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Snowcoach tours are an alternate way to see Yellowstone National Park. The snowcoach offers the convenience of viewing the natural wonders while just sitting back and relaxing in an enclosed heated cab while your driver delivers park information as you cruise along the scenic routes. Many of the Yellowstone Snowcoach operators offer guided tours that include skiing, snowshoeing and lunch. The following tours are available from the snowcoach operator. These tours are also available by licensed snowmobile operators.

If you wish you can go straight to the Snowcoach Operators in Yellowstone National Park by clicking this link.


 

WEST ENTRANCE TO MADISON JUNCTION (about14 miles):

The road closely follows the Madison River and allows you to view the Madison Plateau to the south and the rim of the Yellowstone Caldera to the north. Geological landmarks include Mount Haynes, Mount Jackson, and National Park Mountain. In & near the Madison River you may see waterfowl, including: Ducks (Golden Eye, Merganser, Mallard, Coots, and others,) Geese (Greater & Lessor Canada, Snow, and others,) & Trumpeter Swans, being the most common. Maternity herds and bachelor groups of Bison feed all winter in the meadows adjacent to the river, as do both cow and bull Elk. Wolves and Coyotes frequent this area too, along with animal tracks, elk and bison beds. Restrooms are located at Seven Mile Bridge and at the Warming Hut at Madison Junction.

MADISON JUNCTION TO NORRIS GEYSER BASIN (about 14 miles)

The road gently climbs the inside of caldera rim and follows 0
the Gibbon River to Gibbon Falls, then through the Gibbon Canyon to gibbon Meadows, Elk meadows, and finally Norris Junction. Along the way you may see Beryl Spring, Elk and Bison, Coyotes, Eagles, Ravens, Geese, Ducks, and occasionally other birds or mammals. A short hike from the road are the Artist's Paint Pots. Restroom are located at Norris Geyser Basin.

NORRIS GEYSER BASIN

Contains two distinct basins of different character: the Back0
Basin & Porcelain Basin. These basins are the hottest and
most geologically active geyser basins in Yellowstone and are constantly changing. The attractions in the Back Basin include: Steamboat Geyser (world's tallest active geyser,) Echinus Geyser (erupting at near regular intervals of 30-60 minutes, for up to one hour, and heights to 60 feet,) Minute geyser, Green Dragon Spring (with boiling green water in a sulfur-lined cave,) Porkchop Geyser (currently a boiling hot spring, but with a history of explosive eruptions.) The attractions in the Porcelain Basin include: Porcelain Springs, Whirligig Geysers, Ledge Geyser, Blue Geyser, Black Growler, and many hot springs that are acidic and arsenic rich. The various colors that are found in, and around the edges of the hot springs are the result of the minerals such as iron and arsenic combining in a myriad of compounds. Additionally the lime-green Cyanidium algae thrive in this environment along with cyanobacteria that is orange and brown.

MADISON JUNCTION TO OLD FAITHFUL (about 16 miles):

The road gently climbs out of the Madison River Valley to the three most visited geyser basins in the park (Lower, Midway, Upper.) The road follows the Firehole River, past Firehole Falls in the Firehole Canyon , through a gently broken valley to Old Faithful. Restrooms are located at Fountain Paint Pots, Bisquit Basin, and Old Faithful. Located less than a mile from Madison Junction is Firehole Canyon Drive. This road follows the stream bank of the Firehole River in its narrow canyon and abruptly climbs to the top of Firehole Falls. If you make your own Christmas cards this picturesque drive will provide you with spectactular scenes. Above the falls Firehole canyon widens rapidly into the Firehole valley and wildlife viewing opportunities abound. Ducks, Geese, Dippers, Swans, Elk, Bison, Wolves, Coyotes, Woodpeckers, Eagles, Deer, Hares, Porcupines, Ravens, Mice, Martens, and other animals may be seen along this stretch of road all winter.

Lower Geyser Basin

About half way to Old faithful and the most popular attractions in this basin are located at Fountain Paint Pots. With just a short walk it is possible to see all four types of the parks thermal features (Hot Springs, Fumaroles, Mud Pots, Geysers.) Silex Spring is a classic hot spring with attendant features of color, temperature, biota, and spectacle. Be sure to look closely at the bacterial and algae mats for flies that subsist only on this food, and the spiders that subsist only on the flies. These life forms are the food source for mites, mice, insects, and birds. Fountain Paint Pot is usually best viewed in winter when the water table, and local snow melt combine to produce perfect conditions for the display of the world famous 'bubbling mud.' Red Spouter is a recent feature that developed in 1959 after the Hebgen Earthquake. In the summer it is just an ordinary fumarole, but in the winter it spouts red water and red mud. Clepsydra Geyser is a spectacular sight and the boardwalk allows visitors to get an up-close-and-personal view of this feature. Lucky visitors will have the chance to see Fountain Geyser, a spectacular display of several related geysers erupting in a wild symphony of sights, sounds and spray. Don't let the silica-rich waters get on your camera lenses!

