winter yellowstone snowcoach tour

Discussion in 'Travel' started by raymond_yue, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. hi
    i'm planning to go yellowstone in this winter
    and i want to join the grand canyon day tour by snowcoach
    i found out both mammoth hot sprng and old faithful snow lodge have tour to go grand canyon
    are they take different route?
    which one is better?

    because of time and money, i only can choose one of them
    thanks
     
  2. My only experience with snow coach tours was based in West Yellowstone, the town immediately outside the west gate. We stayed at one of the motels there and took 2 tours. The geyser basin tour goes from West Yellowstone to Madison Junction to Old Faithful and then back. The canyon tour ran from West Yellowstone to Madison Junction through Norris to the upper and lower falls in the canyon, and then back. Both were excellent in every way and I can't recommend them enough. We had very good luck for weather - not too cold (lowest morning temp was about -10F, afternoons were in the 20s), sunshine, and no wind. No wind was the best part.
    We spent the week of Valentine's Day in February there, and we missed the trumpeter swan launch - the park was full of them before we got there, but they launched en mass two days before we arrived. There were only a handful left when we got there. Otherwise, the wildlife was everything we hoped for, except wolves (didn't see any on that trip).
    The tour operation in West Yellowstone made their trips on the same days every week, and we didn't see snow coach tours from other points of origin, so I suspect that their schedules are arranged to keep them all from showing up at a place at the same time.
    We stayed at The Brandin' Iron motel in West Yellowstone, and the company that owns the motel also owns a couple of other motels and the snow coach tours.
     
  3. The will take different routes. Although I haven't taken either, the one from Mammoth will go up 89 to Norris Junction and then across to Canyon and from there to the Grand Canyon. From Old Faithful the tour will probably go up over the Continental Divide (twice!) and then along the Lake from West Thumb through the Hayden Valley to the Grand Canyon.
    The trip from Old Faithful should be more spectacular and varied scenery wise and may well provide better wildlife viewing opportunities in the Hayden Valley.
     
  4. I have the great advantage of having spent many of my younger years living less than an hour outside of Yellowstone, so I know the park fairly well. I’ve done both snow coach tours with friends several times and they are both very good. The question you need to answer is what you hope to see, wildlife, thermals, the canyon, artist’s point, etc.? The problem with answering this question is that some of what determines the relative value of one tour over the other is weather related and, of-course, we have no idea what next winter will bring. If you hope to photograph wildlife, the tour from Old Faithful is your better bet, especially if it is a rough winter. If you are interested in photographing thermals, then the tour from Mammoth Lodge would be your better choice. Both tours will offer you varied subjects, wildlife, thermals, the canyon and other features. The possible advantage of Mammoth is the likelihood of seeing elk and Big Horn Sheep up close and personal. The advantage of Old Faithful is the lodge itself and the likelihood of seeing bison up close, as well as Old Faithful and the smaller thermals in the immediate area. Old Faithful Lodge is beautiful and well worth photographing. Mammoth lodge doesn’t have the same appeal.
     
  5. I second Irene's comments. I took snowcoach tours out of West Yellowstone and saw plenty of wildlife on the way out to Old Faithful and Canyon (two different tours). I also took a wolf watching seminar to supplement my solo travels another winter in the Mammouth Area. The road is maintained during the winter through the Lamar Valley to Cooke City so you can drive yourself to observe the wildlife at that end of the park.
     
  6. thank you guys.
     

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