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Cross-country skiing in Yellowstone National Park for beginners

Carie Birkmeier

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YELLOWSTONE FOREVER

Yellowstone visitors new to cross-country skiing—as well as families looking for easier trails for children—have plenty of choices that pass through beautiful areas of the park. Here are Yellowstone Forever’s picks for beginner-friendly trails:

Mammoth area: Less experienced skiers will enjoy the 2.2-mile Indian Creek Loop, which is not groomed, but is tracked by skiers. Another good option is the 1.5-mile Upper Terrace Loop, which passes several hydrothermal features. Start on the left and travel clockwise for the easiest route.

Northeast entrance: If you’re hoping to spot wolves on your winter trip, Lamar Valley is your best bet. Bannock Trail (2 miles) and Barronette Trail (3.5 miles) each parallel and connect to the Northeast Entrance Road on both ends.

Tower area: The Tower Fall Trail is a fantastic route for skiers of all levels. You can park your vehicle at the entrance to Roosevelt Lodge at Tower Junction, and ski the snow-covered road 2.5 miles to Tower Fall.

Old Faithful area: The Lone Star Geyser Trail is a favorite choice for an easy, groomed trail. The trail is flat most of the way and follows the Firehole River for 2.5 miles to Lone Star Geyser. Be sure to check the visitor center for estimated eruption times. Or hop on the Upper Geyser Basin Trail right at the Old Faithful Inn to see several geysers and hot springs on your way to Biscuit Basin, a 2.5-mile trip one way.

Ski shuttles from Mammoth and Old Faithful are available.

Download and print maps and descriptions of these and other winter trails at nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/skiyellmaps.htm

Yellowstone Forever is the official education and fundraising partner of Yellowstone National Park. To learn more about the organization, visit yellowstone.org.

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