In most places, winter is a four-month drag. It means scraping car windows, trudging through dirty snow, and holing up until “the weather gets better.” It means seasonal blues, holiday stress, and salt stains on your boots. But for winter sports and wildlife enthusiasts in Wyoming, the reality is altogether different. Winter is go-time for these folks, and when the powder hits, they know it’s on.

So join them, and get psyched — this is winter in Wyoming.

1

Yellowstone in a white Wyoming winter

If you've ever been to Yellowstone in July, you know how gorgeous it is—and what it's like to share the park with your fellow visitors. But Yellowstone in, say, November? On average, just 14,000 make the trip across the entire month. That means you get here in winter, and you get one of the best national parks in the world practically to yourself, cast in a whole new kind of beauty.
Photo: Wyoming Office of Tourism

2

Skiing Jackson Hole

Eleven miles from Jackson sits Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and if you're into downhill skiing, odds are you know where this is going. Jackson Hole sits at #5 on the list of North American ski mountains in terms of vertical feet (4,139, to be exact), so get ready to feel the adrenaline pump as you soar down the Tetons.
Photo: Zach Dischner

3

Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park

Jenny and Jackson Lakes are two main focal points in this national park (apart from the mountains, of course), and Jenny Lake is where many start their day. There's a relatively easy eight-mile snowshoe trail to her waters from the Bradley and Taggart Lakes trailhead, but don't be surprised if the sunset over this landscape stops you in your tracks before you finish.
Photo: Rachael Voorhees

4

Winter wildlife watching

Winter is an incredible time to spot critters big and small all across Wyoming. Of course, it doesn't get much better than Yellowstone. Pictured above is the Swan Lake Flat area, where you might see gray wolves, coyotes, elk, eagles, and of course, the iconic bison.
Photo: Yellowstone National Park

5

National Elk Refuge in winter

One of the largest elk herds on Earth—numbering around 7,500—roams the lands of the National Elk Refuge near Jackson, Wyoming. To see them, you could try your hand at wandering the 25,000 acres, or just hop on one of the sleigh rides in winter.
Photo: Lori Iverson for USFWS Mountain-Prairie

6

Snowmobiling through Yellowstone, and beyond

With no crowds to slow you down, one great way to get around Yellowstone in the winter is by snowmobile. Hit one of the many backcountry trails, or tour the most famous spots in the park, like Old Faithful or the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Just be sure to check rules and regulations beforehand—only four non-commercially guided groups are allowed in per day, and you'll need the proper permits and gear. If you can't get into the park, head to Togwotee Pass, a couple hours to the southeast. Some say it has the best snowmobiling in the country—with 2.5 million acres of backcountry terrain, 608 miles of awesome trails, and the Tetons looming in the background, few would challenge that statement.
Photo: Skeeze

7

Cross-country skiing in Yellowstone

If whizzing over the hillsides and punching the throttle is too fast-paced to let you take it all in (photos tend to be blurry at 40mph), get your feet on skis. Follow the tracks on the designated trails, and the park's quiet, pristine landscapes become your canvas.
Photo: Skeeze

8

Pronghorn, Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge

Thirty-six miles of the Green River snake through Seedskadee, making this refuge a paradise for wildlife in every season. You'll have the chance to spot hawks, swans, pronghorn (pictured above), deer, and moose, in addition to a few elusive others.
Photo: Lori Iverson for USFWS Mountain-Prairie

9

Dogsledding

This is not a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing in Wyoming—this is just winter. To experience it yourself, hop on one of the tours near the Jackson Hole area, or hit up the aforementioned National Elk Refuge (between December and March, of course).
Photo: Wyoming Office of Tourism

10

Wyoming winter camping

Winter camping offers a decidedly different way to enjoy the season—especially if your idea of enjoyment is not seeing another soul for days. Just be prepared to pack extra gear so that you're self-sufficient, and seek out expert advice if you're new to the concept. Bridger-Teton National Forest (pictured above) is one recommended spot.
Photo: Wyoming Office of Tourism

11

Snowshoeing across the wilderness

Everyone can strap on a snowshoe and hit the trails, no experience required. In Wyoming, the obvious go-to is Yellowstone, but you should also add Bridger-Teton National Forest, Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, and Shoshone National Forest to your list.
Photo: Wyoming Office of Tourism

12

Heart Spring, Yellowstone National Park

If Old Faithful were your older brother, no one would talk about you either. But as you're trotting down the boardwalk around the big one, the smaller features — like Heart Spring — may catch your eye even more (fewer crowds, more surprises). This one can be found between Beehive Geyser and Lion Geyser, and don't look for a valentine shape...think more the kind that beats.
Photo: Yellowstone National Park

13

Fat biking in a Wyoming winter

You can fat bike all year-round, but crunching over the snow takes it to a whole new level. Near Jackson, check out the trail networks at Ditch Creek and Cache Creek; in Casper, head straight to Casper Mountain to test your lungs. Just remember to move over for dogsled teams and to pack your camera—you'll want to remember this Wyoming winter experience.
Photo: Wyoming Office of Tourism

14

Skiing in Yellowstone

Some books are shorter than the list of trails in Yellowstone. For now, just know that the areas around Tower Falls, Canyon Village, and Old Faithful all offer epic trails for when you're on two skis.
Photo: Wyoming Office of Tourism

15

Ready to explore?

On two wheels or your own two feet, on skis, snowshoes, or snowmobile—there's no wrong way to take in some of the most epic winter terrain in the country. Pick your adventure, and get out there.
Photo: Wyoming Office of Tourism

This post is proudly produced in partnership with Wyoming Office of Tourism.
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