Midway Geyser Basin

About 2 miles south of Fountain Paint Pot. Excelsior Geyser 0
and Grand Prismatic Hot spring (the largest hot spring in the
park,) are the main attractions in this basin. Upper Geyser Basin is a collection of three conjoined sub-basins surrounding the Old Faithful area (Biscuit Basin, Black Sand Basin, Old Faithful Basin.) This part of Yellowstone contains the largest concentration of geysers in the world. The geysers have been combined by proximity, geologic, and topographic criteria into groups. All the groups are accessible in the winter.

Biscuit Basin is formed by the confluence of the Firehole River and Iron Spring Creek. It is a meadow that attracts large animals and waterfowl in the winter because of the heat and available forage. It is common to see large bull elk and giant bull bison grazing side by side in this lush meadow. The visitor with a sharp eye will also be able to identify many shore birds, waterfowl, and scavengers around the edges of the grazing herds. Thermal attractions in this area include: Sapphire Pool, Jewel Geyser, Mustard Spring, Avoca Spring, and Shell Geyser. 0

Black Sand Basin derives its name from the concentration of black obsidian (volcanic glass,) sand in the basin.Two
large hot springs (Emerald Pool & Rainbow Pool,) are located here. Sunset Lake (a hot spring that behaves like a geyser,) Cliff Geyser, Spouter Geyser, and Opalescent Pool are also located here.

Upper Geyser Basin

Old Faithful Basin contains five major geyser groupings, each is named for the signature geyser(s) in the group. Visitors with time to enjoy thermal features should spend some time with each group.

Geyser Hill Group: Old faithful, Anemone Geyser, Plume Geyser, Beehive Geyser,

Lion Group, Giantess Geyser, Heart Spring, Solitary Geyser, and Doublet Pool. Castle-

Grand Group: Castle Geyser, Grand Geyser, Spasmodic Geyser, Sawmill Geyser, and Crested Pool.

Giant-Grotto Group: Giant Geyser, Grotto Geyser, Beauty Pool, Chromatic Spring, Oblong Geyser.

Daisy Group: Daisy Geyser, Splendid Geyser, Comet Geyser, Black Sand Spring, and Punchbowl Spring and is a popular place for scenic photography. Riverside-Morning Glory Group: Riverside Geyser, Morning Glory Pool, Gem Pool, Artemisia Geyser.

OLD FAITHFUL TO WEST THUMB GEYSER BASIN(about 17 miles):

The road climbs steeply from Old Faithful to the top of the 0
Madison Plateau, past Kepler Cascades, and then over Craig
Pass (elevation 8,262'asl,) then down to the West Thumb Geyser Basin. The visitor crosses the continental divide twice on this journey and the bridge at Isa Lake allows the imagination to wander because this little body of water drains both east and west, feeding water into both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Restrooms located at West Thumb. This Geyser basin is better known for its pools than its geysers. Although there are about a dozen identified geysers in a concentrated area, their activity has declined greatly since the 1970's. Additionally, the tectonic activity of the Yellowstone Lake region has conspired to inundate and drown several significant thermal features here. The north shore of the lake basin is raising and the water is moving to the south and filling the West Thumb basin as it does. Many of the inundated features lie within sight of the shore and as deep as 10-20 feet. Activity in the form of bubbles can be seen when the lake is calm, and in the winter holes in the ice are occasionally seen. There are two main groupings of geysers in this geyser basin: The Lower Group and The Upper Group. Both groups are easily accessible in the winter. Lower Group: Twin Geysers, Roadside Steamer Pool, Abyss Pool, Black Pool, King Geyser, Fishing Cone (one of the most famous hot springs in Yellowstone is cooling rapidly,) Thumb Geyser, and Surging Spring are the prominent features of this group.

Lake Shore Group: Occasional Geyser, Lone Pine Geyser, Blowhole Spring, Overhanging Geyser are the significant features of this concentrated group of thermal features.

WEST THUMB TO FISHING BRIDGE (about 22 miles): The road provides a pleasant journey along the shore of Yellowstone Lake, through occasionally very dense forest of pine and fir. Vast panoramas are available for the photographer. Restroom located at fishing bridge.

