Yellowstone National Park is one of the most spectacular wonders of the world, and we are fortunate to have it essentially in our back yard. But, did you know that in addition to millions of visitors passing through there in the summer, it is also open to the public in the winter? Except for a few weeks in the spring and fall when the park is closed to public traffic, you can experience the wonder during all seasons.
While you are making your plans to be in Big Sky this winter to enjoy skiing at Big Sky Resort or cross country and sleigh-riding adventures at Lone Mountain Ranch, consider a visit to Yellowstone to round out your trip.
You can explore the park on your own by cross country skiing into the park, and within it from one of their year-round lodging facilities; you can take a guided snowmobile tour; or you can view it from the warmth and comfort of a Snowcoach. The tours are available to various places in the park including the Old Faithful area and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. You can make it a day trip, or enjoy several days staying in the Snow Lodge or other hotel within the park. If you prefer to drive yourself, the section of road between Mammoth Hot Springs (North entrance) and Cooke City (East Entrance) is open on a year round basis.
Below is a collection of information to help you make your plans. Don’t wait, reservations for the tours and lodging within the park book early!
West Yellowstone Snowcoach and Snowmobile Tours:
Yellowstone National Park Lodging
This winter, the National Park Service is renovating the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Cabins, so they will be closed. However, the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Cabins are open and currently taking reservations for the winter season. If you are looking to stay in the park for a few days, consider booking a Snowcoach to transport you to Old Faithful where you can cross country ski or snowshoe, stay in the Lodge or a Cabin, and travel back out again on a Snowcoach.
Cross Country Skiing/Snowshoeing
There are a number of companies that offer guided ski and snowshoe tours into the park, including and Yellowstone Expeditions and Yellowstone Ski Tours. If you’d like to explore on your own, check out the National Park Service information found here.
Cold mornings followed by warm sunny afternoons must mean it’s fall in Montana. And with occasional white-tipped mountains, it reminds us that winter is on its way.
Just like we (try to) prepare ourselves for endless ski runs at high elevation, we need to get our homes ready for whatever winter has in store for us this year. In order to protect your investment and keep it in tip-top shape, consider these five suggestions to get your home ready for winter:
Prepare the home’s exterior: Making sure everything is in good shape on the outside will help keep the “weather” on the outside, where it belongs. Check gutters to make sure they are clear. Ensure that roof shingles and siding are secure; high winds can loosen them over time. If you have heat tape or something similar to prevent ice dams on the roof, ensure that it’s in working order and secure before it’s covered in snow so it will be effective. Drain irrigation systems, and all exterior spigots if they aren’t frost proof. Water can freeze and crack the fixture.
Weatherproof doors and windows: A simple and inexpensive way to make sure cold air isn’t seeping in is by making sure the weather strips on doors and windows are in good shape. That means not cracked, in one piece, and fitting snugly when the door or window closes. In older homes, adding storm doors and windows adds another layer or weather protection and helps keep energy costs down.
Check the heating system: Furnaces and other heating sources should be serviced annually. Furnace filters need to be cleaned, and the efficiency should be monitored to make sure it’s operating effectively. Gas-burning fireplaces and stoves should be checked and cleaned. Companies like Ambient Air Solutions offer maintenance programs to keep your home on an annual schedule so you don’t have to remember.
Maintain Chimneys: There’s nothing like relaxing in front of a cozy fireplace or wood stove after a successful day on the mountain, but chimneys that are used regularly need to be kept clean of dangerous creosote buildup to prevent chimney fires. Have your chimney swept and inspected for foreign objects each year before you use it; and if you own a wood stove, make sure and clean it on a very regular basis to keep it energy-efficient.
Stock up on winter necessities: Don’t wait until the last minute to make sure you have salt or ice melt, shovels and other handy items for winter. Many of us wait until the first big storm to rush out and buy them, but we often find the stores are out of stock. It’s never too early once you begin to see those items in the stores. And don’t forget things like candles and matches, and batteries for flashlights in the event of a power loss.
Remember, the sooner you prepare your home for winter, the sooner you can start praying for snow!
Montana is well known as a fly fishing destination, drawing people come from all over the world to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle, be it fishing, skiing, hiking, camping, or anything else outdoors. Local teacher and avid fisherman, John Hannahs, tells us what makes fly fishing in the Big Sky area so special. Watch the video.
With gorgeous peaks as the backdrop and a world-famous fly-fishing river babbling through the trees, Gallatin Gateway is the quintessential Montana community. Only twelve miles southeast of thriving Bozeman, Gallatin Gateway is close to the international airport, Big Sky Ski Resort, Yellowstone National Park, and plenty of wilderness to hike, bike, ski, fish, and relax. The local community is friendly and passionate about the beautiful outdoors and the being involved in the culture of nearby Bozeman and Belgrade. Gallatin School, established in 1884, enrolls approximately 150 students per year in grades K-8 and these students have shown higher than average student scores in reading, math, and science.
The community is small and intimate, but has plenty to see and do for everyone:
Little Bear School House Museum
This adorable one room schoolhouse has been restored and turned into a museum to replicate what school looked like in 1912. Take a look at local memorabilia from the local baseball team, old lunch boxes, and an antique merry-go-round.
A destination place for anglers as well as those looking to ditch the heat, this beautiful bridge through the trees and over the Gallatin River is a great place to spend the day by the river. Pack a picnic, a book, or a few flies for the rod and take a dip in the cool waters.
Inn on The Gallatin
Just down the beautiful Gallatin Canyon is the famous Inn on The Gallatin, a resort with cabins, campsites, and a wonderful cafe. Established in 1955, the Inn is a tourist and local favorite for its iconic vintage signs and it’s delicious food.
Gallatin Gateway is truly the “gateway” to the mountains and your next Montana adventure. Whether you are looking to live in the area year-round or own your mountain escape, let our agents show you the beauty of southwest Montana.