Field Notes

Should You Visit Yellowstone National Park In Winter?

by Grant JohnsonFeb 15, 2021
A Herd Of American Bison Traverse A Snowy Landscape In Yellowstone National Park In The Winter

If there was ever a time to plan a visit to experience Yellowstone National Park during the winter, that time is now!  The most exclusive season of the year offers some of the most rewarding opportunities for travelers willing to brave the snow and ice.  Whether you’re visiting Yellowstone country to ski the legendary slopes of Big Sky, Montana, or seeking the ultimate North American wildlife expedition, booking a winter safari with Yellowstone Safari Co. is an unforgettable way to add some warmth to your odyssey.

Two Members Of A Wolf Pack Are Seen On The Horizon In The Lamar Valley During Winter In Yellowstone National Park
A Bull Moose Makes Its Way Through The Snow Covered Sagebrush Flats Of The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Destination: Yellowstone National Park

The wild landscape of southwest Montana is a haven for winter adventure, and in recent years it’s only become more accessible to travelers from around the globe.  The Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) is the perfect hub to grant you access to the Bridger Bowl Ski Area, Big Sky Resort, Yellowstone Club, and endless escapades around the intrepid little town of Bozeman, MT.  Flying directly into Bozeman also drops you on the front-step of America’s most iconic wilderness area, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.  The North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park, marked by the historic Roosevelt Arch, is the park’s only access point for visitors during the winter months, and Yellowstone’s legendary Northern Range offers an endless amount of possibilities for even the most seasoned explorers. 

Wolves and Wildlife

We can’t talk about winter in Yellowstone without talking about wolves.  Perhaps America’s most fabled and emotive wildlife species, the grey wolf (Canis lupus) thrives on the rugged, snowy landscape of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem this time of the year.  Many of the areas most impressive and abundant wild animals, (i.e. bison, elk, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, moose, etc.) migrate to lower elevations during the winter months, drawing wolves out of the high hills, and bringing them into better views for eager wildlife watchers.  And as the prey moves, the predators follow.  

The reintroduction of wild wolves into Yellowstone National Park 25 years ago is one of the most widely lauded and well-documented conservation success stories that has ever unfolded, and our winter wildlife safaris are your opportunity to understand the historic and current roles they play in the ecosystem and witness the next chapter revealed. 

Wolves Hunt For Prey On A Snowy Landscape In The Lamar Valley In Yellowstone National Park

Wildlife on the Winter Range

Both in and around the National Park, the winter season offers some of the most astounding safari prospects of the entire year.  It’s not uncommon for us to see dozens, if not hundreds, of elk, mule deer, whitetail deer, and pronghorn before we even reach the park’s boundaries.  Yellowstone boasts the largest wild bison herd in North America at approximately 5000 individuals, and roughly 3500 of these gargantuan grazers roam the park’s Northern Range.  This esteemed icy ecosystem is also home to an abundance of birdlife, providing us with regular sightings of bald eagles, golden eagles, and dozens of other feathered fascinators.   Whether we’re marveling at the magnificent Mammoth Hot Springs, or exploring the expanses around Lamar Valley, a winter wildlife safari in Yellowstone National Park offers a diversity of wildlife and wild land experiences that is unrivaled. 

A Small Herd Of Elk Crests A Snowy Ridgeline While Migrating In The Northern Range Of Yellowstone National Park

The Journey Begins in Bozeman, Montana

So if it’s time for you to escape to the wintry wilds of Yellowstone, let your journey begin in Bozeman, Montana.  Our team can help you plan your voyage, and provide invaluable insight into the endless adventures that await.  From single-day tours, to multi-day quests, come and roam the winter wilderness of the world’s first National Park for a truly unforgettable experience.  

Grant Johnson Is A Professional Naturalist Guide With Yellowstone Safari Company, Operating In The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
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Grant Johnson

Naturalist Guide
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