This past Thanksgiving, we were planning on spending all weekend in Jackson Hole, WY. Unfortunately, Jackson Hole is a ghost town Thanksgiving weekend. We had Thanksgiving dinner at the Wort, drank local beers at the Virginian, and stayed at the Lodge at Jackson Hole. That pretty much exhausted any and all entertainment and dining option we had. So the next morning, we packed up and headed north across icy roads to West Yellowstone, MT.
The last time I was in West Yellowstone was the summertime, so seeing snow here was so nice! The roads in Yellowstone NP are closed from the West Yellowstone entrance during the winter. Luckily, there is still plenty to do in this town of 1200 people. If you only have 24 hours, consider the list below! *I was having so much fun here that I forgot to take very many photos!
Things to do:
West Yellowstone Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center
If you have ever wanted to see a Grizzly Bear without the risk of being attacked, this is probably your safest bet. The Discovery Center, is by no means a zoo. They take in animals that otherwise would not be able to survive in the wild. Animals here have minimal human contact, and are set up to live their lives as closely to what they would in the wild. It is also a non-profit which is usually a good sign that the animals best interest are at stake. The Naturalists that work at the Discovery center are extremely knowledgable and do a great job teaching everyone about the animals. I was extremely taken back by the beauty of the wolves and their sheer size. We go to witness an enrichment session where the wolves had to "hunt" for their hidden food via trails of animal scents the Naturalists sprinkled. Admission is $13 for adults and good for two days of admission.
Rendezvous Ski Trails
If you want to experience West Yellowstone at its finest, cross country skiing is the way to go. The weekend we were in West Yellowstone was Ski Festival weekend, Unfortunately, that meant no skiing for us, as races were going on. However, it was awesome to watch! 35 km of groomed trails that wind through US Forest Land. You can rent skis from Free Wheel and Heel downtown West Yellowstone!