Yellowstone XC Nitty Gritty

The rundown on Nordic skiing in Yellowstone Park.

Trail Grooming
Some of the trails in Yellowstone are machine-groomed, while others are skier-tracked. Visit, click on “Things to Do,” “Winter Things to Do,” “Nordic Trails,” then “Daily Trail Status” for up-to-date trail conditions.

Getting into the Park and to Old Faithful can be tricky in the winter, but lots of companies are permitted to take people in by snowcoach or snowmobile. All over-the-snow travel must be with a permitted guide, so check the Park’s website for a list. Visit, click on “Plan Your Visit,” “Services in the Park,” then “Winter Services.”

Ski Shuttles
Xanterra operates four ski shuttles a day leaving from the Old Faithful Snow Lodge. They depart hourly from 7:45-10:45 am, and where they go depends on the first person to sign up. The shuttle either heads northwest to Fairy Falls or east to Spring Creek / Divide Trail.

You can sign up for a shuttle (and determine its drop-off point) up to a year in advance. Even if you don’t care where the shuttle goes, you should still sign up as soon as possible to guarantee a seat. Call the Bear Den Ski Shop to sign up at 307-545-4825 or purchase tickets at the Snow Lodge front desk in the lobby. Xanterra also runs day tours to Canyon from the Snow Lodge. These trips include great skiing, an interpretive guide, and lunch.

Xanterra is the official provider of all lodging in Yellowstone. To stay at Snow Lodge at Old Faithful, log onto or call 866-GEYSERLAND to make a reservation. They’ll want to know how you’re getting there, so be sure to check into snowcoach reservations as well. If you plan on entering by a Xanterra coach, the lodging reservations folks can help.