If you are heading to our country’s first National Park in this season of cold I’d like to share with you the benefit of my recent experiences from my 35th anniversary trip with the hubby and offer some great Yellowstone winter excursions that will make your trip fun and exciting. This was not my first winter trip into the Park and hopefully it will not be my last.
Yellowstone Dog Sled Adventures
We were only able to spend two days in the West Yellowstone area this trip and we knew what we were doing for one of those days (more on that later) but I was a bit betwixt and between for the second day. I did a little research and I found something that I knew would be totally awesome – a dog sledding excursion! Neither one of us had ever been on a dog sled so it was a perfect way to spend the afternoon. The company gives the rides out of Big Sky, Montana, but the approximately 45 minute ride from West Yellowstone is very scenic and before I knew it we were there.
I emailed Yellowstone Dog Sled Adventures and was very, very lucky that they had an opening when we were available. Honestly, I just didn’t think about scheduling anything until the week we were leaving. It is very easy to make a reservation; you email the company and someone gets back to you with availability. If you agree to the terms you are sent an invoice and you are good to go.
Ready to Run?
The owner of the company Jason, is very passionate about his dogs and dog sledding. That passion comes through as he introduces the dogs, explains their history and how they do their jobs. It was fascinating to learn about these working animals. I have to admit to knowing close to nothing about sled dogs.
We chose a Sampler Ride which is just as it sounds – an hour long ride to get a feel for the fun of being on a dog sled. The sled allows for one guest to sit and one to stand with the guide riding in the middle. You can guess who got to sit. As we were all getting settled on our sleds the dogs knew it would soon be time to go, go, GO.
Happy Dogs are Healthy Dogs
They were suddenly all on alert and very excited and I am sure you can hear the joy in their barking. Then we were off! I will tell you it was a LOT OF FUN! The sled went like the wind. For the entire ride I was either laughing or smiling. The dogs hardly seemed to be breathing hard – I think they thought they were playing, not working. It was a seriously wintry day when we went out, snowing and grey which actually added to the experience.
After the ride we were able to spend some time petting the dogs and thanking them for their efforts which both of us did. We could also get some hot cocoa, cider or coffee and a tasty cookie in the toasty warm base camp tent. I highly recommend Jason and his crew for a fun and exciting Yellowstone winter excursion when you are in the area. They treat you well and it truly is one of those bucket list experiences.
You can learn more at Yellowstone Dog Sled Adventures.
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Snowcoach Trip into Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park in the winter is a can’t miss experience. The only way you can get into the National Park in the winter is by guided snowcoach or guided snowmobile tour. I recommend the friendly folk at Yellowstone Vacations and their big yellow coaches. The hubby and I took a hosted tour with the company and it was really well done. Our guide Jon was very knowledgeable and made the trip special,
You can read all about our Yellowstone snowcoach tour
YOU CAN LEARN MORE AT YELLOWSTONE VACATIONS.
Visit the Grizzly Wolf Discovery Center
We did not go into the Grizzly Wolf Discovery Center on this trip to West Yellowstone but we did visit the first time we were in the area and it is an excellent place to learn more about these two alpha animals in the Park ecosystem. You can go in early in the morning and learn when feeding time is for the residents and then return later in the day to watch them have their meal.
Trust me when I tell you that you just cannot truly appreciate the size of a grizzly bear or how big those claws are until you see a them up close.
The center’s website is full of information about both animals there are also webcams to watch (visible during daylight hours):
You can learn more at Grizzly Wolf Discovery Center
West Yellowstone IMAX Theatre
I have never been in this theatre and if truth be told I’ve never seen an IMAX movie but it is in town and if it is a really awful weather day it gives you something to do. We will get in there on one of our trips I am sure. They have a regular movie that they show all about the Park. I’m sure it’s just beautiful – the star sure is.
You can learn more at West Yellowstone Big Screen
I hope you all get to visit Yellowstone some day. It really is a place that sticks with you once you see it. I fell in love with the Park when we first drove in to it and I would go back again even after visiting three times. That says something I think. If you do visit I can recommend the Gray Wolf Inn as a great place to stay. We’ve stayed there both times we went to West Yellowstone in the winter.
I’ve given you several great ideas for Yellowstone winter excursions too. I trust that learning about them here will help with your vacation planning – at least I hope so.