Covering nearly 3,500 square miles, and stretching into three western states, Yellowstone Park is surrounded by lots of backcountry areas that are perfect for skiing. Whether you’re in Wyoming, Montana, or Idaho, you’ll find plenty of locations for backcountry skiing that are only a short distance away.
The majority of Yellowstone Park lies inside the state of Wyoming. There are two destinations in Wyoming where backcountry skiing often takes place. One is Teton Pass, which is located along the southern end of the Teton Mountain range near Jackson Hole. It is actually very easy to access the backcountry area via Highway 22. A second skiing area is available near Towgotee Pass in Dubois. This pass is located on the Continental Divide, and is a popular location because it receives more than 50 feet of snow annually.
There are numerous locations in Montana surrounding Yellowstone where people regularly participate in backcountry skiing, including:
Beehive Basin in Big Sky, where skiers can enjoy some unique changes in elevation that provide for some magnificent views. This is one of the first locations in the region to receive snow, and is therefore ideal for visiting during the early ski season.
Fir Ridge in West Yellowstone, which consists of rolling terrain that contains heavy vegetation. This area is moderately challenging, making it a good choice for anyone who easily becomes bored when skiing on easy terrain.
Hyalite Canyon in Bozeman, an area that contains several trailheads that are perfect for beginning skiers. It is also one of the busiest, and is ideal for people who enjoy having fun and meeting new people.
In Idaho, the premier backcountry skiing destination near Yellowstone is in Swan Valley. Here, you may ski along a narrow canyon near Palisades Creek, or head south from Palisades Dam on a groomed snowmobile trail. This is the perfect spot for a weekend getaway, as cabins and a campground are also located in the Swan Valley area, and are available year round.
These are just a few locations surrounding Yellowstone Park where you can enjoy some exhilarating backcountry skiing. Depending on where you are located, you may want to visit more than one of these areas in order to truly appreciate the natural beauty this part of the country is so well known for.