishers conclave and fair. Anglers come from all over the world to test their skills in the blue-ribbon trout streams surrounding the area. Hebgen and Quake lakes, nearby, also offer fabulous fishing opportunities for the entire family.
The town is a favorite destination for bicyclists, who come annually for events like the West to Old Faithful Cycle Tour. With access to miles of trails starting at the edge of town, mountain biking, hiking and running are also popular activities.
Many people take advantage of the scenic driving tours and byways in the area including the Madison Earthquake Area Drive, the Centennial Valley and north along Hwy 191 and the Gallatin River. During the springtime, birding is a popular activity. In the spring and fall, when the traffic is lighter, these routes boast opportunities to see wildlife including elk, deer, moose and Big Horn sheep.
West Yellowstone receives an average of 160" of snow in winter. There are hundreds of miles of groomed snowmobile trails and over 35 kilometers of cross-country ski trails. Snowmobilers from across the country travel to West Yellowstone during the winter to experience the thrill of mountain powder. One can start their day in West Yellowstone and travel between Montana and Idaho. West Yellowstone hosts several nordic ski events throughout the winter as well, including the Yellowstone Ski Festival, Spam Cup Races (the winner receives a unique decorated can of Spam), Youth Ski Races, and the Rendezvous Ski Race. These are family-friendly events open to all ages and abilities. The trails are open daily, December 1 until the snow is gone, for recreational skiers and the views are breathtaking.
Looking for family activities in the town of West Yellowstone? Visit Montana's first IMAX Theatre, presenting a six-story high screen with stereo surround sound. The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center offers an educational experience and viewing area for visitors to watch live grizzly bears, wolves, and raptors in their own natural habitat. The Center is open daily year-round. Many nights during the summer season, visitors can enjoy live theater, concerts in the park and rodeos.
The Yellowstone Historic Center, located in the original Union Pacific Depot at West Yellowstone, features the history of visitation and transportation to our nation's first national park. Open daily from the middle of May through the middle of October. You can also experience early West Yellowstone through the free, self-guided historic walking tour. The green Bear Paw Trail that's painted on the sidewalks will lead the way! Pick up your map at the Chamber of Commerce or at one of the 21 site locations!
One weekend per month, December through March, the KidsNSnow program offers unique opportunities for children to experience new winter activities like dogsledding, snowshoeing, ice fishing and much more. The weekend's highlight is usually the smores, skating and sledding event at the Community park.
After a day in Yellowstone, many people like to stroll the streets of West Yellowstone, perusing the shops which carry everything from souvenirs to jewelry, Montana made pottery, home decor and the latest in outdoor gear. One can enjoy the fine array of cuisine at one of the many restaurants in town. Choose from casual, family fare to fine dining, and even a 50s style diner. No matter what you are craving you will find it - everything from the best pizza in the area to elk, bison and trout.
The West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce, a statewide travel information center offers extensive information on the area.
Elevation: 6,666 feet