old faithful yellostone national park winter

Old Faithful Snowcoach Extension

Experience Yellowstone's Amazing Geysers without the Crowds of Summer


Extend your journey to see the Old Faithful geyser in winter, when it is free of the summer crowds! You’ll travel over the snow by guided snowcoach to reach this famous natural wonder, looking for wildlife en route and seeing some of the park’s otherworldly geological wonders. You also have the option to be accompanied by your private naturalist guide. Your overnight accommodation is Old Faithful Snow Lodge, just a five-minute walk from the Old Faithful geyser, at an altitude of 7,349 feet.  Extension can begin from Gardiner on either Day 3 or Day 4 of Main Trip.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Snowcoach to Old Faithful Lodge / Snowshoeing / Geyser Viewing (extension can begin on either Day 3 or Day 4 of Main Trip)

After breakfast at a café in Gardiner, Montana, head to Mammoth Hot Springs to board your guided snowcoach at around 7:45 am. A snowcoach is a sturdy 12-guest bus with oversized, low-pressure tires that allow it to travel safely over the snow. The snowcoach is heated and has very large windows for wildlife viewing. Your route will follow along Swan Lake Flats, stopping to look for wildlife, and continue past the Obsidian Cliff, a 100-foot-high park landmark, and Roaring Mountain (8,152’), which acquired its name from its hissing steam fumaroles that can be heard miles away. At Norris Junction, the snowcoach will travel along the Gibbon River to Gibbon Falls, which marks the spot where the Gibbon River plummets off the northern escarpment of the park into the Yellowstone caldera—a spectacular sight in winter. A private guide is available if you choose a private charter.

Arriving at Old Faithful Snow Lodge about noon, you’ll be provided with “yaktrax” to attach to your boots so you can walk safely across the snow to see the geysers. Because of the warmth of this thermal zone, there are often bison and other wildlife present in the area in winter. Old Faithful is, of course, Yellowstone’s most famous feature, erupting at regularly scheduled times throughout the day and blasting scalding hot water as high as 184 feet in the air. In winter, you’ll have it without the hordes of visitors! After dinner at the hotel, enjoy a night walk—the night sky is extraordinary. Overnight at Old Faithful Snow Lodge…BLD

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Day 2
Old Faithful Lodge / Snowshoeing / Snowcoach to Mammoth / Return to Hotel in Gardiner

You can snowshoe around the lodge this morning or take a short shuttle ride out and snowshoe back (this can be tailored for your desired level of activity). It’s a great way to see wildlife and experience Yellowstone when it is relatively empty of people. Some snowcoach passengers visit Old Faithful as a day trip and then head right back to Mammoth Hot Springs the same day. With your overnight stay, you will have a unique and uncrowded experience of one of the most popular natural attractions in the US. Your return journey by snowcoach departs around 1:45 pm, bringing you back to Mammoth Springs by way of the Fountain Paint Pot Trail, where you can walk a boardwalk trail among mudpots, geysers, hot springs, and fumaroles. You’ll look for wildlife en route, arriving back around 6 pm. Enjoy dinner in Mammoth, then transfer to your hotel in Gardiner. You'll resume the main trip the next day…BLD

 View Lodging


Length: 2 days
Cost From: $1695  
Arrive: Gardiner, Montana
Depart: Gardiner, Montana
Lodging: 1 night hotel
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Walking, Wildlife and Natural History, Photography, Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

Wildlife viewing, cold winter weather