The Old Faithful Snow Lodge in Yellowstone National Park, one of the favorite Xanterra Parks & Resorts properties, is featuring value family snow fun packages through early March. Although park trails are only ccessible by snowcoach, snowmobile, snowshoes or skis, the lodge itself is located in the heart of the Upper Geyser Basin within walking distance of Old Faithful.
Families can choose between 100 guest rooms or 33 cabins and, since there’s nothing else open in the park, kids will be happy to have the few shops, full- and quick-service restaurants, and lounge available on the premises. Note that a winter-season trip to Yellowstone requires advance reservations for rooms as well as transportation, and Xanterra encourages travelers to book one of the many vacation packages (discounts ranging from 15%-23%) for the best value and convenience. Here are some of their offers.
Yellowstone in Winter Family Getaway Packages
There is lots of choice here; the “Winter in Wonderland Lodging & Learning” package features a comprehensive overview of the winter experience while additional packages focus on specific interests. For example, “YNot Winter” was developed to teach participants the basics about winter-season experiences in Yellowstone. Each program includes expert guides, accommodations, in-park transportation, some meals and Xanterra’s “Snow Card” good for 10% off meals, in-park transportation, tours, ski shop services and most retail items. These packages are priced for the budget Snow Lodge but are also available featuring Mammoth Hot Springs or a combination of the two hotels.
Two that welcome families to Yellowstone are based on a minimum of two nights at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge, and include breakfast and a welcome gift. In addition, “Frosty Fun at Old Faithful” includes unlimited use of ice skating and skates, round-trip snowcoach tour per person to/from Old Faithful to Mammoth or the South entrance. Rates for a two-night stay start at $389 per person for double occupancy; inquire about special rates for children sharing an adult’s room.
“Nordic Heaven at Old Faithful” features a full-day ski rental as well. Rates for a two-night stay start at $445 per person for double occupancy and $644 for single occupancy; inquire about children’s rates.
Getting Around and To / From Yellowstone
Except for the road from Gardiner, Montana to Cooke City, Montana via Mammoth Hot Springs, transportation within the park is limited to snowmobiles and enclosed heated snowcoaches during the winter. Snowcoach transportation is available daily to a variety of park locations. Xanterra also offers a wide range of half- and full-day snowcoach, ski and snowshoe tours as well as ski and snowshoe rentals and instruction.
While you’ll have to rely on others to get around the park because it’s blanketed in such deep snow, you won’t have to worry about driving through storms to get there, either. There is an airport shuttle from Bozeman-Yellowstone International Airport providing a convenient option for traveling to/from the park. Package participants receive a special rate of $42 (plus applicable taxes/fees) each way, a savings of about 20%.
Only the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel are open in the magical winter season; they are closing March 1 and March 2 respectively. Winter packages through Xanterra can be booked by calling 307/344-7311 (toll-free 866/866-439-7375) or on the website YellowstoneNationalParkLodges.com.