FISHING BRIDGE TO CANYON JUNCTION (about 17 miles):

Six or seven miles north of Fishing Bridge along a scenic climb and descent into the Hayden Valley is the Mud Volcano Area. This area is often described by visitors as 'hot, stinking, violent, scary.' This region is adjacent to one of the major vents from the collapse of the Yellowstone caldera about 600,000 years ago. This region is so active that the parking area is constantly being repaired. The Mud Volcano Area contains 11 significant features most of which are mud pots of various kinds. There is also a rare feature, the Mud Geyser it is currently experiencing a period of quietude but the turbulence at the south end of the bubbling pool may signify a coming resurgence. The discharge from Sulfur Caldron is about the same acidity as battery acid (pH of 1.2,) and the striking yellow color attests to its high sulfur content. If you want photographs of other-worldly scenes this is the place to take them. Visitors enjoy the memorable names of this area: Dragon's Mouth Spring, Sour Lake, Churning Caldron, Sizzling Basin, Cooking Hillside (soil temperatures as hot as 200 F.) Continuing north throught the Hayden valley the visitor experiences pastoral winter scenes in this vast and rich valley. Stray coyotes, giant bull bison, occasional ravens, infrequent elk, solitary eagles, and snowshoe hares puntuate the expansive valley. At times the horizons seem endless, at others the Yellowstone River carves graceful curves on its way to the thundering falls at Canyon Junction just eight or nine miles north of Mud Volcano. Restrooms at Canyon Junction.

CANYON JUNCTION TO NORRIS JUNCTION (about 12 miles):

A winding mountain road through a pine-fir forest puntuated in winter by the occasional giant bull bison, a few small hot springs, and a scenic loop road at virginia cascades. Restrooms at canyon junction.

NORRIS JUNCTION TO MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS (about 21 miles): Just north of the meadows at Norris junction the road climbs the divide between the Gibbon River drainage and the headwaters of the Gardner River. Five or six miles into this journey the visitor finds Roaring Mountain. This steaming mountain side occasional draws small groups of elk and bison because of its warmth. The rest of the journey is a gentle descent toward the upper terraces of Mammoth Hot Springs where over-the-snow travel ends. The upper terraces are available to the winter visitor. The lower terraces are available to conventional vehicular travel.


 

Snowcoach Operators in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Alpen Guides
P.O. Box 518
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
Yellowstone Expeditions P.O. Box 865
West Yellowstone, MT 59758

Yellowstone Tour & Travel
P.O. Box 410
West Yellowstone, MT 59758

SnoVans of Yellowstone
P.O. Box 1140
300 Madison Avenue
West Yellowstone, Montana
International Leisure Hosts Ltd./Flagg Ranch
PO Box 187
Moran WY 83013

Rocky Mountain Snowmobile Tours
1050 South Highway 89 P.O. Box 820
Jackson, Wyoming 83001

 

Lone Mountain Ranch
Box 160069
Big Sky, MT 59716
Amfac Parks & Resorts
P.O. Box 165
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190
Stagecoach Inn
209 Madison Ave.
West Yellowstone, MT. 59758

 

 


For more information on Yellowstone National Park and
the surrounding communities visit these helpful sites:

YellowstoneNationalPark.com
- YellowstoneLodging.com
YellowstoneFlyFishing.com


Copyright @1999-2013 Yellowstone Media

 

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  • Alpha Female Wolf Hayden Valley -Yellowstone National Park Alpha Female Wolf Hayden Valley -Yellowstone National Park
  • Daisy Geyser -Yellowstone National Park Daisy Geyser -Yellowstone National Park
  • Bull Elk Fighting -Yellowstone National Park Bull Elk Fighting -Yellowstone National Park
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  • Badger Sow and Cubs -Yellowstone National Park Badger Sow and Cubs -Yellowstone National Park
  • Morning Glory Pool -Yellowstone National Park Morning Glory Pool -Yellowstone National Park
  • Bull Elk in Fog -Yellowstone National Park Bull Elk in Fog -Yellowstone National Park
  • Angler Firehole River -Yellowstone National Park Angler Firehole River -Yellowstone National Park
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  • Castle Geyser -Yellowstone National Park Castle Geyser -Yellowstone National Park
  • Upper Terraces -Yellowstone National Park Upper Terraces -Yellowstone National Park
  • Grand Prismatic -Yellowstone National Park Grand Prismatic -Yellowstone National Park