Yellowstone National Park – in winter (part 2)

In part 1, we briefly describe getting to the Old Faithful Snow Lodge in Yellowstone National Park in Jan 2019. Now lets look at the next 2 days.

Something I forgot the mention in the other post – we arrived during the government shutdown (wiki page) so the visitor center was closed. Restrooms at most stops were closed as well. The hotel and shuttles are managed by an outside organization, hence the reason they were open.

Yellowstone National Park Visitor Center at Old Faithful – CLOSED during our visit due to government shutdown.

We stayed at the Snow Lodge for 3 nights. Our last night was “exciting”. The heater system broke and wouldn’t turn off. Our room was unbearably hot! John went down to the front desk about 4 am and was told our entire wing was affected. Windows wide open when temperature was about 0 F.

Other than that, our stay was very relaxing. Each room has a mini fridge. No microwave or television! We knew this ahead of time and packed a few games and cards. The lobby is set up so you can relax with your family, near the fireplace or overlooking the lobby in the “balcony”. There is also a skating rink!

Skating Rink

Day 1 John and Kiddo took a snowshoe tour of the Old Faithful area – they ended up being the only participants so had a “private” tour. I enjoyed sitting by the fireplace and reading my book.

Speaking of Old Faithful, there were times we were the only ones out there to watch it spout steaming hot water.

Day 2 we took an afternoon wildlife tour. Many of the animals had been seen on the ride in. It was nice to venture out in the shuttle vehicle. There were more stops and information provided about the animals than on the ride in. It also was warmer – a whooping 10 F on this day.

I found it interesting how they use their head to move the snow to get to the grass below.

Day 3 our shuttle back to Mammoth hotel started the process from the Snow Lodge about 7 am. Again, the driver/guide provided plenty of info and a potty break on the 4ish hour ride.


Yellowstone National Park – in the winter! (part 1)

So I decided to do some photo decluttering on my phone. As I was going through, I found the pictures from our trip to Yellowstone National Park. We took this trip January 2019 and somehow never wrote about it. Go figure! So over 3 years later, here are some of the highlights of the trip!

Donner Pass overlooking Donner Lake, California 29 Dec 2018 – our drought is very evident! This is the infamous area of the Oregon Trail Donner party. (Link to wikipedia page)

Donner Lake, 29 Dec 2018

We arrived at the Mammoth Hotel 2 Jan 2019 for a 7 am check in. The hotel itself was not open but the lobby was open for those catching the shuttle to the Old Faithful area. The shuttle holds about 10 people. Your luggage is put onto a different vehicle and is at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge when you arrive.

To reserve the shuttle, you have to have hotel reservations. The same goes for reservation times to eat in the dining room.

By car in the summer (assuming no traffic or stops), this drive takes about 1.5 to 2 hours (50ish miles). This ride took us 4ish hours. The driver/guide made several stops along the way for sightseeing and a potty break.

Here is the shuttle John remembers as a kid visiting Yellowstone in the winter. A company for day trips is still using them!

Below is some of the wildlife (that we got pictures of) and of the scenery on the way to Old Faithful.

The coyote was hunting and we all stayed in the shuttle to watch. It eventually leaped and pounced head first into the snow. It was then chomping on something it caught under the snow. What an amazing experience to witness!!