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Wandering around a Winter Wonderland: Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is special in so many ways. It’s the first ever national park in the world and has continued to uphold its charms for many years. So, if you’re planning to get your winter fix in Yellow Stone, here’s how we encapsulate everything.

Scenic route going to the park:

When we visited Yellowstone last December, we flew from Oakland to Salt Lake City, and took a 5-hour scenic drive via I-15 North to Wyoming. We paid $150 each for round-trip car tickets. There’s another option at $300-$400 per person, which is a direct flight to Bozeman, Montana. To break up the long drive, we had a stop over at Idaho Falls before heading to our hotel. The quick visit to the falls surely did soothe our muscles with a good stretch!

The road trip was long but it was worth the drive. From forests topped with white frost, calming breeze,there’s a picture-perfect capture along the way.

We stayed in WorldMark West Yellowstone, which is conveniently located near the West Entrance of the park. The hotel was well-equipped with important amenities like an indoor pool, kitchenette, living quarters with a fireplace, and laundry service.

After the long drive, we surely deserve a movie night and there was plenty of space to do so at WorldMark!

Attractions around Yellowstone:

Offering some of the best winter landscapes in the country, Yellowstone is overflowing with incredible hot springs and geysers backed up by snow-covered fields. At this time of the year, most interior roads are closed, hence lesser visitors. This makes the park more gorgeous with untainted views of the snowy scenery.

Untamed wildlife playground

There’s more to the park than its snowy woods, dramatic canyons, and splashing geysers. Yellow Stone remains to be a playground for wild animals like deer, antelope, bears, red fox, coyote, moose, and bison, wandering around their natural habitat. Since this is their home, visitors are requested to show full respect.

Home to around 500 geysers and hot springs

Old Faithful Geyser, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming31 August, 2012

Fascinatingly, Yellowstone shelters more than half of the world’s geysers. With geysers more than anywhere else on earth, visitors will surely be entertained with all the bursting, towering natural features. Old Faithful, undeniably the most popular among all other named and unnamed geysers, creates awe-inspiring eruptions year-round. Since these are hot springs with contractions, the park offers a geyser-viewing area and a ranger station that predicts possible eruptions.

The park is full of picturesque hot springs with pools of golden to sky blue waters.

Abundant winter activities

Walk past the frosty trails and witness a herd of bison along your trip.If you want something more fascinating, meet winter’s most powerfulpredators―the wolves. Go wolf-watching with a wolf ecologist and see thesefierce and beautiful creatures up-close. Or, take a rather unique ride as anelk herd drives you around Jackson Hole.

Don’t miss snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. Atnight, go glamping and watch a pattern of mesmerizing stars.

Most tour packages become available after December 15, so best visit the park during those dates. Also, make sure to call Yellowstone National Park Lodges to confirm camping & lodging availability, as well as other winter activities.

Where to eat

But of course, visitors will enjoy the plethora of dining spots scattered around the park. For a quick snack with spectacular views of the most famous geyser, visit Old Faithful Inn. Other best eateries include Canyon Lodge Ice Creamery and Roosevelt Old West Dinner Cookout. If you’re traveling with family, Canyon Lodge Eatery, Mammoth Hot Springs Dining Room, and Roosevelt Lodge Dining Room are some of the top choices.

Entrance fee and other important information

Since we took the West Entrance, we paid$35 for the ticket, which is valid within 7 days from the date of purchase. If visitors use the park’s South Entrance through the Grand Teton, they will need to pay a separate entrance fee.

Other rates apply for motorcycle/ snowmobile ($30) and individual by foot, bicycle, or ski ($20/ person). And since Yellow Stone is such family favorite year-round, the park offers an annual pass at $70.


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