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Owen Dawson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/28/2006
 

Yellowstone in Winter


Hello, I'm trying to plan a vacation to YNP for photography in late January or February. I've spend a bit of time searching for info for access to YNP places to stay, places to shoot, etc. If anyone has spend a few days to a week or so at YNP could you please give some of your thoughts on airports, places to stay, etc. From the research I've done so far, it looks like the cheapest flights are into Jackson Hole. Since the southern entrance is closed to motorist the drive around to the northern entrance looks like it could take several hours at best. Gardiner seems like a popular place to stay on the northern end. Any suggestions would be most welcome. Thanks, Owen


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12/19/2008 6:37:02 PM

 
KV Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2005
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  We have always stayed at West Yellowstone. West entrance is there, closest to all the Yellowstone attractions and actually nice little town, not as expensive as Jackson. You can also snowmobile around town in West Yellowstone and snowmobile around the outside the park to Island Park. It's Montana, so if you like to gamble some, they have slot machines in town, good food and the people are great. You have Pocatello, Butte or even Boise or Salt Lake City airports within a relative short drive. They have a nice Best Western just yards from the West entrance that is nice.


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12/19/2008 9:01:05 PM

 
Owen Dawson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/28/2006
  Vicki, Thanks for your response. Have you been there in the winter? All the maps indicate that all entrances except the northern & NE entrance are closed to vehicles from Nov to April.


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12/20/2008 12:08:00 PM

 
KV Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2005
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  It's car travel it is closed to. The whole park is close to car. Only way in is motorcoach (bus on skis) and snowmobile. Try the Kelly Inn in West Yellowstone. I live in Northern Utah so we go there every year.
http://yellowstonekellyinn.rtrk.com/?scid=537031&kw=4612656:68810


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12/20/2008 12:31:59 PM

 
Owen Dawson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/28/2006
  Vicki,
thanks for your time. we're looking forward to it.


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12/21/2008 6:38:40 AM

 
KV Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2005
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  Enjoy your trip!


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12/21/2008 6:47:32 AM

 
Owen Dawson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/28/2006
  Vicki,
thanks for your time. we're looking forward to it.


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12/21/2008 6:48:23 AM

 
Kerry Drager
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/4/2002
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  Hi Owen and Vicki,
Great subject! Also, Owen, check out instructor Jim Zuckerman's BetterPhoto Trip Planner on photographing Yellowstone in the wintertime:

http://www.betterphoto.com/tripPlanner/tp_detail.asp?tpeID=420


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12/22/2008 11:20:36 AM

 
Christine Pentecost
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/30/2004
  I live in Bozeman, MT, and this would be a great airport to fly into. This way, you can drive an hour and a half to Gardiner or 2 hours to West Yellowstone, for access to the park. Gardiner to Cooke City is open to traffic year round. This takes you through the Lamar Valley, where you may spot some wolves. In West Yellowstone, you will need to take the snow coaches into the park. I've stayed at the Holiday Inn in West Yellowstone, which is very comfortable.

Christine


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12/23/2008 6:43:34 AM

 
Melissa Papaj
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/28/2005
  My husband and I just got back from a long road trip to Yellowstone. We drove through Tetons and then over them up through Idaho into west Yellowstone and the next day into Montana (making a quick stop through Ennis and Virginia City) then we stayed at the Best Western in Livingston (where there is also a great restaurant called Montana's Rib and Chops...I think) You can find our trip on my blog in November and December entries...www.melissapapajphotography..com We went through the entrance where Mammoth is, but I would definitely recommend doing a winter tour or snowmobiling into the park during the winter. We weren't able to do so because it was too early in the winter, but too late for road access...kind of a bummer. I hope this helps...feel free to ask any more questions.


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12/23/2008 5:17:48 PM

 
Greg McCroskery
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/27/2003
imagismphotos.com
  Owen,
I can't speak to winter trips to Yellowstone, but my wife and I were there this past September. You will be pretty limited in where you can go in the thick of winter, but I'm sure snowmobiling is one option. We found that September is about the best time of the year to go, because it's not so crowded and the whole park is open.

We flew from Austin, TX into Billings, Montana and rented a car to drive down to Yellowstone and Grand Teton Nat'l Parks and stayed at Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone and "Cowboy Cabins" in Jackson. It was definitely one of our best vacation trips. The entire area is a photographer's dream! If you have a chance to look, I have a gallery of images from our trip on my gallery site at: www.pbase.com/daddyo. Just scroll down to the gallery titled, "Yellowstone and Grand Teton Nat'l Parks"

Have a great trip!

God Bless,
Greg


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12/23/2008 8:30:48 PM

 
Ed Heaton
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2003
edheaton.com
  Hi Owen,

I made a trip to the Tetons and Yellowstone in January of 07 and what an amazing place in winter! Tons of great images are everywhere. We even got to capture a dog sled race in Jackson Hole. We stayed in Jackson Hole and drove up as far as we could. The roads were closed in Yellowstone and we had to take a Snow Coach in. (much warmer than a snowmobile). Let me tell you one thing, itís very cold. We had three mornings in a row with morning temps at -20 degrees. We were fortunate that it was not windy. I ended up getting a small patch of frostbite on my face one morning. (nothing too serious)

Hereís a list of some recommended clothing:
Winter weight underlayer. I bought a couple of sets on clearance at Jackson Mountaineering.
Snow pants
Pack boots (tried hiking boots one day and my feet froze)
Good down jacket and a shell over that.
Fleece jacket as a layer
Balaclava for your face
Warm hat that covers your ears.
I wore a pair of Northface Gore-Tex down Mittens while I was waiting for the sunrises. ( I couldnít shoot with them on but they kept me warm while standing around) I wore normal Gore-Tex winter glove all of the other times.
I took a batch of those handwarmers and kept them next to my camera and battery.

Good luck and have fun!


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12/24/2008 8:31:00 AM

 
Owen Dawson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/28/2006
  Thanks for all the great input. It's always neat to research places so you have some idea of what to expect when you get there. I'm sure a place like Yellowstone can be a bit unpredictable this time year. thanks again.


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12/26/2008 6:17:22 AM

 
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