Our snowshoe tour assembles in Bozeman, MT early morning of Day 1, and we’ll van shuttle through the Yellowstone River Valley into Yellowstone National Park to the town of Mammoth. Our home for the first 3 nights will be at the historic Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. The area is famous for the travertine terraces of mineral deposits. It is with this view as our backdrop that we will organize our snowshoe equipment, have our first lesson, and take a shake down walk on the Upper Terrace Loop road, closed to traffic for the winter.
Day 2 starts with a hot breakfast at the Mammoth Hotel dining room before we head east on the Grand Loop Road to the Blacktail Plateau Drive. This summer dirt road provides a gentle walk through open meadows and forests with great wildlife viewing opportunities. An out and back route can provide the flexibility for faster walkers to travel farther, while all can enjoy the beauty and sights of Yellowstone country.
On Day 3 we catch a short snowcoach shuttle past the terraces to the Bunsen Peak trailhead. Our goal is to circumnavigate the peak, offering views into the Gardiner River Canyon and up to Cathedral Rock. The point-to-point trail continues downhill to Glen Creek and a YCC camp. From there we follow the unpaved road back to our hotel.
Day 4 we return to the Tower Junction area to walk the Tower Fall Trail. The unpaved road leads up a gradual slope past Calcite Springs Overlook to Tower Falls, where we can enjoy canyon views of the Yellowstone River. There may be sightings of the occasional bison, bighorn sheep and bald eagles. In the afternoon we leave Yellowstone park to indulge in the Chico Hot Springs resort. A soak in one of their natural hot springs will leave you relaxed and content.
We remain in the Hot Springs area for our last Day 5. The Ranch 365 private trail takes us on a 5 mile loop with unparalleled views of Paradise Valley. Vistas in four directions include the Gallatin Range to the west, soaring Emigrant Peak to the south, the Absaroka Mountains to the east, and on the clearest day the Crazy Mountains to the far north. We should have time for one last soak at the hot springs before our return to Bozeman for the end of our Yellowstone Mammoth Snowshoe Tour.