FUN PLACES TO SKI
Tahoe Donner: Friendly & Relaxed
Washington’s pristine Methow Valley and Okanogan Country
Discover Lone Mountain Ranch in Yellowstone Country!
Ski with the Olympians
West Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland
Sun Valley the Place to Go
Fast & Female Festival Set for Alaska
Stokely Creek Lodge is Among the Best
Okanogan Country Among Nation''s Best Nordic Skiing
Glorious Sun Mountain Lodge:
Sun Mountain Lodge: A Skier''s Paradise
Whistler Nordic Escape Contest
LONE MOUNTAIN RANCH: A RICH HERITAGE
Lone Mountain Ranch Opens for Winter Season
WINTER/SPRING "TC ESCAPE" PACKAGES
XC Oregon Summer 2013 Visiting College Skier Support Program
Sea to Sky Nordic Festival Arrives at Whistler Olympic Park
Spring Skiing & Camp
West Yellowstone is a Winter Wonderland
by Sara Randle
You will find the ‘trifecta’ of trail systems in southwest Montana. Family fun and scenic workouts are found on the Rendezvous Ski Trails, the interior of Yellowstone National Park, and vehicle accessible trailheads to Yellowstone’s backcountry.
The Rendezvous Ski Trails are situated at the southwest corner of town. Over thirty-five kilometers of varied terrain from gently rolling hills to more challenging climbs, descents, and turns originate within walking distance from nearly every West Yellowstone property.
The view is always scenic, whether winding through tall stands of lodgepole pine or open meadows embraced by nearby Lionhead Mountain. The trail system is unique due to its location at a high altitude adjacent to the Continental Divide which produces early and late season snows. The trail system is also incredibly user-friendly, with initial flat terrain great for beginners and a public building conveniently located at the trailhead area.
A wide skate lane and classic tracks are groomed regularly from November to April. Trail passes are required when using the Rendezvous Ski Trails and range from $8-$10 per day. Season and family passes are also available at the trailhead, the USFS, the Chamber of Commerce, and several local merchants.
The Rendezvous Ski Trails are the site of numerous cross-country ski events including the Yellowstone Ski Festival, a week long celebration over Thanksgiving with clinics, races, an on-snow demo, industry exposition, and evening revelry. Throughout the winter season, citizen races are held monthly. Dubbed the Spam Cup, winners receive a can of everyone’s favorite meat product as a trophy.
Family-friendly opportunities abound from organized moonlight skis to a kid’s hill perfect for sledding. The season caps off with the area’s only marathon cross-country ski race. Hundreds of skiers wait for the boom of a black powder cannon to set them off on the annual Yellowstone Rendezvous Race the first Saturday in March to test themselves on the 50k, 25k, and 10k courses.
What could be more unique than cross country skiing or snowshoeing in Yellowstone Park? The Riverside Trail is accessible from West Yellowstone at the intersection of Boundary Street and Madison Avenue. The "Upriver" and "Downriver" loops combine for nearly ten kilometers of classic track along the banks of the Madison River.
Wait for a blue bird day and be rewarded with great views of Mt. Holmes and the Gallatin Mountain Range. Wildlife is abundant along the river and look for bison, elk, deer, moose, coyotes, eagles, and fox. The Riverside Trail is perfect for new skiers or families with young children as it crosses easy terrain and is fairly flat. The snowshoe trail is used often for ranger led tours inside Yellowstone National Park.
Dogs are welcome on the most recent trail to leave the town’s borders. The Boundary Trail originates at the truck pullout just north of town and winds for three miles through pine forest to Baker’s Hole Campground. Please pack out with your four-legged friend packs in and everyone will enjoy the flat, classic track groomed weekly by the US Forest Service.
There are forty miles of cross-country trails in the Old Faithful area, many of which are interconnected. Daily snowcoach tours from West Yellowstone pick up skiers and snowshoers each morning, drop-off at designated trails inside Yellowstone Park, and return later in the day with satisfied customers.
Trail options range from the easy Lone Star Geyser Trail or Biscuit Basin Trail to the more difficult Fern Cascades Loop Trail. There are also options for snowcoach-and-ski tours into Yellowstone. These tours include snowcoach access to less-traveled trails where an interpretive guide creates an intimate Yellowstone experience.
Just north of West Yellowstone lies some of the best light touring, back-country skiing in the West. Trailheads easily accessed by automobile along Highway 191 provide a convenient start to incredible scenery, petrified trees, and winter wildlife.
A local favorite is the Fawn Creek Trail. Starting in gradual terrain along Fan Creek, the trail moves into deeper snows with beautiful snow-capped mountain views. After eight miles, it connects to the Big Horn Pass Trail creating a popular loop.
West Yellowstone businesses offer everything from snowshoe and ski rentals, snowcoach tours and ski drops, lessons and guides, lodging and meals.
For more information, please contact the West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce at 406-646-7701 or visit www.DestinationYellowstone.com. For more information on cross country events, please go to www.rendezvousskitrails.com.
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