48 Hours in Winter in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks


Day 1: Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park

Cross-Country Ski below the Grand

Grand Teton National Park in Winter

Grand Teton National Park in Winter

Beautifully groomed trails beneath the world-class Tetons set the bar high for any skiing you do afterwards in your life. Teton Park Road from Taggart Lake to Signal Mountain Lodge is closed to vehicles in the winter, but it is groomed for classic and skate skiing. 

See World-Renowned Artists 

National Museum of Wildlife Art

Sculpture garden outside the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson.

At some point, you’re going to want to warm up indoors. Head to the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Stop in here to see TINY: Charismatic Minifauna from the Permanent Collection, an ode to the tiny creatures through the eyes of artists like Pablo Picasso.

Sleigh Ride in the National Elk Refuge

Sleigh ride through the National Elk Rufuge near Jackson, Wyo.

Thousands of elk migrate to the refuge every winter.

Established in 1912, the National Elk Refuge is located just five minutes from downtown and the park and offers rides mid-December through early April. When was the last time you rode a sleigh to see between 6,000-7,000 elk up-close and safely? Don’t miss this opportunity. 

Snowshoe with a Park Ranger 


Go on a guided snowshoe hike led by a ranger that begins at the Taggart Lake trailhead in Grand Teton National Park. Rent snowshoes beforehand at Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center from the Grand Teton Association ($5/adult;$2/child). Tours are offered four days per week Dec. 26 through mid-March, snow conditions permitting. Reservations are required at 307-739-3399.

Day 2: Yellowstone

Go on a Wildlife Safari 

Snowcoach near Tuff Cliff in Yellowstone

Snowcoach near Tuff Cliff in Yellowstone

Wake up in Yellowstone and head out on the Lamar Valley Wildlife Tour. From the heated snowcoach, you’ll look for magnificent bison, wolves and eagles in Yellowstone’s winter wonderland. 

Kick Back and Ice Skate 

Ice skating family

Yellowstone has a small ice skating rink at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and ice skates are free to rent. Start practicing those figure eights. (Watch for the ice skating rink at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel to reopen the winter of 2018-19.)

Explore on Skis or Snowshoes

Cross-country skiers in Yellowstone

Cross-country skiers in Yellowstone

Rent skis and take Xanterra’s Mammoth skier shuttle to the Indian Creek Cross Country Ski Area in Yellowstone. Or leave from the Snow Lodge via snowcoach to the Canyon area and go on a guided ski or snowshoe tour of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. 

Hop on a Snowmobile 

Snowmobiles passing bison on a road in Yellowstone

Snowmobiles passing bison on a road in Yellowstone

Make advanced reservations and see the park via snowmobile with one of Yellowstone’s authorized guides listed on nps.gov/yell. You’ll see wildlife and some of the park’s most iconic sights like Old Faithful. 

Dine at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge

Old Faithful Snow Lodge in Winter

Old Faithful Snow Lodge in Winter

Warm up and fuel up for the next day at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge's Obsidian Dining Room. The menu includes local sustainably harvested food whenever possible, so you’ll discover items like bison short ribs. Afterwards, head to the Snow Lodge's lobby where you can sit by the fire and listen to live music. Reservations are required at 307-344-7311.



48 Hours in Yellowstone

Only have 48 hours? Make the most of your time by visiting some of our favorite spots in the park including wildlife watching, dining at historic lodges and see geysers erupt.